boy biycling along trail

State of the Trails Report

We’re very excited to introduce the State of the Trails Project, a first-of-its kind inventory of Minnesota State Trail pavement conditions. We spent the summer and fall of 2016 riding the trails, making notes, taking photographs, and using iPhones to record the roughness of each trail. Having this data is essential to effectively communicate the challenges and needs of the state trail system, track changes over time, and demonstrate how funding can improve the system.

We collected a lot of data for this project: 500 experiential ratings, nearly 412,000 accelerometer readings, and over 1,700 photographs. All our data pointed to the same conclusion: While numerous problem spots exist, Minnesota State Trails are in overall good condition.

Our Key Findings:

  • 79% of state trail miles are in either excellent or good condition.
  • Only 26 miles of state trails are in poor condition, and 90 miles are in fair condition.
  • However, Minnesota State Trails are approaching a tipping point. Without adequate planning and funding, half the state trail system is at risk of being in poor or fair condition by 2023.

Download our full report, or explore the State of the Trails online with our interactive map.

(Click on any trail segment to view condition ratings and photographs. Data from 2016)