With about 11-miles of moderate trails, the Minnesota River Bottoms is a great mountain biking destination only 12 miles from downtown.

Time to Complete
1-2 hours
Distance from Downtown
12 miles from downtown
Get Directions
3 of 5

Recommended by Midwest Mountaineering

Mountain Biking Review

Minnesota River Bottoms

Written by

The 400-acre Bloomington Ferry Unit of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge features floodplain forest and wetland habitats. Located on the banks of the Minnesota River, the Minnesota River Bottoms area is very a popular destination for mountain biking enthusiasts.

There are several ways to access the mountain bike trails located in the Minnesota River Bottoms. The Bloomington Ferry Unit of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is a good place to start. Although the United States Forest Wildlife Service does not manage some portions of the trail, the paths are still mostly easy to follow and navigate.

The terrain ranges from wide double track to more technical narrow singletrack sections, and conditions vary season by season: wet and muddy in the spring, deep dry sand in the summer. 

Depending on your entry point, you can explore more than 10 miles of trails twisting through sandy floodplains, around massive trunks of toppled cottonwoods and through mosquito infested scrub forest and prairie grass stands.

Deep along the trail there’s a handwritten sign on the left side of the trail with a message worth pondering, ”welcome to the refuge, please leave your troubles at the sign.” Since the trail is two-way keep an eye out for mountain bikers returning to the trailhead.

Image Gallery


Get Directions
Best Time to Go
Land Website
Dog Friendly


blog comments powered by Disqus