TRAIL INFO

This page is the Landing Point for the QR Code on all Trail Signs –  Please scroll down and click on the Sign # or Point letter for information about this location.  See Examples below for more detailed instructions. 

The Topology

The topology of Sunfish Lake Park features a low-lying central area of irregular shape running northwest-southeast from Sunfish Lake (altitude about 900 feet) to the closed Washington County Landfill (diagonal stripe pattern). The sides of this low area rise to over 950 feet in some areas of the Park, making for some steep trails. There are three major ecosystem areas: the wetlands which exist in the low areas, the grasslands which include the restored prairie in the South-central section and some small open meadows, and the deciduous forests which cover most of the Park. Much of the forest is dominated by Oak and Maple with some areas where Aspen and Birch are dominant, but there is a lot of mixing of the types. A few sections were planted with pine in the 1970’s and remain today as relatively small areas of evergreen forest. There is a City Forester’s Report of 2011,updated 2015, that gives great detail about the ecosystems. (link to this report https://sminc-lake-elmo.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Forest-Management-Plan-2015-addendum-and-2011-original.docx ) Much of the forest has been invaded by buckthorn over the past 40 years. Progress has been made recently in the removal of buckthorn and the restoration of the native undergrowth.

Lake Elmo Trail Use Guidelines

The Lake Elmo City Council on November 3rd voted to accept the Sunfish Lake Park User Group recommendation that there should be no hiking on the bike trails (also known as one-way single-track or mountain bike trails) and no biking on the multi-user trails, which are reserved for hiking, horseback, nature walks, skiing, snowshoeing, etc. The intent was to improve trail safety for all users by reducing the travel speed differences. User compliance will be appreciated by all. Icon signs describing the new rules have been installed at the trail heads. The signs at intersections between multi-user and bike trails will be up soon. The Minnesota Off Road Cyclists organization website https://trails.morcmtb.org/ has a section describing the current bike trail conditions in Sunfish Lake Park.

Sign Number Example

If you are at a Navigation Sign, it has a RED STAR near a number, which corresponds to the larger number at the bottom left (in the red circle as shown here). Select that number from the numbered choices below.

Compass Letter Example

If the location does not have a number, please use the letter on the compass sticker to select your location from the lettered choices below.

Brown trails - Hiking, etc.

The Brown trails in Sunfish Lake Park consist of a double loop of Multi-use Trail with clockwise numbering, an Outer Loop from Sign # 1 to Sign #12 and an Inner Loop from Sign # 13 to Sign # 21. There are five access points, at the Northwest and Northeast corners of the parking lot, the Prairie trailhead on the exit road just South of the Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center, the Fire Station at the northwest corner of the Park, and the Tapestry neighborhood access point. There are trail connections between the Outer and Inner Loops at Signs 2-15, 4-16, 8-17, and 9-18.

Green, Blue, And Black Trails Single-Track Biking

The Green, Blue, and Black trails form a set of one-way Single-Track Bike Trails which provide a continuous approximately 5-mile course. This course starts and ends at the parking lot. The Green section runs N-S from the Parking lot to a point West of Sunfish Lake, connecting with the Blue section which runs E-W almost to the power line corridor, connecting with the Black section which wanders around in the northwest corner of the Park. Please check https://trails.morcmtb.org/ for trail condition information.

User Group

The Sunfish Lake Park Trail User Group meets occasionally to consider recommendations to the Lake Elmo Parks Commission for trail improvements.

If you are interested in participating in this group,
please email info@sminc-lake-elmo.org 

For bike trail condition information please visit https://trails.morcmtb.org/

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