Located in the heart of the Twin Cities, this park offers extensive hiking, bike and ski trails that link to Minnehaha Park and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Canoe on Gun Club Lake, play golf, swim in Snelling Lake, or hike on Pike Island where the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers converge. Interpretive exhibits and films on display in the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center give visitors a good background on the history and resources of the park and area. Trails also allow visitors to hike up to the historic Fort Snelling for a view of military life in the 1820s. This is a day-use only park; no camping is available.
I recommend hiking around Pike Island once you get below the visitor's center. I park off of Hwy 55 at the meters if I can't find a free spot. Then I walk down the shared paved trail that both bikers and walkers use. Loop around Pike Island and back to the car is about 16-18,000 steps and it takes about 2.5 hrs. Very nice wooded area in the city! If you have a dog keep them leashed because I saw a rattler snake recently and heard a second one. Besides it is the law.
What the others have said is accurate. Not much else to add except I'm not sure if they mentioned that you need a State Park day sticker or a season pass for your car. There is a visitor center at the end of the road and you can rent the green bikes near there.
Lots of different possibilities here. Pike Island (3 mi around). Picnic Island, Walking to Minnehaha Falls (3 mi). Can only hike/walk/run on Pike Island. Biking on the otehr. In the summer there's a cpl beaches as well -- on a lake as well as the river bank along the Mississippi on Pike. At the East end of Pike the Minnesota River flows into the Mississippi. It's all forested with tall trees! Pike is earth. The others are paved.
It is nice we have a beautiful trail within the cities, but this one is a boring trail. By boring I mean the sidtance is too short, the plants and everything else was fairly mundane. Nothing to rave about. However, if u need fresh air and cant drive the distance and a beginner, this is the spot! Feel free to bring your small dog on a leash.