Robert Street underpass on the River-to-River Greenway trail

West St. Paul Rider 2021: Bike Ride on the Greenway

West St. Paul Rider 2021

Update: Here’s a recap of the event.

The River-to-River Greenway trail through West St. Paul is finally finished with the near completion of the Robert Street underpass. There’s a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 7, but we’re planning a casual community bike ride to experience the trail. Presented by the West St. Paul Reader and the WSP Greenway Project, join us for the West St. Paul Rider on Sunday, September 26 at 4 p.m.

This free, community ride is open to everybody. Even if you don’t have a bike, grab your favorite wheels or walking shoes and join us. We’ve got multiple routes for every ability.

We’ll have maps and information at the Marthaler Park picnic shelter, including an opportunity to send thank you postcards to local officials who supported this trail. There’s no formal registration, but let us know if you plan to attend via our Facebook event.

Instead of an entrance fee, consider making a donation to Residents of Color Collective (ROCC), a local group that has distributed more than 50,000 pounds of food and essential supplies to local families in need.

The Route

Picnic shelter at Marthaler Park
Start at Marthaler Park.

We’ll meet at the picnic shelter at Marthaler Park.

  • Take the trail east, past city hall, and crossing Wentworth (be careful—no signal here; take a survey to help improve this crossing).
  • Follow the trail east along the north side of Wentworth.
  • Go north on Livingston where the trail turns. It crosses Livingston mid-block (again, be careful) and heads toward the Robert Street underpass.
  • Follow the trail through the tunnel, across Crawford (be careful crossing) around the curves, and back behind Wentworth Library.
  • Due to trail closures at Thompson Park, we’ll turn around behind the library and head back along the same trail to Marthaler Park.
  • At Marthaler, we’ll take the newly paved trail west.
  • Be careful while crossing Kraft and continue on the newly routed path through Garlough Park.
  • Go through the Charlton underpass and into Dodge Nature Center.
  • Turn around at the parking lot (take a moment to peak at the Voight Raptor Mews) and head back to Marthaler.

Our there and back (and there and back) again route is about 4 miles.

West St. Paul Rider 2021 main route—about 4 miles.
  • Not up for a bike ride? No problem. Bring your skates, scooters, strollers, or just your walking shoes. We’ve got shorter routes that still showcase the new trails:
    • Marthaler to tunnel and back: 1 mile
    • Marthaler to library loop and back: 1.7 miles
    • Mathaler to Garlough loop and back: .85 miles
    • Marthaler to library loop and Garlough loop and back: 2.5 miles
  • Want a loop? You could take Oakdale north to Annapolis and back down Charlton for a grand tour of West St. Paul. Or go south on Oakdale and take the Marie Avenue trail back to Dodge to pick up the Greenway.
  • Want a longer ride? No problem. The River-to-River Greenway connects to trails throughout the Twin Cities. You can go anywhere you want, though the River-to-River loop is about 16 miles. That loop includes the Greenway, the new Robert Piram trail, the Harriet Island Lilydale trails, and the Valley View trail. Though with Thompson Park trails closed for construction, it’s going to be harder to get to Kaposia Park to do the full loop.

This is an informal ride, so you’re welcome to go at your own pace, take your preferred route, stop where you like, etc. Please wear a helmet and be careful at all crossings. (This event is at your own risk.)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is the Greenway trail and tunnel finished? As of today (September 5), major work on the tunnel appears complete, but there are likely additional finishing touches (like lights, landscaping, signage, etc.). The trail has technically existed for years, but now some major improvements are complete. And there will be more improvements in the years to come, including repaved trails in Thompson Park (happening now), a better crossing at Wentworth (take the survey), a new route through the watershed reclamation project on the former golf course (construction expected to start in 2022), and new trail along Oakdale in 2023. Read more about coming improvements to the Greenway.
  • That route doesn’t work for me, can I do something else? Sure. Our main route highlights the entire Greenway through West St. Paul and we’ve also offered several different options for routes, but feel free to make your own route. That’s the beauty of biking.
  • That time doesn’t work for me, can I go another time? Absolutely. It’s a public trail, so go whenever you like. We just want to celebrate the new trail and encourage people to check it out, so do that whenever works for you.
  • Will small children be safe? There are several street crossings, so families should be careful and decide what’s best for their kids. There are two street crossings to get from Marthaler to the tunnel (be especially careful at Wentworth as you build up a lot of speed coming down the hill and approaching the crossing). The Garlough loop only requires one crossing on a well-marked and quiet street. Kids could also bike within Marthaler Park itself and not cross any streets.
  • More questions about the underpass project? We’ve answered them here.

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