Just minutes from the Twin Cities, this state recreation area preserves part of the Minnesota River Valley. The multi-use Minnesota Valley State Trail parallels the Minnesota River. The section of trail from Shakopee to Chaska is paved and a natural surface trail runs from Chaska to Belle Plaine. The area is ideal for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and snowmobiling. The landscapes are just as diverse as the trail system and include wetlands, floodplain forest and blufftop oak savanna. Wildlife observation and birdwatching are popular activities year-round.