Trail: Cedar Lake Trail

Description: This trail parallels the Burlington Northern tracks between downtown Minneapolis and Highway 100 in St. Louis Park.  It gives excellent views of the northern shore of Cedar Lake.  The Kenilworth Trail extension parallels the old C&NW tracks on the east side of Cedar Lake.  The trail connects with the Hutchinson Spur Trail in St. Louis Park, which in turn connects with the Southwest LRT Trail. This makes for a 13-mile loop. Also, there is a spur along the west side of Cedar Lake that has been recently repaved (summer 2004) and is now a lot more skateable than the old trail was.

Getting there: The easiest place to park, and the meeting place for MISC events, is by Parade Stadium.  Take Highway 394 east into downtown, and exit at the Dunwoody Boulevard exit.  Turn right at the first stoplight and follow the access road back toward the Parade Ice Arena.

Other access points are available in downtown Minneapolis and at the junction with Highway 100, though there isn't any parking at those locations.

Length: About 3 1/2 miles between downtown and Highway 100.  The Kenilworth Trail extension along the old C&NW tracks is about a mile long.

Difficulty: Easy -- it's very flat and smooth, and most of the trail is separated into separate paths for westbound bikes/skates, eastbound bikes/skates, and pedestrians.

Popularity/number of other users: This trail is fairly popular, but isn't too heavily used.  Since the westbound bike/skate, eastbound bike/skate, and pedestrian trails are separate, this tends to minimize conflicts.

Surface conditions: Fairly rough between Highway 100 and downtown. The pavement is starting to show its age. (I believe it was paved in 1996 or 1997.) The Kenilworth and Hutchinson Spur sections are newer and in nicer condition.

Scenery: The portion near Cedar Lake is nice and scenic, with a nature preserve on the south side of the trail.  Going into downtown Minneapolis is much less scenic -- you skate past the City of Minneapolis work yards, which includes piles of concrete and lots full of old police cars.

Nearby restaurants: Lots of restaurants downtown. MISC members often go to Sally's (in Stadium Village) or Green Mill in Uptown after a skate.

Water: Try the ice arena by Parade Stadium.  Otherwise, there aren't any water fountains on the trail.

Other nearby trails: This connects to the trail on the west side of Cedar Lake, and it connects directly to the trail along Kenwood Parkway. On the west side, it turns into the Hutchinson Spur trail underneath Highway 100. At the south end of the Kenilworth trail, it connects to the Midtown Greenway and the Southwest LRT trail.

Comments: Nicely designed as a divided-highway type trail, but it's really about due to be repaved.  


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