Great gentle ride for beginners that won't totally bore more skilled riders
This is a good beginner-level ride because most parts are wide and flat. The trail offers good views of the river as well as planes taking off and landing at the airport. (can get kinda loud). Standing water on the trail can be a problem so it is best when it hasn't rained for a while. Be sure to bring mosquito repellent because if you don't, you WILL be eaten alive.
How to get there:
In Bloomington, take Highway 77 to Old Shakopee Road (County Road 1), then turn west. Turn south on Old Cedar Avenue and follow it to the end. There's a free parking lot on the right. The Fort Snelling South trail starts on the other side of the river, so take the old wooden Cedar Avenue bridge across the lake and follow the road to the new Highway 77 bridge. After crossing it, turn right and follow the doubletrack trail out of the woods.
In Eagan, take Highway 13 east past Highway 77 and turn left (north) on Nicols Road. Follow it until you see the parking lot for the boat ramp. (Note: This access point requires a State Parks daily permit or yearly sticker. They aren't sold on site -- you have to go to the main entrance of Fort Snelling State Park at Highway 5 and Post Road.) Follow the biking/hiking trail out of the woods, which becomes a doubletrack trail and then returns to the riverside. The trail continues for about 7.5 miles up to a short distance past the Mendota Bridge.
Two access points. One near Bloomington and the other near Eagan.