Midtown Greenway

The Midtown Greenway connects the Chain of Lakes with the Mississippi River. This virtually vehicle-free path cuts across the heart of South Minneapolis, along a partially active railroad corridor. With only thirteen street intersections (most of which are low volume) and one railroad crossing, this 5.7 mile trail gives cyclists an opportunity to safely travel near and along the bustling Lake Street corridor. On its west end, the Midtown Greenway connects to the Southwest LRT Trail, which provides a direct connection to the suburbs of St. Louis Park, Hopkins, and beyond. On its east end, the trail will eventually cross over the Mississippi River into the Prospect Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. It is anticipated that the Midtown Greenway will connect with St. Paul, as that city begins to build a sister trail between Prospect Park and downtown St. Paul.

Greenway Facts

The Midtown Greenway is divided into three segments, based upon the stages of its completion.

Phase One (western portion) was opened in August of 2000. Phase One begins at the 31st Street/Chowen Avenue entrance, just east of the Minneapolis city limits. Here the trail seamlessly connects with the Southwest LRT Trail. The Midtown Greenway goes under Lake Street and passes by the Kenilworth Trail. It then travels between Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun. At Hennepin Avenue, the Greenway enters a trench. Cyclists pass under a series of bridges which carry street traffic. In this segment, three large community gardens flow down to meet the trail’s edge. Vera’s Garden sits between Lyndale and Garfield Avenues, while the Soo Line Community Garden lies between Garfield and Harriet Avenues. The Urban Ventures Community Garden is west of the at-grade crossing of 5th Avenue, next to the Kix soccer field.

Phase Two (central portion) opened in November of 2004. This segment of the trail continues in the trench. Just east of 5th Avenue lies the Midtown Exchange (the old Sears tower). This is the site of the Midtown Bike Station which houses a repair shop, bike rentals, valet parking and showers. Further west, the Greenway leaves the trench and and crosses Hiawatha Ave and the Hiawahta Light Rail line by way of the Sabo Bridge. Constructed in 2007, the Sabo Bridge carries cyclists over Hiawatha Avenue, avoiding a seven-lane at-grade crossing.

Phase Three (eastern portion) of the Greenway opened in September of 2006. Most of this segment of the trail runs alongside an active rail line. A fence separates the trail from the railroad. Immediately after crossing Hiawatha Avenue, the Greenway connects with the Light Rail Trail, and then Minnehaha Avenue. After that, it passes Anne Sullivan School and Brackett Park. The Midtown Greenway ends where the Short Line Railroad Bridge begins. There, cyclists can take the West River Parkway exit to the West River Parkway Trail, which runs along the Mississippi River. A plan to carry cyclists across the river has not yet materialized.

Last updated Jan 30, 2012