Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail
The Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail is an aggregate trail that follows an old railroad route from Hopkins to Chanhassen and Chaska. The trail offers views of Shady Oak Lake, Miller Park, Riley Lake Park, and the forested hills around the Minnesota River Valley. Trail connections to downtown Hopkins and downtown Chaska make this corridor ideal for exploration.
12.26 miles | Aggregate
Interactive Map of Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail
Trail Detours in Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Chanhassen
Detours in Hopkins
Two segments of the Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail in Hopkins are detoured.
- Between 11th Avenue South and Shady Oak Road, the trail is detoured via 11th Avenue South, Excelsior Boulevard and Shady Oak Road. This trail closure and detour will be in place until summer 2020.
- The trail is closed between 5th Avenue South and 8th Avenue South. A detour will be in place for approximately two and a half years.
Both detours are due to the Metropolitan Council’s Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) construction project.
Trail Closure in Eden Prairie and Chanhassen
It’s happening! Reconstruction work has started on the segment of the Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail in Eden Prairie and Chanhassen that has been closed. The area being repaired is located between Pioneer Trail (County Road 1/Highway 14) and Flying Cloud Drive (Highway 61) in Chanhassen. The trail segment has been closed since the summer of 2014 due to a mudslide that destabilized the trail, making it unsafe to use.
The project includes:
- repairing the damage caused by the mudslide
- improving the slope stability
- working on stormwater channels
- lowering and restoring the regional trail
The trail is scheduled to reopen at the end of October. Crews will return to complete final cleanup work next spring.
Access and detour
Trail users should continue to use the existing detour. The trail repair project does not affect vehicle traffic on Pioneer Trail and Flying Cloud Drive.
Why did it take so long to fix?
The rain event that destabilized the trail was part of a recognized federal disaster. Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA) – which owns the trail corridor – initially sought disaster aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The federal government took several years to consider the request, and ultimately declined to fully fund the needed repairs. A creative funding solution was then developed with multiple partners – HCRRA, Carver County, Three Rivers Park District, Metropolitan Council and the State of Minnesota. Once funding was approved, the final engineering and construction could begin.
The future of the trail
The trail has historically been operated by Three Rivers under an interim use permit through HCRRA. HCRRA has agreed to sell the portion of the corridor in Carver County to Carver County, which gives the trail a permanent home and protects over 60 acres of prime natural resources in the river bluff area. Three Rivers will turn over the operations and maintenance of the Carver County portion of the regional trail to Carver County upon the completion of the acquisition next spring. Acquisition funding was made possible through a grant from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.
Updates and details on the trail reconstruction project are available on Hennepin County’s website.
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Three Rivers Park District does not maintain regional trails in the winter. Cities along each trail have the option to maintain the trail for winter activities.
The Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Trail is plowed in Eden Prairie (from W. 62nd St. to Riley Lake Road), Hopkins, and Minnetonka. See more information regarding winter maintenance on Three Rivers regional trails.
things to do
Biking in Three Rivers is a great way to get the whole family outside. Whether you’re the casual rider or a cyclist in training, you’ll appreciate more than 240 miles of off-roadway bike/hike trails that wind through woodlands and grasslands and rim the shorelines of lakes and ponds at our parks.
Three Rivers offers abundant scenery for you and your dog to enjoy year round, with paved, turf, regional and skijoring/dog sledding trails that are dog-friendly. Dogs must be on a six-foot non-retractable leash unless in a designated dog off-leash area. Owners must pick-up after their dogs.
One of the best ways to explore year-round is to head out for a hike on the extensive trail system in Three Rivers. Trails wind through the woodland, grassland and wetland habitats of many species of wildlife. You’ll be amazed at what you might see along the way.