The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is extending the Blazing Star State Trail between Myre-Big Island State Park and Hayward, including a bridge over Albert Lea Lake.

Trails in Albert Lea lead to fun

Blazing Star State Trail

The Blazing Star State Trail runs about 6 miles from Frank Hall Park, 505 Frank Ave., in Albert Lea to Myre-Big Island State Park, 19499 780th Ave. The trail is open to hiking, biking, in-line skating and wheelchairs. Users will enjoy rural views along the way and excellent birding spots in the park, especially during spring and fall migrations.

A 1-mile segment of the state trail leading east from the park’s visit center is closed until April 2024 as part of a project to extend the trail to the Hayward. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is building a bridge across Albert Lea Lake, paving a gravel portion within the state park, and repaving other trail segments. The expanded trail is scheduled to open to the public in fall 2025.

New trail along former rail line

The City of Albert Lea and Freeborn County are partnering to develop a 15-mile recreational trail along the former UP rail line from Front Street in Albert Lea to Shoff Park, across Minnesota Highway 13, and along the highway to Manchester and eventually Hartland. The rail corridor within Albert Lea, which is gravel, is open for walking and mountain-biking.

The city and county are working with an engineering firm on construction design, environmental review and grant-writing for this trail.

This trail will connect to the Blazing Star State Trail via bike lanes on Front Street.

For more information, see the Trail Action Plan.

Blue Zones Walkway

Named for the Blue Zones health initiative, this paved path around Fountain Lake spans almost 5 miles for walking or rolling. See the map for parking and restroom options.

Rock and Roll the Lakes

Albert Lea Area Cyclists and the Freeborn County Trail Association hold the annual Rock-n-Roll the Lakes bike ride the second Saturday of August. This year’s ride is set for Aug. 10. Registration will open later this spring on the BikeMN website.

For more information

Cathy Malakowsky
Engagement and Enrichment Director
[email protected]
City Hall
221 E. Clark St.
Albert Lea, MN 56007

The Blazing Star State Trail runs between Frank Hall Park in Albert Lea and Myre-Big Island State Park.
The city and Freeborn County are partnering on a new trail along the former UP rail corridor from Albert Lea to Hartland.