Near Minneapolis in Bloomington, the 11 mile one-way Parkers Ridge Trail (aka River Bottom Trail or Minnesota River Trail) runs along the Minnesota River and is open to mountain biking. To reach the mountain biking trailhead from Bloomington, follow Lyndale Ave south until it turns into a parking lot near the boat launch. The east side trailhead is more technical, while the west side trail is faster.
The River Bottom can be accessed easily from many points. The best spots are the west end at the Bloomington Ferry parking lot, at Lydales parking lot, and at Indian Mounds Elementary School.
To get to the Bloomington Ferry end (west end)... From the North: Take Hwy 169 south, exit at Old Shakopee. Head east on Old Shakopee until Bloomington Ferry Road. Head south on Bloomington Ferry. At the first stop sign, turn right and follow the road south. In about 3 blocks look for the Bloomington Ferry signs pointing to the right. Turn right, head down the hill, and park. The trail starts to the left of the information kiosk. From the east, either take 94, or 494 to 169 and follow the North directions, or come in on Old Shakopee and hang a left (south) on Bloomington Ferry. From the South, take 169 north until Old Shakopee, follow the North directions from there.
To get to the Lyndale parking lot, get on 35W and head towards the Minnesota River. At the 106th street exit, get off 35W and head east. Lyndale is the first stop sign, hang a right. At the bottom of the hill you will run into the parking lot. The trail heads out in both directions from the south end of the lot.