Description: The Rush Creek Regional Trail (Formerly Northern Hennepin Trail Corridor) is a smoothly paved connecting trail, running west to east and vise versa, linking Coon Rapids Regional Park in Brooklyn Park with Elm Creek Regional Park in Maple Grove. The trail meanders through suburban city of Brooklyn Park by Oak Grove Park, under two tunnels and over a bridge covering 169 into the city of Maple Grove’s, Elm Creek Park.
Length: 7.5 to 9.65 miles relative to where you begin your inline skate. For skaters, we find a user-friendly, easily navigable place to begin ones skate is Coon Rapids Dam Parking lot.
Parking and Trail Access:
Three main entrances to Rush Creek Regional Trail exist. All locations have FREE parking.
Elm Creek Park Main, Maple Grove:
Travel North on 169 past I94/ 694. Turn Left on Highway 81. Travel approximately 1.1 mile past 93rd Ave. to Territorial Road. Turn right onto Territorial Road then follow signs to park entrance.
Oak Grove Park (City park in Brooklyn Park):
Oak Grove Park is located in the middle of the connecting trail. To get there take 252 North to 694 East. Use the left Lane to take 610 West exit. Turn Right on Zane Ave / County Road 14. Travel approximately one mile to 103rd Avenue North. Turn right at Florida Avenue North to Oak Grove Park. The park will be on your right. A large free parking lot is available.
Coon Rapids Dam (City of Brooklyn Park):
Take I 94 to 252 North. Take 252 North (follow signs for Interstate 694). Turn right onto 77th Avenue North / Brookdale Drive. Turn left onto West River Parkway for 3.2 miles. Take a right onto Russell Avenue North. Turn right into the newly made parking lot. The trail is adjacent to the parking lot. Be sure to take the trail which travels west. You have three options. The two other trails travel south and north, while the other travels east over the Coon Rapids Dam.
Parking: parking is free in all three starting points.
Usage: Use is mild. Few users frequent the connecting trail. Most users are bikes and it is not unusual to see inline skaters.
Surface Condition: Smooth asphalt. Some sections have patched asphalt. Other areas are prone to twig and leave coverage from tree canopies. One wooden bridge over 169 is mildly challenging.
Scenery: When skating east to west, you will experience mostly suburban forest land. Skating east from the Coon Rapids Dam will take you for a fun skate over the Coon Rapids Dam.
Water: a water fountain is available at Oak Grove Park, which is located in the middle of the the trail. The Coon Rapids Dam visitor center also offers a water fountain, ice cream and viewing of native animals such as a variety of turtles.
Difficulty: We rate Rush Creek Regional Trail an advanced beginning trail, up to the 169 wooden bridge overpass, which is approximately five miles from the Coon Rapids Dam. Beginner intermediate skills are required to navigate over the 169 wooden bridge due to a steeper incline / declines, small vertical spacing between wooden platforms and expansion joints. You will be required to navigate terrain changes such as trail to roadway, roadway to trail which often have metal transitions and mild to moderate hill (relative to your personal skating experience and fitness) inclines and declines. The canopy of trees often drop their leaf and twig offerings onto the trail. Attempt to avoid both leaves and twigs. Leaves have little tread and are slippery when wheels use them as such. Twigs, on the other hand, can be wheel stoppers by halting your front wheel or lodging between a wheel and your frame. Be prepared to avoid tar patched surfaces, which prove hazardous to skaters, especially when heated.
Skating Ability Recommendations: We recommend our OSB 1 – 3 classes with one guided trail class) . It is important to use the defensive skate position and / or speed as your friend to navigate trail to road and road to trail terrain changes.
Fitness Recommendations: A low level of fitness is needed. Rush Creek Regional Trail is ideal for fairly new skaters beginning their fitness journey on skates.
Other Trails that Connect:
Crystal Lake Regional Trail: Robbinsdale trail which connects with the Grand Rounds Trail near Lowry.
Shingle Creek Regional Trail: travels South from Coon Rapids Parking ending in Brooklyn Center.
Medicine Lake Regional Trail: trail connects Elm Creek Park Reserve, Fish Lake and French Regional Parks
Other Parks that Connect:
Elm Creek Park Reserve; Maple Grove
Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park; Brooklyn Park
Commentary: Rush Creek Regional Trail is excellent for inline skate training on very smooth mildly rolling terrain, with fairly low traffic.
Official Website: – a Three Rivers Park District site.
Lesson/Training Meeting Location: Our lessons / training begins at the parking lot of Coon Rapids Dam.
1. Disclaimer: always skate with caution as skate surface conditions change from day to day, season to season due to weather changes.
2. Last updated: 08/29/19