Trail: Hutchinson Spur Trail

Description: This trail connects the Cedar Lake Trail at its terminus at Highway 100 to the Southwest LRT Trail in Hopkins. Now that this connection is here, you can skate all the way from Hopkins to downtown Minneapolis.

Getting there: There is an access point at Highway 100, but there isn't any convenient parking. You can access the trail from Dakota Park (in the vicinity of 26th and Dakota), although there may not be a trail connection yet. Aquila Park, at 31st and Xylon, has convenient parking and trail access. Finally, the Southwest LRT trailhead in Hopkins, at 8th Ave. S. and Excelsior Blvd, provides parking and trail access for the LRT trail, and the junction for the Hutchinson Spur is just east of 169.

Length: 4.2 miles between Highway 100 and Hopkins.

Difficulty: Easy. The trail is flat and smooth and newly paved. Unlike the Cedar Lake Trail, though, there isn't a separate surface for hikers. Be careful of the road crossing at Second Street in Hopkins - going northbound, there's a downhill leading to the road crossing.

Popularity/number of other users: At the moment, this trail is undiscovered, but will probably become more popular with local residents. Expect to see a fair number of pedestrians.

Surface conditions: Excellent -- this trail is new and the asphalt surface is in good condition.

Scenery: The section that parallels the BNSF tracks has some industrial buildings immediately west of 100, but it turns into more residential neighborhoods with wooded areas along the trail.

Nearby restaurants: There are a number of restaurants along 394 just north of the trail, such as Chili's, Friday's, La Casita, Shelly's Wood Duck, and others.

Water: Aquila Park has water, and there is probably water at Dakota Park.

Other nearby trails: This trail connects with the Southwest LRT Trail in Hopkins and the Cedar Lake Trail in Minneapolis.

Comments: A nice, scenic trail that provides a good connection between two other good skate trails. 


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