Hike the Oldest Trail in Minneapolis

Want to hike the oldest trail in Minneapolis? Just off of West River Parkway you will find the Winchell Trail. This trail is unknown to many city residents keeping it fairly low key and secluded. Formerly, the Winchell trail was an Indian trail making it the oldest hiking path in Minneapolis.

The mostly unpaved path winds up and down the gorge along the Mississippi River. At times, it meets up with the sidewalk on the parkway and other time it dips down to the river. Frequently, there will be multiple trails to choose from. You will not go wrong with any of them.

Hike the Oldest Trail: Location

Trek along the Mississippi river gorge on this 5 mile out and back hike. It has approximately 500 feet of elevation gain. It starts near the Franklin Ave bridge and ends close to Minnehaha Park (44th Ave).

It has a few other entrances in between, along the Parkway. If you spy a long staircase, it’s likely going down to this pathway. Some of the entrances are even disguised as a regular sidewalk on the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway.

Bicycles are not permitted along the Winchell Trail, but many of the entrances have a rack to lock up your bike. Then, take the trek to hike the oldest trail in Minneapolis.

This path is considered a moderate hike in the middle of the city. So put on your hiking shoes and explore this urban nature immersion.

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28 thoughts on “Hike the Oldest Trail in Minneapolis

  1. Wow this is awesome! I love hiking and I’ve wanted to get too Minneapolis eventually. I cannot wait to try hiking here one day. We are traveling across the country in a few months (moving) so I may need to stop here.

  2. This is my kind of trail! I love history, so I’d be all about it. Plus you could take some fabulous photos there.

  3. How awesome that this trail has so much history. It is truly amazing how many great places there are to hike within minutes of the city!

  4. I miss hiking so much! It looks like a wonderful spot for long weekend walks! I’ll keep it in mind if I happen to be in its neighborhood. 🙂

  5. My family and I try to pick out a new hiking trail to hit up every weekend. We especially love hiking trials that are rich in history. This looks like an absolutely beautiful place to be.

  6. I love the history of just about anywhere! And I love the varied terrain of this trail. It would be impossible to get bored on it, no matter how many times you are on it! I have never been to Minneapolis, but this would be a highlight for me.

  7. Your posts always look like an adventure! I have yet to discover what wonderful trails we have here in the Philippines. I am not a hiker.

  8. Seems like a decent hike/walk to get in your exercise! I bet this trail is beautiful when all the leaves are back on the trees! The images make me want to go and grab a coffee and take a stroll.

  9. I like trails that follow rivers or lakes, where there is always a nice scenery to look out for. It’s good that they don’t allow bikes on the path, sometimes people ride them too fast and spoil the other’s relaxation walk.

  10. The whole place looks very tranquil, and a good place to walk and just enjoy the whole view. This added charm to the story of Minneapolis.

  11. I miss trail greatly and this one looks so prefect! Beautiful nature and nice length for me.

  12. Low-key and secluded trails almost always lead to gorgeous views and unforgettable hike throughout 🙂 hope we have something like this in my area! you’re lucky to have been here!

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