Running Pike Island, St. Paul

Running Pike Island St. Paul

Pike Island, part of Fort Snelling State Park, is located just North of the MSP airport at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. It is one of the most relaxing trail systems in the Twin Cities and provides a feeling of being secluded from the city. The island’s perimeter is a 3.10 mile loop (a prefect 5k!). Additionally, a few other trails crisscross the island.


An easy way to access Pike Island is to start off at Fort Snelling (the actual fort), which is located at the junction between highway 5 and 62. The main parking lot offers ample free parking and is located about 400 yards North of the fort. From the lot, walk due South towards Fort Snelling. Follow the steep path that hugs the South side of the fort. At the bottom of the hill continue straight, crossing the Fort Snelling State Trail. Keep walking until you come to a small foot bridge – this is the entrance to Pike Island.

The green arrow on the map below indicates the location of the parking lot:

Alternatively, if you want a longer run you can get to Pike Island via the start of the Fort Snelling State Trail. The trail entrance is about a mile South of Minnehaha Falls. There is scattered parking available; however, it may be metered.

The green arrow on the map below indicates the entrance to the Fort Snelling State Trail:

Running Tips

Pike Island is comprised entirely of run friendly dirt trails. There are no bathrooms, water fountains or lights so plan accordingly. It’s virtually impossible to get lost given the size of Pike Island so you can feel fairly comfortable striking off in any direction, though I’d recommend running around the perimeter as this is the longest sustained trail.

Happy running!

Pike Island running trail


2 Responses to: Running Pike Island, St. Paul

  1. Dan M

    This might be the perfect place for a pre-thanksgiving run. Is it muddy??

  2. The vast majority of the trail was bone dry. I think it would probably be OK after a light rain too. It’s mostly hard packed dirt.

    Based on the latest weather report it will be absolutely beautiful out there on Thursday!

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