Great River Ridge State Trail

Great River Ridge State Trail

Trail Alert

Social Distancing

Many trails get busy in nice weather and on weekends - consider visiting during off-peak hours if you can. Visitors are encouraged to use trails close to their homes, and to practice safe social distancing by keeping at least 6-10 feet away from others, including when approaching or passing on the trail. If you see a lot of cars in the parking lot or at the trailhead, turn around and find someplace else for outdoor recreation.

Updated May 20, 2021


Located in the beautiful southeastern Minnesota river valley, the Great River Ridge State Trail has picturesque views of river bluffs. Built on former railroad grade, the Great River Ridge State Trail is also a fairly easy ride. When complete, the trail will be paved for 15 miles, and travel between the cities of Plainview and Eyota. Currently, there are 13 miles of paved trail from Plainview, south through the town of Elgin and continues on to County Road 9. Summer uses are primarily bicycling, in-line skating, and hiking.

Goodhue Pioneer State Trail location



Quiet city streets allow users to explore the towns along the way. Plainview is known to be the agricultural hub of the area, and has additional opportunity for recreation in it’s 8 city parks. Nearby are also Carley State Park and Whitewater State Park. Future plans involve extension to Carley State Park.

Events Calendar

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Trail uses



in-line skatingIn-line skating



Wheelchair accessAccessible Outdoors (electric wheelchairs allowed)


The trail offers a dual, natural surface treadway from Elgin to County Road 9 that is used for horseback riding in the summer, and snowmobiling in the winter.

You will need a horse pass if you will be horseback riding. Snowmobiles must be registered or have a snowmobile state trail sticker. No other fees or passes are required to use the trail.


Do not leave valuables in your vehicle!

Parking is available at the following trail accesses:

  • Plainview: Parking lot is at trailhead on 3rd St. SW.
  • Elgin: Parking is available in town.
  • Eyota: Parking lot on County Road 9.

Restroom facilities may be available in each of the communities along the trail.


All users must yield to horses. Stop and dismount if requested.

  • Stay on designated trail.
  • Keep to the right so others can pass.
  • Keep all pets on leash, and dispose of pet waste.
  • Obey traffic signs and rules.
  • Pack out all garbage and litter.
  • Respect adjoining landowners' rights and privacy.
  • Warn other trail users when passing by giving an audible signal.
  • Overnight camping and campfires are permitted only in designated campsites. Never leave campfires unattended.
  • Enjoy the beauty of wild plants and animals, but leave them undisturbed for all to enjoy.
  • Trail users are legally responsible for obeying the rules and regulations provided in Minnesota Rules, 6100.3000.

The trail offers a dual, natural surface treadway from Elgin to County Road 9 that is used for snowmobiling in the winter.

A snowmobile must be registered or have a snowmobile state trail sticker.