Battle Creek Regional Park

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If you get a group of Minneapolis mountain bikers together and ask them which is the best trail in the Twin Cities, Battle Creek Regional Park is usually a top contender. With its 10-mile expert single track, there is no comparison found in the Twin Cities area.

Written by

Molly O'Connor


10.5 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

12.6 miles


3 of 5 diamonds


Time To Complete

2 hours

1-2 hours


All Seasons

All Seasons

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only




Only 15 miles east of downtown Minneapolis, Battle Creek Regional Park is a haven for local mountain bikers. With an extensive network of biking trails found in woods and grasslands, most riders forget that they are in the heart of suburbia. This park offers 4.5 miles of advanced single track and another 5.5-miles of intermediate-advanced options. Though there are small sections that are for advanced riders, Battle Creek’s mountain bike trails are okay for bikers of all skill levels. The single track consists of packed soil, sandy spots, and rocky hillsides. With many technical drops and steep inclines, this trail will get your heart pumping in no time.

What Makes It Great

Though the multiple trail exits may be daunting, follow your instincts. Veer right and prepare for some lung bursting hill workouts. Quite honestly, prepare for your lungs to get a workout through the whole ride because hills are everywhere. In the eastern half, uphill switchbacks are a common occurrence. Also, a lot of the time, the single track narrows to the width of your tires, so don’t lose focus on the trail for too long because you may easily bike off it if you’re not looking.

There will be times when the trail ends up on a paved bike trail or service road. The next trail entrance is usually nearby, so use your judgment and look for orange markers along the road. On the western half, there are more hills, but if you can get to the top of them, it is well worth it. There is a curvy-banked turned downhill section, sometimes called “The Luge”, which is a fun track that winds through the woods.

At many of the Metro trails, it’s important to mention that riding when the trails are wet is illegal. But, at Battle Creek, it is not illegal, however highly discouraged. Mostly because it causes a lot of trail damage, which results in more hours of work for the trail volunteers.

If you prefer going with a group, there are night rides every Wednesday (weather permitting) starting at 6pm. There is a “fast group” that leaves from the Rec Center at about 5:00pm. They ride for about 45 minutes and get back to the Rec Center in time for the “main group” ride. The “main group” leaves at 6:00pm or will leave later if they know someone is running late. Their rides normally range from 9-11 miles and are back at the Rec Center by 7:30pm. If it’s your first time mountain biking, then don’t be scared away. Battle Creek is a great place to learn and there’s no better group of people to learn from. They have experienced riders at the front of the “main group” and at the back, who make sure all the riders make it back safe and sound. The riders at Battle Creek are real friendly and often hang out after an evening of riding, often sharing their “riding stories.”

If you would rather get involved in improving the trails, during the summer, Minnesota Off-Road Cycling (MORC) sponsors groups to do trail work on Monday nights starting at 5:00pm. No experience is necessary, just show up in work attire (sturdy shoes, gloves, and safety goggles). For more information, visit the MORC forum.

Who is Going to Love It

Mountain bikers with an adventurous spirit will love the physical and mental difficulty found within Battle Creek Regional Park.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

The trail opens a ½ an hour before sunrise and a ½ an hour after sunset.

If this is your first time to Battle Creek, make sure to enter with an open mind and adventurous spirit. The trails are not well marked and sometimes downright confusing, but with patience, you can find the reason why locals love this park. Rumor has it that signs will be put up the summer of 2015. The whole system is shaped as a wiggly figure eight and it is split into two halves.

It is best to park at the Main Trailhead Lot at the Battle Creek Community Recreation Center off of Winthrop. Head south through the grass field until you find a well-worn single track. This is the trailhead and from here pedal downhill until you reach your first trail exit.

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Battle Creek Regional Park

Point Douglas Road
St. Paul, MN, 55106
44.938603, -93.012528

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