From breathtaking scenic hikes along the Mississippi River, to wandering meandering trails through Hennepin County’s largest nature preserve, you'll find plenty of hiking opportunities in Minneapolis Northwest’s beautiful parks. Home to hundreds of miles of paved and rustic unpaved trails, Minneapolis Northwest is a perfect place for hikers who want to enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons and fully immersing themselves in the peace and tranquility of nature with scenic trails and spectacular views of lakes and our nation’s greatest river.

Head to Mississippi Gateway Regional Park (formerly Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park) and follow more than two miles of trails along the banks of the Mississippi River as you disappear into the beauty and quiet of nature across its 160 acres of amazing scenery, including stunning views of the river, vistas and shoreline. Look for signs of the abundant wildlife that live in or visit the park—mink, beaver, hawks, osprey, deer, turtles and river otters. Continue the adventure from the 12-foot-wide  observation walkway on top of the dam, offering spectacular views, accompanied by the relaxing roar of the water and beautiful rainbows in the mist. In the winter, snowshoe along the snow-covered paths of a winter wonderland, as you enjoy the invigorating cool air.

Wander the serene wilderness of more than 50 miles of hiking trails at Elm Creek Park Reserve. As the largest park within the Three Rivers Park District, there are plenty of opportunities to wander new paths throughout the 4,900 acres of beautiful scenery.  The paved trails take you through woodlands, wetlands, and old farm fields, great for viewing fall colors and spotting wildlife in its natural habitat. Elm Creek is home to a variety of wildlife such as eagles, sandhill cranes, deer, bluebirds, beavers, loons, trumpeter swans and hawks.

Home to more than 10,000 acres of parkland, Minneapolis Northwest offers endless opportunities to explore the outdoors and relax in the open spaces. For shorter hikes and lake side views, explore a variety of additional parks throughout the two cities, including Fish Lake Regional Park, Palmer Lake Park, Weaver Lake Park, Town Green, Centennial Park and more. 


Home to 10,000 acres of parkland, Minneapolis Northwest has more than enough space to spread out and relax. Top parks include Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove, Hennepin County’s largest regional park! It is home to an enormous playground, chlorinated swimming pond, disc golf, nature...