City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival

Parking & Transportation


With 15,000 participants making their way to Minneapolis’ Parks for the City of Lakes Loppet Festival transportation takes some preparation. Read this overview, then glance below to be sure you understand road closures, parking availabilities, and more that may affect your day.

On Friday, parking is available at Theodore Wirth Park in The Trailhead parking lot and the Theodore Wirth Chalet parking lot.

On Saturday and Sunday, racers starting at Bde Maka Ska are responsible for getting to the start line on their own. Their best option is to be dropped off at the Bde Maka Ska North Beach parking lot (2710 W Lake St, Minneapolis), park in the Calhoun Executive Center lot (3033 Excelsior Boulevard, Minneapolis), or park in the public lots and neighborhoods nearby. A shuttle (operating 11:00am – 5:00pm) will bring racers from the finish back to the Calhoun Executive Center after their races.

On Saturday and Sunday, racers, event participants, and spectators coming to Theodore Wirth Park should park at the Mortenson Lots (700 Meadow Lane and 4100 Olson Memorial Highway, Golden Valley). Individuals may either walk to and from Theodore Wirth Park (a short walk) or take our Mortenson – Trailhead Shuttle (operating 10:00am – 5:00pm).

Saturday Luminary Loppet participants should plan to take Metro Transit busses, bike, or park in the neighborhoods and public lots surrounding Lake of the Isles. See below for a free Metro Transit pass for Luminary Loppet participants.

There is no shuttle bus transportation for bikes or dogs. Point-to-point bikers can arrange for separate pick-up or can take the shuttle back to the Executive Center, pick up a vehicle, then proceed back to Wirth Park for their bike.

Parking at Theodore Wirth Park

Drop off / Pick up

Road Closures

Parking at Bde Maka Ska (Start of point to point races)

  • North Beach Parking Lot: No participant parking (volunteer parking only)
  • Calhoun Executive Center: Participant parking available (exclusively for Loppet Festival participants)
  • There is also significant nearby neighborhood and general lot parking.

Drop off / pick up near Bde Maka Ska

Parking at Theodore Wirth Park

  • Mortenson Lot: Participant parking available. Mortenson is walking distance to the festival and has ongoing shuttle service to the Trailhead. Although our shuttles do not permit dogs, this is the best option for skijorers as the lot is quite close.
  • Participant parking available on street in nearby neighborhoods.
  • There is no racer/participant parking at any Theodore Wirth Park Parking Lots.

Drop off / pick up in Theodore Wirth Park

  • There is no carpool drop off or pick up at Theodore Wirth Park. Please park in the Mortenson Construction Lot and either walk or take the shuttle to the Trailhead.

Shuttle

  • Theodore Wirth Chalet to and from Calhoun Executive Center, 11:00am-5:00pm.
  • Theodore Wirth Chalet to and from Mortenson Construction Lot, 10:00am-5:00pm.
  • As there is an abundance of Bde Maka Ska there is no shuttle service to bring racers to the beginning of any point-to-point races.
  • The shuttle cannot accommodate dogs; skijorers must make independent arrangements.

The 10,000 Luminary Loppet participants use a number of means of transport to reach Lake of the Isles. We suggest the following, in order of preference.

Walk or bike

  • If you live within 15 minutes by human power you’ll likely be best served (as will the environment) to simply walk or bike to the event.

Take public transit

  • MetroTransit, a key partner of the Loppet Festival, provides free bus rides to Luminary Loppet participants. Nearly one-third of all Luminary participants use Metro Transit. Visit metrotransit.org for information on bus service to the Uptown area.

Take a taxi or rideshare

  • Consider having someone else drop you off. We suggest on Lake St. or Hennepin Ave., as traffic slows down closer to the lake.

Drive and park nearby

  • While roads near Lake of the Isles are congested during the event, and nearby on-street parking can be hard to find, many people like to drive and park themselves.

Road Closures

Parking at Bde Maka Ska (Start of point to point races)

  • North Beach Parking Lot: No participant parking (volunteer parking only)
  • Calhoun Executive Center: Participant parking available (exclusively for Loppet Festival participants)
  • There is also significant nearby neighborhood and general lot parking.

Drop off / pick up near Bde Maka Ska

Parking at Theodore Wirth Park

  • Mortenson Construction Lot: Participant parking available. Mortenson is walking distance to the festival and has ongoing shuttle service to the Trailhead.
  • Participant parking available on street in nearby neighborhoods.
  • There is no racer/participant parking at any Theodore Wirth Park Parking Lots.

Drop off / pick up in Theodore Wirth Park

  • There is no carpool drop off or pick up at Theodore Wirth Park. Please park in the Mortenson Construction Lot and either walk or take the shuttle to the Trailhead.

Shuttle

  • Theodore Wirth Chalet to and from Calhoun Executive Center, 11:00am-5:00pm.
  • Theodore Wirth Chalet to and from Mortenson Construction Lot, 10:00am-5:00pm.
  • As there is an abundance of Bde Maka Ska there is no shuttle service to bring racers to the beginning of any point-to-point races.
  • The shuttle cannot accommodate dogs; skijorers must make independent arrangements.