Trail: Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Description: This trail has been recently widened and resurfaced and will test your skills with its numerous hills, turns, and 2 road crossings. About 10 miles of trails if you use both loops.

Getting there:
There are two ways to enter the park: you can use the main park entrance, or use a skate in entrance on the east side of the park
Main park entrance: Take the Bush Lake Road exit from eastbound or westbound 494, go south and turn right at the railroad crossing and follow for 2-3 miles to park entrance. 
Access from the east side: on 494 in Bloomington take Normandale Blvd (Highway 100) exit going south, follow Normandale Blvd, turn right on Poplar Bridge Rd (94th Street), head west until you cross Nesbitt Ave. Park entrance is directly ahead, park car in grade school parking lot on south side of road, skate into park. This used to be the free entrance, but now that there are no parking fees in Three Rivers Park District facilities, the other entrance is probably more convenient.

Length: 5.6 miles of loops, though you can repeat loops and make it as long as you want.

Difficulty: These trails are are for advanced skaters. If using the east entrance beware that your skills will be tested by the wooden bridge and the downhill that follows. If you make this part unscathed, you MAY have the required skills for the rest of the trails. If not, pack up and go to Harriet 15 minutes to the north. The other places to be aware of are the 2 spots where the trail crosses the entrance road. If you see a STOP sign you'd better stop or risk being a hood ornament. There are many hills and turns.

Popularity/number of other users: There are never more users (bike, skaters) than you can count on your hands, usually one hand will do. Be wary of occasional hikers.

Surface conditions: The best surface in Minnesota if not the nation. The path has been widened, hard to believe I know but it's smoother than the Dome (unless you happen to be at the Dome the day after they clean the floors which happens about once every other year).

Scenery: Typical Three River Park District park reserve: trees, deer, wild prairie, deer, path thru woods, deer, $250K plus nearby homes, more deer.

Water: At park center.

Other nearby trails: Normandale Lake has a trail around it (the south and east side is nice, the west and north rough, kind of like Nokomis.) Staring Lake Park in Eden Prairie is worth a try. There is also a trail in the works that will run along East Bush Lake Road north from the park reserve to 84th Street and Normandale Lake, but the hill will probably be too steep to skate comfortably.

Comments: One of the best kept secrets in the Twin Cities area, the surface is absolutely THE best.

Official Web site: Three Rivers Park District - Hyland Lake Park Reserve

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