Soo Line West is a 12.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Holdingford, MN that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for road biking and mountain biking and is accessible from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Got on the trail in Royalton and road to Bowlus. There is still snow on the trail in several places so beware! Looking forward to returning in the summer.
This is a great little trail! Although it's a flat rail trail and not very long by itself it connects to the Lake Wobegon Trail which connects to the Central Lakes Trail in Osakis MN which provides almost 120 miles of connected paved rail trail to ride.
There's great parking available just off Hyway 10 between Royalton and Little Falls MN at the Soo Line Trailhead. If you start here you cross the Mississippi river over an old rail road trestle bridge with great views of the river and the Blanchard Dam. If you're an amatuer rock hound you can stop and look for Cross Rocks along the river edge.
There are lots of great stops along the trail one in particular is Jordie's Trail Side Cafe in Bowlus. This is a great little cafe with a huge personality! The food is great! They have the best pies! Along a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner you can order off the menu too. The wrap sandwiches are wonderful! Jordie has prospector's screens you can borrow to search the river for Cross Rocks and she has some samples to show what to look for too. She also has outdoor movies one night each week along with outdoor music another night. It's a great place to stop whether you're on the trail or not!
Further down the trail you will find all kinds of Lake Wobegon like towns with great little restaurants and shops to visit and enjoy! There's even a Lake Wobegon Trails Art Gallery with locations in Albany and in Freeport. Jack Evens has some Lake Wobegon souvenirs of Garrison Keillor, his stories and the Lake Wobegon Trail.
Once you get to the Central Lakes Trail you will be treated to some great scenery in Minnesota's great Pairie Pothole country where small lakes and ponds dot the countryside as you travel the trail to Furgus Falls. Don't forge to stop and see Otto the big otter in Adams Park in Fergus Falls! There's also a Prairie Wetlands Learning Center there too where you can learn more about the Prairie Pothole biome in western MN.
All in all it's great spot to enjoy hiking, biking, roller blading, cross country skiing or snowmobiling to your hearts content!