Mississippi River trail opens this weekendby Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman will inaugurate the Mississippi River Trail with a small ceremony and nine-mile bike ride starting in St. Paul on Saturday.
The event will begin at 9 a.m. at the Chestnut Plaza, on Shepard Road and Eagle Parkway in St. Paul.
Other officials attending include: National Park Superintendent Paul Labovitz, Minnesota Department of Transportation Division Director Mike Barnes, Mississippi River Trail, Inc. Board Chair Terry Whaley and U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-St. Paul.
The 3,000-mile-long river trail begins at the headwaters in Lake Itasca State Park.
It includes a system of bicycle-friendly roads and multiple-use pathways that pass through 10 states, 14 national parks and wildlife refuges and a diversity of landscapes.
In all, the Mississippi River Trial connects St. Paul, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Memphis, New Orleans and other small towns along the way.
In the Twin Cities, the route runs through Fort Snelling State Park and multiple regional parks.