Trail: Baker Park Reserve

Description: Baker Park Reserve is part of the Three Rivers Park District System It is about 20 miles west of downtown Minneapolis and is constructed on a rolling prairie that loops around a small lake. If you wanted to experience what Lewis and Clark must have experienced, you will like this trail because that's how isolated you will feel. The trail was rebuilt and resurfaced in the early spring of 2001.

Getting there: From Minneapolis, head northwest on State Highway 55 to County Road 24. Turn left (west) on County Road 24 to County Road 19, turn south and follow 19 to the main park entrance or take Highway 55 to County Road 19, turn south and follow 19 to the main entrance.

Length: About a 6 1/4 mile loop.

Difficulty: This is one of the more difficult trails in the Twin Cities. It has a couple of long hills with inclines that will test the braking ability of less confident skaters. Bolder skaters might enjoy bombing the hills because you can reach speeds up to 30 MPH! (Editor's note: Watch out when bombing hills, though. I was skating down one of the hills and hit a stick. I lost my balance and fell and broke my wrist, thanks to a wrist guard that offered little protection.) It is a 2-way trail with a divided center line.

Popularity/number of other users: This has not been a popular trail for inline skaters, perhaps because it was in need of repair and is distant from the Twin Cities.

Surface conditions: The surface quality is excellent since it is new (and smooth) asphalt.

Scenery: The trail loops around a natural wildlife setting complete with prairie, lake and critters. This presents a spectacular view during the fall color change.

Water: There is one pump fountain near the northwest end of the loop. The water is safe, but you couldn't tell from the taste. Bring your own water (and food because you are a long way from anywhere)!!

Other nearby trails: None

Comments: This should be a great place for a family or group skate. The adjacent park has terrific swimming, boating, picnic, camping and numerous other recreational facilities.

Map:

Link: Three Rivers Park District - Baker Park

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