Trail Reviews

Trail: Southwest LRT Trail

Description:  This trail follows an old railroad grade from just east of Highway 100 to downtown Hopkins.  The portion west of 11th Avenue is surfaced with crushed limestone and goes all the way out to Victoria, which makes a nice bike ride.  The portion between 11th Avenue in Hopkins and Minneapolis is paved and skateable. At its east end, this trail connects to the Kenilworth Trail and the Midtown Greenway Trail, providing a connection all the way from Hopkins to downtown.

Getting there: Take Highway 169 to Hopkins.  Exit on Excelsior Blvd. (County Road 3) and head west to 8th Avenue South, the second stoplight.  Turn left and park in the park and ride lot.

Length:  About five miles from Hopkins to the Kenilworth and Midtown Greenway junction in Uptown.

Difficulty:  Intermediate -- there are a few busy road crossings, including some debris in the middle of the road at the Excelsior Blvd. crossing.

Popularity/number of other users: The trail gets a fair amount of use by bikers, other skaters, and pedestrians. Traffic is fairly spread out and easily visible.

Surface conditions: Newly paved, but watch out for the debris as mentioned above.

Scenery: This trail follows an old railroad line through industrial areas of St. Louis Park and has a railroad track on one side and industrial buildings and warehouses on both sides. It does have some parkland area where it crosses Minnehaha Creek.   When I was young, I used to think that the big silo next to the Nordic Ware building was filled to the top with knives, forks, and spoons.  I later found out that it was the world's first reinforced concrete grain elevator. (See this article on for more information on the elevator.)

Nearby restaurants:  Several in the Hopkins area, especially on Mainstreet. There are plenty of restaurants in Uptown.

Water: None on the trail.

Other nearby trails:  The east end of this trail connects to the Kenilworth and Midtown Greenway trails. The west end of this trail connects to the Hutchinson Spur Trail.

Comments: The Cedar/Hutchinson Spur/LRT/Kenilworth system forms a 13 mile loop good for a decent in-town workout.


Map of the LRT trail and its connections

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