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Great Northern Greenway river crossing
Great Northern Greenway map




The Great Northern Greenway is a largely completed five-mile recreational trail that knits together nine North and Northeast Minneapolis neighborhoods between the city’s east and west borders. We invite you to learn about the   Greenway and to help us achieve the remaining pieces of the Greenway vision!

Our route largely following 26th Avenue N. and 18th Avenue NE ties together parks, schools, cultural locales and businesses. The Greenway provides pedestrians and cyclists a safe sidepath to access the Mississippi River and the Grand Rounds network of foot and bike paths. It offers a safe, convenient cross-city non-motor alternative. 

Our biggest remaining challenge will be to create a river crossing with shared use of a lightly traveled railroad bridge. While that is negotiated, the closest river crossing is over the busy Broadway Avenue Bridge. The Lowry Avenue Bridge offers another alternative, with bike lanes.

This website introduces the Greenway, ongoing efforts to complete and maintain it, and the features that unfold in a trip along the Greenway.



Theodore Wirth Regional Park to the Riverlink 0verlook

A two-mile-long mutli-use trail was completed in 2017 as part of a street reconstruction of 26th Avenue N between Theodore With Regional Park and the Mississippi River. The RiverLink Overlook will open in the spring of 2021. Planning is underway for a short connection of the Greenway and Overlook area to Ole Olson Park and the West River Parkway trail system stretching to downtown and Minnehaha Falls.



The railroad bridge will connect north to northeast and its river trails

The “Burlington Northern Sante Fe” BNSF railroad bridge is the planned route to connect the 26th Avenue N and 18th Avenue NE trails.  It is located between the Lowry and Broadway Avenue bridges which are over a mile apart and has been identified as the pedestrian bridge crossing for over 20 years in the Above the Falls Master Plan and RiverFirst Initiative. It has scenic river and downtown Minneapolis views and will become an important crossing and recreational loop for existing and planned river trails.



Marshall St NE to the Diagonal Trail

The 18th Avenue trail is nearly two and a half miles long extending from the Marshall Street intersection shared with the newer East-Side Trail and future Great Northern Greenway river crossing to the east where it connects to the Diagonal Trail and Grand Rounds.   Different trail sections have been constructed over the past two decades.  Nearly two-thirds of the route has been completed or upgraded since 2018 in conjunction with several street reconstruction projects.  Another trail gap between Marshall and California streets will be constructed in 2023 leaving only one remaining section between Washington and Monroe streets to be completed.



Advocacy and engagement

The GNG COALITION is the most recent volunteer group advocating for the Great Northern Greenway and its river crossing.  Evolving from a Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership committee several years ago it participates in public engagement and interaction with public officials and agencies. Its advocacy includes the pedestrian crossing over the BNSF bridge, completing trail gaps, way-finding and increasing awareness and use of the Great Northern Greenway.