Consensus:    (details)
  4.7 from 9 votes
blueBlack  Intermediate/Difficult from 2 votes
Rank: #1 in the Minneapolis - St. Paul area
#2 in MN, #175 Overall
Views: 3,876. Last 30 days: 251
Condition Details | Update
Jul 15 Green - Dry
Featured Ride in the area near Elk River,
“A nice training ride that never ventures too far from the parking lot.”
David Gustafson on Jul 30, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
5.08.1 milesKilometers 486’148 m Ascent 1,005’306 m High 4% Avg Grade (2°)
100% Singletrack -484’-148 m Descent 909’277 m Low 11% Max Grade (6°)
This is a fun trail. Plain and simple. Over 7 miles of fun singletrack. Challenging, twisting and exciting. The trail is a singletrack loop that doesn't have many spurs, or crossings, so getting lost isn't a problem.
Need To Know
In 2003, the City of Elk River and BLAST decided to make this trail a pay to ride, and the proceeds go right back into the trail system. This means if you plan on parking in the lot near the trail, you'll need to have some cash. Bring a few bucks and support their efforts. (Local residents don't pay, it's covered by their taxes) Hillside park has their fee schedule and paybox in place. The fee is $4 per person per day.

A season pass is $25 per person. Remember, this fee is per person, not per vehicle. Riders traveling together in the same vehicle must all have their day pass or season pass affixed to the windshield of the vehicle. Bikers who ride to the trail must carry their day pass or season pass on their person. Envelopes for the day pass are at the trailhead. A season pass can be obtained from Elk River Parks and Recreation at 1104 Lions Park Drive. Their phone number is 763-635-1150. You can also purchase a season pass online.
If you're not wanting to do the whole loop, you can hang a left on the grassy doubletrack underneath the powerlines about 1.5 miles into the trail.

After a little bit, look for the singletrack coming back across the grassy doubletrack. You'll see a brown sign saying that this is Hillside park, hiking/biking. This is your trail. Other than a mechanical, or bad weather, you should have no reason to take the shortcut. This trail is too fun to cut anything out. It has a lot of quick ups and downs. With no real sustained climbing, this trail isn't terribly physically demanding, that is unless you push the pace yourself.

I enjoyed the rolling singletrack meandering through the forests, crossing logs, and rocks. The one spot that really impressed me was a switchback climb where they had built out the corner, using logs as retaining walls, so that you could change directions on the hill without completely stalling. It was subtle, but it just shows how much went into this trail. They have also done a great job building up large logs to be completely rideable, many of which are used as skinny's.

With its close proximity to the Metro, and its high quality mountain biking, I am guessing that this trail will develop quite a name for itself.
History & Background
The singletrack trail at Hillside Park was layed out and constructed by BLAST during the years of 1999 and 2000. Since 2006 it has been maintained by the small DirtWirx crew of volunteers.
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Forecasting the weather...
4.4 (12)
Fast and fun flow trail resembling Murphy-Hanrehan in Savage, MN.
near Champlin, MN
4.0 (9)
A nice, fast trail for any rider.
near Woodbury, MN
3.0 (1)
A doubletrack trail system through a large park featuring rolling terrain and...
near Lake Elmo, MN

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PHOTOS of Hillside
  4.3 from 4 votes
One of many log skinnies. (Elk River, MN)
  4.0 from 2 votes
Awesome skinny drop. Steep landing. (Elk River, MN)
  4.0 from 2 votes
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  3.5 from 2 votes
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  3.0 from 3 votes
Browner, the stockade skinny feature at Hillside Park Mtb Trail. (Elk River, MN)
  3.0 from 2 votes
Section 3 Log Skinny Feature at Hillside. (Elk River, MN)
  2.8 from 4 votes
Entrance to Hillside (Elk River, MN)