MN River Bottoms Flooding Update
If you've been down to the Minnesota River Bottoms in the last few weeks you may have come come across some of the flooded out sections of the trail that were impassable. Since the Old Cedar Ave. Bridge opened up a little while back, I have ridden the East Segment (Cedar Ave. to 35W) several times only to have to turn around when the trail disappeared under water.
I've never seen the water so high in the East Segment where one of the creeks from the marsh runs into the Minnesota River. There are two small bridges that cross the creek leading the trail to the Lyndale Ave. parking lot near 35W that were completely underwater until recently.
This was the end of the line until the flood waters receded. With the recent dry weather and warm sunny days the water level of the river and creeks in the floodplain has gone down significantly.
Slowly the two bridges in the East Segment began to emerge from under the water making this section passable once again.
Both bridges are high and dry now opening up passage all the way to Nine Mile Creek on the west side of 35W.
River levels that were once flowing high along the banks have dropped several feet eroding some of the dirt close to the edge of the trail in spots.
The old cottonwood tree bridge at Nine Mile Creek appears to have been cut by someone ruining this crossing many of us have used for the last couple of years. This was a well traveled crossing point, especially until the creek froze up in the Winter where it was safe to ride across the ice.
The raft ferry installed by the Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC) is still in place granting access across the creek until it is removed before the water starts to freeze later this Fall. Once across the creek, bikers and walkers can follow the trails all the way to the Bloomington Ferry Unit parking lot.
If you are looking to get in a ride through the floodplain forest that is the Minnesota River Bottoms, there are several access points where you can start from. There is a Minnesota River Bottoms Google Maps that will show you your options. Now that the Old Cedar Ave. Bridge is open, I like to park at the lot on the Bloomington side of the bridge which is accessible on Old Cedar Ave. from Old Shakopee Road.
For current updates throughout the Minnesota River Bottoms visit the MORC MN River Bottoms Trail Conditions page. The Faturday group ride on Saturday mornings has started up again and will continue through the winter if you would like to experience this area with some other riders who know the trails. Information for the Faturday rides can be found on the MORC Group Rides Forum and the MN Fatbike Group Rides page on Facebook.
Get down to this wilderness in the heart of the city and enjoy while Fall still graces us. Winter will be here soon, then comes a different kind of fatbike fun.