National magazines and newspapers have called Minneapolis the most bike-friendly city in the United States, and named the Midtown Greenway as one of its best bike trails. Local bike commuters even take to the city's extensive trail network in fat-tire bikes in the winter. That doesn't mean the Midtown Greenway is only for dogs small enough to fit into bike baskets, though. The multi-use trail is open to all pedestrians and is a great place to exercise with your dog. It's also a puptastic alternative to a car for getting from one dog-friendly location to another.
The Midtown Greenway starts at the Mississippi River just north of White Sands Beach. The best place to park if you're commuting by car is the lot at Brackett Field Park, which is located just a couple of blocks west from the river. The scenic park has ample lawns for your pup to sniff and explore, and human bathrooms you can use before you take to the trail. Bring along some water and clean up bags for the trek.
The trail continues 5.5 miles west to just south of Cedar Lake, where it turns into the Cedar Lake LRT Regional Trail. Passing between Lake and 28th, the trail is within a few blocks of dozens of restaurants, bars, and cafes with dog-friendly outdoor seating, as well as lots of fun places to window shop and explore with your pup.
One of the best ways to use the Midtown Greenway is as ground base for exploring downtown Minneapolis, the Chain of Lakes, and surrounding areas. It intersects with many other trails, including the Kenilworth Trail and the trails around the Lake of the Isles and Bde Maka Ska, previously known as Lake Calhoun. If you're near the lakes, you can stop by the Lake of the Isles Dog Park, a leash-free dog park located just north of the Midtown Trail. This gorgeously scenic dog park is bursting with amenities, including separate areas for large and small dogs.
If you and your pup are looking to get in some steps and explore the city, make sure your first stop is the Midtown Greenway!