If you’re looking for a new trail to refresh your bike path options before winter sets in, check out the new East Bank Trail in northeast Minneapolis.
It’s rideable, even if ancillary features adjoining the path won’t be completed until around the end of October. Best times to ride this month are evenings and weekends; give construction vehicles a wide berth if you’re riding during the day.
The trail connects Boom Island with NE Marshall St. north of the former Grain Belt complex. It realizes a route that on paper dates back to the 1999 Above The Falls master plan, and matches a similar path built in 2007 on the river’s West Bank.
It’s the most substantive park improvement on the river in Northeast since the master plan was approved.
The trail is actually two paths separated for foot and bike travel north of the Broadway Bridge, where it winds through the mostly undeveloped Sheridan Memorial Park. There’s a combined path in the tight corridor between the Graco factory and the Mississippi River. That’s also true where the path crosses what is supposed to become a park on the former Scherer Bros. lumberyard.
When that park is developed, the trail will also run under the east end of the Plymouth Avenue Bridge. For now, it crosses Plymouth near the entrance to Boom Island Park.
Planning is now beginning for making more of a park at Sheridan, with help from a $500,000 federal grant. A playground and picnic area are planned, but a more substantial shelter may hinge on the feasibility of bringing in water and sewer lines, according to planner Deb Bartels. A veterans memorial was dedicated in 2014.
Meanwhile, if you're wondering how much the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will need to pay for the easement across Graco land, that case still languishes in condemnation proceedings.