Cannon Falls Mayor John Althoff told KDHL during the Cannon Falls Area News today he recently spoke with the head of the Cannon Valley Trail.  The conversation surrounded it's growth in popularity.

Althoff says last year approximately 90,000 people visited the trail which includes 19.7 miles of diverse and spectacular scenery.  It parallels the Cannon River featuring some incredible panoramas.

He added the total number from last year was equaled by July 4th this year. If the weather continues to be favorable trail officials believe this year could see a record 180,000 people use the trail.

The Cannon Falls Mayor says, "I believe those numbers.  I see all the bikes downtown every weekend and those numbers must be accurate."

The Cannon Valley Trail descends 115 feet in elevation from Cannon Falls to Red Wing.  Starting on the west end of Cannon Falls along the former Chicago Great Western Railroad line and ending on the east end of Red Wing.  The Welch station is in the middle.

Numbers are based on the amount of daily and season passes that are purchased.  All individuals 18 and older must purchase a Cannon Valley Trail Daily or Seasonal pass.  Daily is $5, Seasonal $25.  The season runs April 1 through November 1.

Restrooms and portable toilets are open along the trail.  In addition to biking, hiking and in-line skating is allowed.

NO pets are allowed.  There is a guidebook available on the Cannon Valley Trail website.  The 35 page self guided handbook talks about:

  • Trail history
  • Landscape heritage
  • Ecological Context
  • Human History
  • Railroad History

There are large group discounts available (30 or more people) for schools, churches, scouts, other non-profits.

Several trails in Minnesota according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) have counters installed on them.   They report 79 rail trails in the state with 2,129 miles of rail trail.  Minnesota's total miles of bike trails is over 4,000.

According to 2017 data cited on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website Washington boasts the most bike trails with Minnesota second and Delaware third.

The West River Greenway Trail in Minneapolis is the most used trail in the state with 2,187,406 people using it in 2017.  The statistics also stated 4,917,660 total people enjoyed Minnesota's bicycle trails that year.