Greenway/Cedar Lakes Trail Detour

>> Thursday, May 23, 2019

On Tuesday, Charlie and I successfully navigated the “big” detour at the end of the Greenway to the Cedar Lakes Trail that will be there for the next many months (some areas will be closed up to 2 years) because of SW Light Rail construction. I had noted in this post about “crappy” runs that I tried it last week, but the detour was closed by poor planning on the city of St. Louis Park’s part.

Here’s what we ran:

1.6 miles on the Greenway from the Midtown YWCA, then
the rest of the detour until the far west. Then back.

With some numbers for making notes.

Charlie’s foot hanging out just before getting off the Greenway by #1.

#1: Turning off the trail sucks. There’s a potholy parking lot, and then a short steep hill with broken glass and a speed bump to get up and away from the Greenway. But then the 4 blocks through a quiet neighborhood (from 1-2) is fine.

#2: Around the swampy St. Louis Park Pond is very curvy, and not good for fast cyclists. I can’t plan on doing any “quality” riding through here. However, the construction I ran into last week seemingly patched a lot of poor areas of the trail, so that’s nice.

#3: Crossing the RR tracks next to where the Greenway Trail crosses Belt Line Blvd (just east of the Nordic Ware factory) is HORRIBLY rough. That’s the suckiest spot of this entire detour: those 3 RR tracks over 30 feet. Then it’s part of the same detour as a few years ago over a pedestrian bridge over Hwy 7, but then we curve north along a privacy wall along Hwy 100 (heading north to #4) which is decent.

#4: It’s slow going while crossing through the area of Minnetonka Blvd and Hwy 100. You have to cross 3 stoplights in a busy area. Be ready for some “rest” whether you want it or not. Don’t try to blow through here.

#5: The long stretch along #5 (along Minnetonka Blvd) is quite nice! It’s a bike lane next to the road which feels a bit like biking along Marshall Ave in St. Paul (but it’s free of parked cars): there are stop lights every half mile or so, but generally seem to be in your favor. More rolling hills than Marshall Ave.

Along Minnetonka Blvd. Decently wide, quite smooth, and very clean of debris.
Not bad at all! (I ran it with the stroller because much of the sidewalk sucked.)

Then it spits you out on top of the Cedar Lake Trail tunnel. I got down to the tunnel, headed a little south through that school/park, and then turned around as you can see in the map above:

A few minutes after turning around, ready to turn right and be along Minnetonka Blvd again for a few miles.

This surprised me at first. I think it’s art.
(Along the privacy/noise wall along Hwy 100, near half-mile marker 16 on my run map.)

In total, we ran 11.37 miles (averaging 6:47 pace), with the first 1.6 and last 1.6 being on the “normal” Greenway, and about 0.4 at the turn-around being on the “normal” Cedar Lakes Trail. That means the detour was just under 4 miles one way, and then just under 4 miles back. I’m totally willing to do that on my bike as part of a long ride to connect up with the Cedar Lake Trail. When I do my 5 mile intervals on my bike (which would usually end in the middle of the detour somewhere between map markers #2 and #3), I’ll cut them shorter to stay on the regular trail. Because from #1 through #4 on the map are NOT fast areas. Then the straight east-west stretch (#5) could be considered faster, but there are a number of stoplights in there to deal with.


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