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.
Beginning Tuesday, May 26, a 6 mile portion of the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail will be closed for reconstruction. The portion of trail affected by this closure is from 5th St. NW in Elysian to South Reed St. in Waterville. The closure is expected to last until the middle of September. All parts of the trail outside of this area will remain open for use. Please assist construction crews and do not enter the closed portion of the Sakatah Trail. This webpage will be updated as soon as a reopening date is known.
Updated May 22, 2020
Located on a converted rail-trail, the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail offers 39 miles of paved trail. The trail begins at Lime Valley Road near State Highway 14, joins the Minnesota River Trail in Mankato, follows a signed route on city streets through Waterville, passes through three miles of Sakatah Lake State Park, and ends east of Interstate 35 in Faribault. It is generally level and wheelchair accessible.
The trail lies in the transition zone between what was once the "Big Woods" and the vast prairies. Remnants of these plant communities can still be found scattered throughout what is now cultivated land.
Sakatah Lake State Park is along the trail, and provides a separate bicycling campground, picnic grounds, boat access, and additional hiking trails. There are several other lakes and public parks within an easy ride of the trail.
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- Trail Uses
The trail has been developed for bicycling, in-line skating, horseback riding, hiking, and snowmobiling.
Accessible Outdoors (electric wheelchairs allowed)
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, although parking in the state parks does require a daily or annual pass.
Do not leave valuables in your vehicle!
Parking is available at the following trail accesses:
- Mankato: North on County Road 57 to Lime Valley Road; 1/4 mile north.
- Mankato: North on State Highway 22.
- Eagle Lake: West on State Highway 14 to County Road 86; one mile north.
- Madison Lake: State Highway 60 to Main Street, three blocks north on Main Street.
- Elysian: Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail Wayside Rest Area.
- Waterville: State Highway 60 to State Highway 13; 1/4 mile north on 13.
- Morristown: State Highway 60 to County Road 16; west on State Highway 60 1/4 mile.
- Shager County Park: On State Highway 60.
- Faribault: State Highway 60 and County Road 21; north on County Road 21 1/2 mile.
Restroom facilities are provided along the trail at the points below.
- Elysian: Year-round wheelchair accessible wayside rest building with running water.
- Faribault: Year-round wheelchair accessible wayside rest building with running water.
- Sakatah Lake State Park: Seasonal bathrooms with running water. (Not available in winter.)
- Wheelchair accessible portable toilets are available Mid-May to Labor Day at the Highway 22, Madison Lake, Morristown, and Shager Park parking Lots. (Not available in winter.)
All users must yield to horses. Stop and dismount if requested.
- Stay on the trail.
- Keep to the right.
- All pets must be on a leash.
- Clean up all pet waste.
- Obey traffic signs and rules.
- Pack out all garbage and litter.
- Respect private property adjacent to the trail.
- Give an audible signal to warn other trail users when passing. Some horses may be spooked by quiet bikers or in-line skaters. Let them know you are passing.
- 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.
- Minnesota Rules, 6100.3000 apply on the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail.
Primary uses of the trail include hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling, and the entire 39 mile corridor is open to these uses.