New walk and bike trail is underway

A diagram of the proposed 1000-foot trail connection between North Minneapolis trails and the downtown riverfront.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) has a series of projects underway to create the Above the Falls Regional Park. The Overlook Project on 26th Avenue was completed in May of 2021.  Other projects along the Mississippi River on the Northside are underway at this time.

On May 9, Tyler Pederson conducted a virtual meeting to update Minneapolis residents about the work being done to connect Ole Olson Park to the 26th Avenue Overlook via walking and biking trails. Tyler is the project manager for this much-anticipated effort.

                As Tyler explained, the long-term objective is to create a nature setting more closely related to a Midwest prairie for this walk alongside the river. The goal is to create a nature experience, with improved and/or restored landscapes, native plants and nature-based amenities.

  • There will be new trails and updates to some existing trails.    
  • In Ole Olson Park, an unpaved walking trail will be left as is for a natural prairie walk while the new trail will pull the attention of walkers to the Mississippi River’s view.
  • The walking trails between the parks will be positioned well above the river’s edge, being mindful of the seasonal flooding that can happen along the Mississippi River.
  • The biking trails will be higher on the slope than walking trails in order to keep the walkers and bikers safely separated.
  • Unhealthy trees (due to overcrowding) along the river’s slope will be thinned out.  This will allow for a better view of the river at a glance.
  • New native planting will require some grooming during the growing period but will not need widespread mowing. 

The project will also make enhancements to the slopes where the base is not sturdy enough for paved walkways.  A bike pull-off/parking space that will include bike racks, fixing stations, etc. will also be a welcome addition for the cyclists.

With the river, and the trails and the plants and the beauty of nature, it is easy to forget that there are administrative aspects the project manager must deal with too. 

  • Continental Cement owns some of the adjacent property and the City is seeking an easement from the company to allowing park patrons access to the trails.
  • The railroad is amenable to the plans, provided the park and/or park patrons do not interfere with the railroad operations.
  • Safety for all park visitors is a priority and there will be extra lighting on the trails and park police patrols as needed. The river flood plains will not have paths in order to discourage people from getting too close to the river during flooding times.

To see more details about all of the sub-projects for Above the Falls Regional Park, go to >  Click on Park Care & Improvements, thenPark Projects then Current Projects.  Find these projects under Above the Falls Regional Park.

•             26th Avenue North Overlook

•             26th Avenue North Overlook and Ole Olson Park Trail Connection

•             Graco Park and Lot 2 (Formerly Parcel D)

•             Scherer Bros Site – Hall’s Island

•             Regional Park at Upper Harbor Terminal Site

•             Upper Harbor Terminal Site

Residents can sign up to get emails from any or all of the MPRB projects.