A sampling of National Recreation Trails in the news or recently designated. The NRT program showcases the diversity of trails across America, from our cities and suburbs to the deserts, waterways, and high mountains.
Every kind of trail activity is represented in the listing of designated NRTs. Besides hiking and bicycling, the system includes water trails, motorized routes, snow tracks, greenways, and equestrian paths.
Search all of Minnesota's designated National Recreation Trails in the Online NRT Database
The East Grand Forks/Grand Forks Greenway Trail on the
Minnesota side of the Red River (Photo by Stuart Macdonald, 2007)
East Grand Forks/Grand Forks Greenway Trail — Connecting two cities and two states, this 20-mile urban trail and greenway allows users to experience the natural beauty of the Red and Red Lake Rivers, while enjoying a variety of recreation facilities and activities such as biking, fishing, and boating (designated 2007).
Finger Lakes Canoe Trail - 5.2-mile paddling route near Kellogg on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (designated 2012).
Froland Waterfowl Production Area Interpretive Trail — This U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trail in west-central Minnesota winds 1.7 miles around prairie pothole wetlands and through restored tall grass prairie and oak savanna. There are interpretive panels at the trailhead, an observation platform with spotting scope overlooking a large wetland, and benches along the way. The trail provides access to bird watching opportunities, nature observation, hunting, and a place where visitors can stretch out their legs and get some exercise (designated 2011).
Gateway State Trail — The 18-mile converted rail-trail runs from urban St. Paul to the nationally significant St. Croix River Valley. It is a good example of a multi-use trail that provides links to a local and regional network of trails, parks, and greenways. In addition to its natural and historic resources, the trail also provides recreational opportunities like biking and horseback riding (designated 2002).
Mahnomen Wildlife Trail at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Wobegon Trail — This 50-mile multi-use trail provides year-round recreational opportunities including hiking, fishing and snowshoeing. In addition, the trail acts as a link between the cities of Avon, Albany, Freeport, Melrose, and Sauk Centre. Read Garrison Keillor's remarks at the trail opening (designated 2002).
Mahnomen Wildlife Trail — The three-mile trail at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge offers scenic hiking over moderately level terrain. Archeological surveys show that Rice Lake attracted wildlife and ancient people were drawn to this source of plentiful food and clothing as long ago as (500 A.D. The trail has three loops designed to let the visitor choose their walking distance as they travel through woodland habitat and prairie openings, skirting several wetlands and Rice and Round Lakes.
North Fork Crow River Trail — Located in Stearns County, this 29-mile backcountry and snow trail provides residents and visitors with ideal snowmobiling opportunities (designated 2002).
Rydell Refuge Trails — This backcountry trail system extends over 7 miles throughout the Rydell National Wildlife Refuge, showcasing a Sundew Bog and wildlife habitats that developed from the "fire shadow" effects of Maple Lake. This ecosystem represents a unique transitional zone between Prairie Parkland of the Red River Valley and the Eastern Broadleaf Forests. This handicapped accessible trail system allows for year-round outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and cross country skiing (designated 2005).