Trail: Snail Lake, Shoreview, MN

Description: This trail is very complex and has many legs and branches.  It's located partially in Shoreview and partially in Vadnais Heights. Although complex in geography, it's very easy to skate as it is totally flat.

Getting there:  Generally either approach from the west or the east on 694, to the intersection of Victoria and 694. Go north on Victoria for 1/2 mile to intersect Snail Lake Blvd. Go east 3/4 mile until you see the parking lot and pavilion on the left (North side of Snail Lake Blvd.)  Once parked, go to the east side of the pavilion and look for the access tunnel under Rice Street to get to the major part of the trail system.

Length: Hard to determine! Seems to be about 3 to 4 miles of paved trails.

Difficulty: Easy, if you don't get lost! Lots of small "twigs" on the trail can be distressing to a beginner. But for the intermediate to advanced, these should not present a problem.

Popularity/number of other users: This has a small number of bikers and hikers at any time. It is "shared use" (i.e., bikers, walkers, runners, skaters all on one trail), but it wasn't crowded on a May Sunday and the width gives plenty of room for all.

Surface condition: Excellent -- this is a new trail (built in late '90's) and the asphalt is in very good condition in all places. OK for recreational and speed skating.

Scenery: Super! Nature preserve. Ponds, wetlands, trees, and lots of birds, and maybe even beaver and fox if you look hard enough.

Nearby restaurants:  Not investigated, although on the northern most branch there is a Rainbow Foods right across the street from the end of that leg. Totally accessible on skates. Also some fast food in the same area.

Water:  Available at the pavilion and the Rainbow, we presume.

Comments: Can be recreational or speed. Usually a turn around the various loops tells you what the other "traffic" is like, and you can anticipate enough to do whatever speed you like. If you are easily confused by a complex layout, you may end up spending a couple more hours there than you anticipate, as you may "go around in circles" trying to find your way out.

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