Minnepolis, the Cedar Lake LRT (Light Rail Transit) Regional Trail
The Cedar Lake Light Rail Transit Regional Trail is a 4.5-mile long paved pathway that links Hopkins and Minneapolis in Minnesota. This is an integral component of Hennepin County’s extensive trail network which follows the route of an abandoned railroad right-of-way and takes a straight shot through the western suburbs of Minneapolis. The trail goes through many commercial and industrial areas, as well as residential neighborhoods and conveniently connects to some major recreational trails in the area.
The Cedar Lake LRT Regional Trail is about 12-foot wide and paved trail for the entire route. There are long stretches of trail away from traffic and overpasses for many of the major roadways. Note that the trail is open for not only bike riding but also running and walking.
To begin at the western end of the trail in Hopkins, park at the Depot Coffee House. The trailhead lies immediately south of the trail on a spur that connects to the Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail. Heading east out of Hopkins, there is also a large parking lot at the Sam’s Club, right at north of the trail access, in Street Louis Park.
Otherwise, you can access to the eastern end by getting onto Abbott Avenue, where you likely find parking along the street. The trail is just in 0.2 mile, where Abbott meets Chowen Avenue.
The trail directly links four trails together: In the west, it branches off at the junction of both the similarly named North Cedar Lake Regional Trail and the Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail. The eastern end of the trail seamlessly becomes Minneapolis’s popular Midtown Greenway just north of Excelsior Boulevard, where Chowen Avenue South curves to become Abbott Avenue South.
Running past mostly industrial properties, the Cedar Lake LRT Regional Trail occupies a former Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway corridor. The right-of-way became inactive in the early 1990s and was acquired by the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA), which installed the trail. The HCRRA always planned to use the corridor for a future passenger rail line; in fact, the LRT designation of several Hennepin County trails indicates those pathways built on corridors intended for future light rail transit use.
Fortunately, even though the planned Southwest LRT line will run on the entirety of what is now the Cedar Lake LRT Regional Trail, the HCRRA has committed to maintaining all existing trails. In this case, the trail will become one of an ever-increasing number of successful rail-with-trail projects around the country.
6.779 km / 4.212 mi
48 m / 158 ft
34 m / 112 ft
286 m / 938 ft