Mountain Biking on Minnehaha Creek

I'm always looking for new and challenging places to ride and one of the places I hadn't taken my studded tire mountain bike to yet this winter was Minnehaha Creek.  I got the idea from reading a post entitled "The Minnehaha Ice Road" on Fat Tire MN's blog.  I thought I might give it a try.

I decided to start my early morning trek at Lake Nokomis Park and take the creek towards Lake Harriet.  This is a route I had taken on the bike paths many times throughout the year in warmer weather.  The scenery is really nice along this stretch, so I knew it would make for some nice pictures and a pleasant ride.

I hopped on the creek and started my trip west.  A trail along the creek bed had already been established from the number of fatbikes and mountain bikes that had been there before me.

The creek was wide and flat starting out allowing me to get some speed and had not provided any technical challenges yet....

until I got closer to the35W bridge.  I wasn't riding a fatbike, so traveling through the middle of this jagged, frozen mess would have been very challenging, so I opted for the narrow path line on the far right side of the bank.

After that it was smooth sailing for a ways.  Under the road bridges, the ice was a little sketchier, so I rode on the sandy banks close to the bridge supports and then get back onto the ice once I was passed. 

So far, the ice was solid (except under some of the bridges) and conditions were good through to Lynnhurst Park except for a slight detour I had to take up onto the pedestrian path at the Lyndale Avenue bridge where I walked my bike up to the bike path.  Soon ice conditions were good and I got back onto the creek.

After passing W. 52nd street, the creek bed took on a slushy ice appearance and I began to follow the detour path that had been established.  This part was like singletrack winter mountain biking.

I followed the path towards W. 54th Street where I turned around and started my way back.  The sun had come up and gave me some really good lighting for photos on my return trip.

It was a fun ride, challenging in a few spots, but overall it was a chance to experience the Minnehaha Parkway from a different perspective than the one I was used to.

Below is the RideWithGPS map of my Minnehaha Creek ride.

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