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Bloomington Briefing

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Parks and Recreation Department


Enjoy new and updated trail areas

Authored on
Bloomington Briefing Published March 22, 2021
Updated on April 8, 2022

Have you seen the new Minnesota River Valley Trail or the renovations made to the Old Cedar Avenue bridge area? These scenic trails are popular places to walk, hike, bike, and watch wildlife and birds. 

The Old Cedar Avenue bridge trailhead has a new shelter, parking lot and play area, but the star attraction is the bridge. The newly renovated Old Cedar Avenue bridge spans Long Meadow Lake and provides access to a pedestrian and bike crossing on the TH77 bridge. This connects to trails along the Minnesota River in Dakota County. The City of Bloomington owns the Old Cedar Avenue bridge which is located in a narrow strip of public right-of-way. However, the remaining area is federal property managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The recently completed segment of the Minnesota River Valley Trail extends between Lyndale Avenue by the Sorenson boat launch and the Xcel Energy powerline corridor. The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and operation of the Minnesota River Valley Trail and is in the process of securing necessary permits and funding to complete the segment from the powerline corridor to the Old Cedar Avenue bridge trail and the TH77 crossing. Completion of this connection will create a loop approximately eight miles long encompassing both sides of the river. 

How things work: Trail networks

Bloomington has an extensive network of trails, but not all of them are City-maintained trails. Some are controlled by the Department of Natural Resources, Three Rivers Park District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or other agencies and groups. 

Partnerships between these and other organizations aim to make the user experience as seamless as possible. It takes ongoing coordination to maintain, operate and improve these areas. Trails can have more than one property owner and can be operated and maintained by multiple agencies.