For biking enthusiasts, Mankato features some of the best trails in the state and scenic roadways with wide shoulders and little to moderate traffic. Our trail system offers a spectacular view of areas that may not always be explored, especially if you stick to the roads. Trail users will follow streams and cross upland and wetland areas, where one may see all kinds of wildlife. You never know what is around the next bend. Mankato and North Mankato have been designated a “Bronze” Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, Washington, D.C.
National Bike Week (May 7 – 14) and National Bike Month (May)
Whether you bike to save time or ride to explore your community, National Bike Week and National Bike Month are opportunities to celebrate the many reasons we ride. Biking is not only an alternative mode of transportation, but it provides physical and mental benefits too. Local activities to celebrate National Bike Week and National Bike Month can be found on the Greater Mankato Bike and Walk Advocates’ website. Go>
Red Jacket Bike Trail
Take a 13-mile ride on an asphalt and crushed stone path from the YMCA in the Mankato’s City Center all the way to awesome eats, delicious pie included, at the Rapidan Dam Store. The Red Jacket Trail includes a beautiful route through an open countryside, beside the Minnesota River, on railroad trestles which stand more than 80′ high and 550′ long, over several wooden bridges and under a landmark tunnel at the new southern bypass all the way to Rapidan.
Minnesota River Trail
This trail connects the Sakatah and Minneopa Trails. It is a multi-use trail taking users along the Minnesota River, highlighting Mankato’s prime location on the river valley from Riverfront Park, through the city center of Mankato on to Sibley Park in west Mankato.
The wooded trails surrounding the Elks Nature Center at Rasmussen Woods are ideal for hikers, birdwatchers and anyone who loves nature. This features a 150-acre tract perfect for hiking and observing wildlife throughout the seasons. There are more than five miles of hiking trails inclusive of meadows, wetlands, floating trails, cliffs and a park overlook. The woods are located just off Stoltzman Road.
Sakatah Singing Hills Trail
Follow 39 miles of abandoned railroad grade from Mankato (the trail begins on Lime Valley Road, just past the intersection of Riverfront Drive and Highway 14) to Faribault. The blacktopped trail meanders through rich farmland and small towns and follows several lakes, including Madison and Cannon, where there are swimming beaches. There are parks and six great cultural pit stops in communities every few miles. The trail, which intersects Sakatah State Park, is open for biking, hiking, in-line skating and cross country skiing.
Seven Mile Creek Trails
Just seven miles north of Mankato on Highway 169, you’ll find more than eight miles of multi-use trails that wind through a beautiful, deep forested valley with a spring-fed trout stream flowing down the middle. This is a great park for anyone looking for an exhilarating work out or a fun hike or for anyone looking to enjoy nature up close.
Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway
Explore the Minnesota River Valley on four wheels! This scenic byway takes you on a journey down the roads and the highways that follow the Minnesota River. Take the stunning views of the river and bluffs, see wildlife and stop in and explore the river towns and cities. Learn more. Go>