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Minnesota River Headwaters Trail

Easy/Intermediate
 5.0 (1)

A flat trail that follows the Minnesota River with views of the river, wildlife, and plants throughout.


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Map Key

3.4

Miles

5.5

KM

100%

Runnable

975' 297 m

High

958' 292 m

Low

22' 7 m

Up

10' 3 m

Down

0%

Avg Grade (0°)

1%

Max Grade (0°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views

No motorized vehicles

Need to Know

**This trail is one way and ends at a highway. If you do not have a ride set up at that end, you'll need to return to the beginning, which doubles the distance.**

Trail can be accessed from either side, with better parking on the end inside the Big Stone NWR. The trail does not loop, but is easily completed in both directions. I would best describe it as a there-and-back trail beginning in the refuge.

The majority of the trail is wide and paved, but ~1.25 miles within the wildlife refuge is not paved. In late spring, this portion is easily biked and mostly flat, but later in the summer it's overgrown and some plants can brush your legs.

There are no entrance fees and restrooms are available down the road on the Big Stone NWR end of the trail.
Prepare to picnic, there are no nearby food options.

Description

Beginning inside the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge (no fee), follow signs for a trail (before the auto tour). The first ~1.25 miles of the trail are suitable for a car, but a gate prevents a car from entering. The trail is just car-wide where two bikes can run in the tire tracks next to each other. Later in the summer, this portion is thick with vegetation that can frequently brush your legs. The path was mostly flat with only one or two memorable bumps (at an average speed of ~10 mph).

The trail travels west before turning north where the path follows the Minnesota River. Within minutes, you'll see a bridge where you can stop to watch wildlife. We saw frogs, pelicans, and a beaver (we believe) in a few minutes before continuing. The land around us was private at this point.

The path turns paved soon after the bridge. Continue to follow the paved path until a major left turn. There is one more tall bridge to cross as you stop following the river. The final leg of the path is paved and is completely underneath large trees that shade the path. The path abruptly ends at a highway, where you could quit if you had a ride, or turn around and return to parking.

Shared By:

Connor Lightfield

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#5095

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  5.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#93

in Minnesota

#5,095

Overall
3 Views Last Month
4 Since Aug 7, 2020
Easy/Intermediate

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