The Cannon Valley Trail is a 19.7 mile paved trail running from Red Wing, MN to Cannon Falls, MN with Welch, Mn perfectly nestled in-between. The trail runs along the Cannon River on the abandoned Chicago Great Western Railway corridor which once connected Red Wing to Mankato, MN. The railway was built in 1883 and then abandoned 100 years later in 1983. Immediately the locals saw the potential for a recreational trail and the Cannon Valley Trail was officially born in 1986. Later paved in 1992. Railway markers can still be seen along the trail today.
The trail is currently owned by the City of Cannon Falls, The City of Red Wing and Goodhue County and is not a state funded trail. To help with the cost of caring for and maintaining the trail, the cities and county have required riders over the age of 18 to purchase a wheel pass for the trail. Riders can purchase a day pass or a season pass. Walkers are not required to have a wheel pass. The trail is also funded by generous donors and the cities and county.
Riders enjoy the trail for its beautiful views of bluffs, valleys, prairies, wetlands and the Cannon River. Riders also enjoy the fact that the trail is fairly flat with some slight inclines for a fairly east ride. There are a number of rest stops, walking trails and over looks that make this trail an absolute must for your Minnesota trail bucket list.