Trail Experience

Venture with us into the treetops and see the natural world from a whole new perspective. Immerse yourself in hundreds of acres of pristine hardwood forest, wetlands, Minnesota wildlife, and your favorite Zoo animals – all from a unique vantage point.

Trail Map

Step onto the Treetop Trail and step into nature. The longest elevated pedestrian path in the world, this experience will bring you eye-to-eye with Minnesota’s abundant wildlife and provide brand new views of your beloved Zoo animals.

Please note, beginning November 6, 2023, a section of the trail, from Moose Landing to Hanifl Nature Center, will temporarily close for about one month to allow for the installation of a new bird blind and other interpretative features.


Hanifl Nature Center

The Hanifl Nature Center is a central access point to the Treetop Trail. This space is dedicated to nature education and trees. Featuring rotating art exhibits, along with elevator access to the Treetop Trail, the Hanifl Nature Center is designed to encourage engagement with nature with a curious and open mind.

About the current art exhibit: “Rooted in Nature: Inspired by Trees”

July 28, 2023 – December 31, 2023

Features art from 38 Minnesota artists centered around the themes of Human Connections, Parts of a Tree, Trees through the Seasons, and Minnesota Trees. For information on purchasing artwork, or to learn more, visit

Featured artists include:

  • Anne Landreman
  • Anna Palmquist
  • Alonso Sierralta
  • Christy Kirk
  • Claire Goldstein
  • David Roers
  • Denise Lau
  • Emily Donovan
  • Jill Ewald
  • John Hallett
  • Kim Dayton
  • Linda Ricklefs Baudry
  • Lisa Christopherson
  • Lisa Drew
  • Lou Pignolet
  • Mary Welke
  • Mary Forney
  • Monica Ihrke
  • Patricia Lorcin
  • Patrick Dengate
  • Rachel Butzler
  • Richard Bonk
  • Jacob Schlichter
  • Stephanie Mirocha
  • Susan Solomon
  • Tom Reynen
  • William Gillis
  • Claudia Poser
  • Eric Cornett
  • Kat Corrigan
  • Kris Kieper
  • Melinda Wolff
  • Perci Chester
  • Donna Miliotis
  • Lili Lennox
  • Peggy Wright
  • Jeff Gauss
  • Cyrus Carlson
  • Lisa Loudon


Plan Your Treetop Trail Visit

The Treetop Trail is open year-round to provide an accessible journey into nature, and is included with general Zoo admission. Strollers, wheelchairs, and ECVs are all welcome on the Treetop Trail. There are four, ADA-compliant public access points throughout the 1.25-mile loop.

Know Before You Go
  • The Treetop Trail is an innovative repurpose project that uses the Zoo’s former monorail track along with decking made out of recycled milk jugs.
  • Please use caution when using electrostatic sensitive devices. While walking on the elevated trail, guests may feel naturally-occurring static electricity when touching grounded surfaces, such as the side safety railings.
  • To withstand Minnesota’s varied weather, the Trail was designed to expand and contract as weather conditions change. With this intentional design, it’s natural to feel slight vibrations along the Trail at times.
  • Please pack out what you pack in. Waste bins can be found at ground level. We cannot guarantee retrieval or return of items dropped from the Trail.
How long is the Trail?
The Treetop Trail is a 1.25-mile loop. The Treetop Trail has four, ADA-compliant public access points along it. You are welcome to explore the entire trail or just portions.
Are restrooms and water fountains available along the Trail?
Restrooms and water fountains are available in the Hanifl Nature Center and at ground level near most access points. Food and beverage concessions can also be found at ground level near most access points.
How do I access the Trail?
The Treetop Trail has four, ADA-compliant public access points: Treetop Trailhead, Moose Landing, Hanifl Nature Center, and Bison Landing. Elevator access is available at the Treetop Trailhead (via Discovery Bay) and Hanifl Nature Center.
Are Treetop Trail hours different than Zoo hours?
The Treetop Trail is open daily during regular Zoo hours. The Trail will close 30 minutes before the Zoo closes. Zoo members will have access to the Treetop Trail during our daily members-only hour from 9 – 10 am.
Will the Trail close during inclement weather?
The Treetop Trail will close in severe weather situations, including lightning, thunderstorms, or high winds. Instructions to go to the nearest exit will be made over the Trail’s public address system and staff providing additional assistance. Guests will be advised if any additional shelter is needed at ground level. The Treetop Trail will not reopen until 30 minutes after the last local lightning strike.
Can I bring a bicycle or skates for recreational use on the Treetop Trail?
For the safety of all our guests, recreational bicycles, skates, and Segways are not allowed on the Trail. We do welcome mobility aids and medical devices on the Trail, such as scooters, wheelchairs, and walkers.
Will there be any special programming on the Trail?
The Zoo will be testing new program opportunities over the coming months, with much more to come in spring and summer of 2024. Keep an eye out on our Programs and Events page for what’s news.

Things I might find on the trail

Along the Treetop Trail, you’ll have access to hundreds of acres of hardwood forest, ponds and marshes, and the diverse wildlife that call it home. You’ll also gain new and unique perspectives of many of your favorite Zoo animals.

Stay Connected.

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