Looking for a great way to explore Eden Prairie? Hop on a bike! The city boasts more than 120 miles of bike trails. With paved and unpaved paths, there’s something for everyone.  Our family loves getting outdoors and being active. Through biking, we’ve been able to discover new neighborhoods and scenic landscapes, all while getting the benefit of exercise and fresh air. Pump up those bike tires, strap on your helmet, and let’s go!  

 

Rice Marsh Lake & Lake Riley
The bike ride around Rice Marsh Lake takes you through wooded areas, meadows, and wetlands. There is a small hill on the south end of the lake as you approach the more wooded sections. You’ll pass several playgrounds if you are looking for a spot to rest or play. The distance around Rice Marsh Lake is just short of 3.5 miles, and all of it is paved.

A path goes under highway 212 that will take you along Bearpath, connecting to Riley Lake Road. There is a slight hill if you are coming from Rice Marsh Lake. From here, you can bike along the northeast side of Lake Riley, with views of the lake. Stop at Riley Lake Park for a break, some playground fun, or a dip in the water! Since the Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail runs by Lake Riley, it makes it easy to access the lake and beyond.

If you need to make this bike ride shorter, you can easily omit the Lake Riley connection and just bike around Rice Marsh Lake. There is a parking lot at Rice Marsh Lake if you need to trailer your bikes. Otherwise, you can also park at Lake Riley. To make this ride longer, you could consider accessing Lake Susan Park in Chanhassen by following the path on the northwest side of Rice Marsh Lake leading under highway 101.

Staring Lake & Purgatory Creek Park
Staring Lake and Purgatory Creek Park is a paved, looped bike ride. You can do one or both bike loops, as they connect by crossing over Staring Lake Parkway. Both trails feature a good amount of tree coverage which provides ample shade during the hot summer months. If you need to trailer your bikes, there are plenty of parking spots at both locations.

Purgatory Creek

Staring Lake is mainly flat with a few small rolling hills on the south end. There is a bridge on the southeast end of the lake that can be steep depending on which direction you are coming from. Enjoy the scenery, the wildlife, and the other runners, walkers, and bikers!

Staring Lake Bridge

You can connect to the Purgatory Creek Park Loop by crossing over Staring Lake Parkway just past the Outdoor Center. The connecting trail will take you under Anderson Lakes Parkway. It’s an easy path that follows the creek. Purgatory Creek is a mixture of wooded paths surrounded by residential areas to the west and south, and sunny, business surrounded areas to the north and east.

Purgatory Creek is about 2.4 miles, and the distance around Staring Lake is 2.3 miles. Creek Valley Trail is .6 miles.

Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail
The LRT Trail is a 12.26 mile trail that runs from Hopkins, Eden Prairie, Chanhassen and Chaska. A former rail line, the trail is flat, but has a crushed limestone surface. The trail takes you along some amazing landscapes such as the bluffs, Lake Riley and Shady Oak Lake, as well as neighborhoods, golf courses, commercial, and industrial areas. Depending on where you live, you can access the trail from many points within Eden Prairie. Otherwise, you can park at a number of places along the trail’s route. The Depot Coffee House in Hopkins makes a great starting or ending point. In Eden Prairie, you can park at Miller Park or Riley Lake Park. There is a small parking lot in Chaska at the intersection of Engler Blvd. and Audubon Road.  

The LRT Regional Trail is managed by Three Rivers Park District, although a portion located in Carver County is being acquired by Carver County next spring.

“Share The Trail” Campaign
Many of our city trails are used by walkers, runners, and bikers. In order to keep everyone safe, it’s important to remember a few things:

  • Be sure to have proper biking etiquette and announce if you will be passing a walker or runner. A loud, “passing on your left” is helpful and appreciated. You can also use a bell or horn.
  • Keep to the right side of the trail as you are biking, and if you are with a group, switch to single file when others are approaching or passing other trail users.
  • Obey all traffic signs along the trails.
  • Wear a helmet.

“MN Bike and GO”
Researchers at the University of Minnesota have started a project called “MN Bike and GO” to identify the location of publicly available restrooms and toilets near bicycling paths and routes throughout MN on an interactive map using a survey available below. The survey will also collect and post info about restroom features such as cleanliness, open hours, flush or not, hand washing and toilet paper supplies, etc., which makes it unique and more useful than other existing maps and apps.

Just complete the brief survey using your smartphone and the link below when you are at a public restroom/toilet. Information will be freely available on the map below. You can win a prize for completing the survey through Summer 2021.

Click here to take the survey. 

There are so many reasons to get out and explore our city and its surrounding neighbors, and biking is a low-impact, eco-friendly way to do that! Depending on the ages and ability of your bikers, you can modify any of these routes. Our children are 8, 10, and 12, and these bike rides have all been of moderate intensity for them.

About / Contact
Carolyn Wieland

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