Grand Rounds Scenic Byway

Quick Facts

Grand Rounds Scenic Byway

Minnesota

(612) 661-4827

Map Directions

Things To Do

     

Overview

As the country's longest continuous system of public urban parkways, Grand Rounds Scenic Byway has been the preeminent urban parkway system for more than a century. Lovely parks, trails, lakes and parkways surround the city of Minneapolis. Enjoy the Chain of Lakes, Lake Nokomis, Lake Hiawatha, Minnehaha Falls, and much more.

The Grand Rounds Scenic Byway is situated entirely within an urban setting. This means that all visitor services are abundant and readily available. All along the byway can be found trolley rides, open-air concerts, boat rentals, skating, cross-country skiing, picnic areas, refreshment centers, extensive handicapped accessibility, fishing piers, boat launches, guarded beaches, and golf courses.

Visitors can also find water, restrooms, and portable toilets at various areas along the byway. Naturally, the weather plays a big part in when water will be turned on and off during the spring and fall. Expect to find the water turned on in mid-May and turned off in mid-October. It is generally a good idea to bring a water bottle, particularly for hot days.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board maintains an aggressive program of providing accessibility based on the "Recreation Opportunity Spectrum" (ROS) management program developed and practiced by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service. Emergency services are provided by the M.P.R.B.'s Park Police as well as the City of Minneapolis Police and Fire Departments.

Find more information about the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway at the Longfellow House Information Center in Minnehaha Park. While Henry Wadsworth Longfellow never lived in Minneapolis, a former fishmonger named Robert "Fish" Jones built a 2/3 scale replica of Longfellow's home in Massachusetts. The Longfellow home now serves as the official information site for Minnehaha Park and the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway.

Map of Minneapolis Grand Rounds

Latitude, Longitude: 44.933939, -93.228607

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    With over 10,000 daily commuter and recreational cyclists, 40 miles of dedicated commuter cycling lanes, and 82 miles of off-street bicycle trails, Minneapolis and its adjacent neighborhoods are celebrated as the most cycling-friendly districts in the nation. The bike routes of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway that loop through the city of Minneapolis are separate from the other 122 miles of Minneapolis commuter cycling trails. These 53 miles of breathtaking Grand Rounds Bike Trails take you around lakes and creeks, through historic neighborhoods, past urban golf courses and expansive parks, and over and alongside the great Mississippi River.

    Pedestrian and bicyclist intersections with motor vehicle traffic are well marked and properly controlled to provide for the safe management of multi-modal traffic. The entire route is designed and maintained for passenger vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. The 8-foot wide bituminous paths are designed for two directional travel, with one exception: the bike path around the Chain of Lakes. When on the paths, please obey the 10 mph speed limit, be considerate of others, keep to the right side of all paths, sound off when passing, and observe all current bike regulations.

    Whether you're looking to commune with nature or explore the bustling excitement of a city, the Grand Rounds Bike Trail System on the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway has the creature comforts of the city surrounded by the beauty of nature, a unique combination perfect for any cycling enthusiast.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Grand Rounds Scenic Byway takes visitors through the natural and historic heritage of Minneapolis. The 53-mile byway follows a loop of city and parkway roads in Minneapolis, providing excellent views of the Chain of lakes, Mississippi River, city skyline, and tree-lined residential neighborhoods.

  • Historic Sites

    The byway takes travelers near or through many historic sites suitable for strolling, exploring, and learning about the history of the area. One of the stops along the way is Boom Island Park, a park along the banks of the Mississippi. View several historic buildings, or walk along the peaceful shores of the Mississippi. Nicollet Island is the only inhabited island on the Mississippi, and features lovely walkways, tennis courts, and historical buildings. Backtrack across the river and turn right on Main Street to see the historic Nicollet Island Inn, a period building with a rich history and comfortable rooms. Located in Loring Park, the Sculpture Garden and adjacent Walker Art Center is home to a nice collection of art. Stroll around the park, viewing such classic pieces as Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's "Spoonbridge and Cherry".

Seasonality/Weather

Visitors can also find water, restrooms, and portable toilets at various areas along the byway. Naturally, the weather plays a big part in when water might be turned on and off during the spring and fall. Expect to find the water turned on in mid-May and turned off in mid-October. It is generally a good idea to bring a own water bottle. On hot days, drivers, bikers or walkers will need it between water stops.

Park Partners

Meet Minneapolis

(612) 767-8000

Directions

Driving

To reach the byway, exit from the airport onto SR-5 north. Take SR-55/62 west (the Crosstown Highway.) Almost immediately exit onto Hiawatha Avenue (SR-55) northbound. At Minnehaha Parkway turn left or right to get onto the byway.

Flying

The Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport is located five miles from the byway.

Public Transportation

Public transportation opportunities are available throughout much of the byway route

Phone Numbers

Primary

(612) 661-4827

Links