“A long, beautiful path along the Minnesota River.”
— Austin Lynch
Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The Memorial Park Bridge in Shakopee is currently closed. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website advises accessing the trail to the west at Huber Park.
The Minnesota Valley State Trail, also known as the State Corridor Trail, passes through the southern end of the Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area, weaving in and out of the various biomes that are endemic to this area. Oak hardwood forests and Oak savannas make up the bulk of the scenery, but wetlands and lakes are common features as well. The walls of the valley range from sloping hills to small bluffs with exposed rock.
Between Chaska and Shakopee, about 10 miles of the trail is paved. The rest of the trail is unpaved, though the grade is moderate throughout. There are plans to extend the trail between Fort Snelling and beyond Belle Plaine to Le Sueur.
Part of the trail goes through the Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area, passing protected floodplains of the Minnesota River. The Lawrence Unit contains the beautiful Horseshoe Lake, which is one of the best spots in the area to see migrating songbirds and waterfowl in large numbers. Within the Louisville Swamp Unit, intersections with Middle Road
, Flood's Road
, and Mazomani Trail
offer access to the Jabs Farm site, Little Rapids campsite, Johnson Slough, and other unique features of the area.
The path often runs close to the banks of the Minnesota River, which means that periodic flooding is a risk.