• Mississippi National River and Recreation Area


    National River & Recreation Area Minnesota

Bike with a Ranger

Bike with Ranger Dan

Bike with a Ranger is a family-friendly way to explore the Mississippi River. Join us this summer on a three-hour, nine mile ride held most Saturdays, from June through September. (For exercise enthusiasts, each ride may burn up to 350 calories for a 150 lb person!)

$8 / $5 for Mississippi River Fund Members
Kids under 10 ride for free.
Registration is required. Space is limited to the first 20 people who register. Register online with the Mississippi River Fund.

Trip Information

See below for trip locations and routes

-Trips start at 10:00 a.m. and finish around 1:00 p.m. Participants should arrive at 9:45 a.m. to prepare for the ride.
-Routes are 9-14 miles in length and end where they begin.
-Participants must register and will receive a registration packet that includes bike safety information, what to bring, route map, weather preparation, parking information, and start location. Registration closes at 10am on the Friday before the ride.
-We also have an ample supply of helmets if you need one or forget yours.

Registration Information

Registration is required. All rides are limited to 20 participants. Register online with the Mississippi River Fund.

Groups are welcome to schedule a ride with a park ranger at a different time, using one of the existing routes, and depending on staff availability. Call Brian Valentine at 651-293-8428 for more information.

A bicycle sits in front of the stone round tour at Historic Fort Snelling.

A Confluence of Rivers and Peoples

Location: Base Camp near Historic Fort Snelling (Google Map)
Dates for 2014: July 5, July 26, August 16, September 20
Distance: 8 miles
Notes: Parking is free. The route may cross a bridge which includes staircases with bike treadway where bike trailers must be carried.

This route begins and ends at the Boy Scouts' Base Camp, near Historic Fort Snelling. Riders will see Historic Fort Snelling and the beautiful Minnehaha waterfall. Due to a rock slide, the Big River Regional Trail is indefinitely closed to our tours. We will instead cut across Hwy 5 to Shepard Rd. This reroute shortens the ride by six miles.

A man sits on the bank of the Mississippi River.

The Gorge

Location: St. Paul
Dates for 2014: June 21, July 12, August 2, September 6
Distance: 7-9 miles
Notes: Meet at Ford Dam overlook (Google Map).

This is a new route. While Harriet Island's nearby trails are closed this summer, we'll ride atop the river gorge. Join us to explore the river's natural and human characteristics. This is a great orientation ride to the Mississippi River.

Coon Rapids Dam and the Mississippi River under bright sunshine and blue sky.

River at the Dam!

Location: Coon Rapids Dam Park - East. Coon Rapids, MN. (Google Map)
Dates for 2014: Due to the construction, there will be no Coon Rapids dam rides summer 2014.
Distance: 10 miles
Notes: Anoka County Parks charges a $5 fee if entering by motorized vehicle. It is possible to park for free on the West side of the dam and bike across to meet the Ranger.

This trip explores the Mississippi above the nine foot navigation channel and offers a chance to see natural and cultural features of the river upstream of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. We will ride bike trails along the river and across the Coon Rapids Dam while uncovering the rich history and natural resources of the Mississippi River. Bike rental is available for a fee at the park's visitor center. Call (763) 757-4700 for their rates and to make a reservation.

Water cascades over St. Anthony Falls with the Minneapolis skyline in the background.

Minneapolis Riverfront

Location: Matthews Park, Minneapolis. Meet in the parking lot north of the park (Google Map).
Dates for 2014: June, 28, July 19, August 9, September 13
Distance: 10 miles
Notes: Parking is free.

Minneapolis and Saint Paul are river towns. See the Mississippi River's only major waterfall and explore the great river's only gorge. We will ride through modern parks while exploring the river's ancient geology and its extraordinary human history that led to the founding of the Twin Cities and its development into a regional and worldwide economic powerhouse.

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