Author Archives: Andrew Ellis

Many Cyclists riding around Albert Lea Lake enjoyable

Biking around Albert Lea may add a little Rock n’ Roll to your summer fun

by Andrew Ellis

Summer is here and with things opening up from COVID-19, I have a big decision to make. Where should I go for my first out-of-town weekend bike getaway?

For me, one favorite is Albert Lea, Minnesota with its beautiful bike routes around Fountain Lake and the Blazing Star State Trail. Another option is to follow one of the routes from the annual bike ride called Rock n’ Roll the Lakes. Normally scheduled in June, the events bike routes can offer cyclists a whole lot of fun scenic Southern Minnesota touring options for that #NextBikeAdventure.

Bike-friendly Albert Lea

Less than a 2-hour drive down Interstate 35 from Minneapolis, after passing the I-90 crossroad pull into Albert Lea and prepare for a weekend of outdoor fun. Known as the Land Between the Lakes, the city sits between Fountain Lake and Albert Lea Lake, Both prime destinations for soaking in the rays while biking or paddling. Getting around on your bike from your choice of lodging options is easy with the city’s low traffic bike lanes and trails. After checking in at one of the hotels its exciting to ride around this southern Minnesota community.

Touring around Albert Lea Lake

The homes along the lake route are very picturesque.

The homes along the Fountain Lake route are very picturesque.

In town, touring around Fountain Lake traveling clockwise is recommended. The experience of this route is reminiscent of riding around Lake of the Isles, in Minneapolis. With beautifully landscaped lawns along the fingering shoreline, a ride around the lake is very picturesque. This popular route is about eight and a half miles around using a combination of trails and quiet residential streets.

After returning to the downtown area of Albert Lea, you will find many options for lunch. Then its time to ride on the paved Blazing Star State Trail out to Myre-Big Island State Park.

Myre-Big Island State Park and the Blazing Star State Trail

The Blazing Star State Trail is over six miles from Albert Lea to the State Park.

The Blazing Star State Trail offers over six miles riding from Albert Lea out through the State Park.

Here in the park, you will find both a mountain bike and a paved trail system for cyclists of all skill levels to enjoy. For mountain bikers, the park offers about seven miles of wide grass trails in a sequence of three separate loops, strung together alongside the State trail. The Blazing Star State Trail is paved and runs from Albert Lea Lake in town out through Myre-Big Island State Park, approximately six miles.

Throughout the park, both trail systems meander through the open prairie meadows with some young woodland near Lake Albert Lea. Nice rolling hills make for a surprisingly good workout and the park is also known as an excellent birding spot.

Road Biking Opportunities

Exploring the area on a bike is easy, too. You can use the roads to navigate both around town and rural routes throughout southern Minnesota. There’s even a dedicated bike lane to safely get you in and out of town. From past Rock n’ Roll the Lakes events, here are the printable maps for both the 10-mile loop option and the 30/50 mile loop option for your enjoyment.

More about Albert Lea 

The bike route around Albert Lea Lake id reminiscent of the Lake of the Isles.

The bike route around Albert Lea Lake is reminiscent of the Lake of the Isles.


When you need a break from the outdoors there’s plenty to keep your exciting adventure going. There are locally-owned shops, one-of-a-kind restaurants, and the area history will top off your bike adventure. Check out more here.

The best part about spending time here in Albert Lea, it’s easy to get around by bike, while keeping your social distance from others, for a memorable adventure.

From Giants Ridge, the Mesabi Trail Towns offers history and great biking adventures.

Many bicycle adventures await your visit to the Mesabi Trail Towns

by Andrew Ellis

The Mesabi Trail Towns, in Minnesota’s far north mining region, hosts several gems of the state’s history and a perfect destination for bicycle adventures. It’s not a mountain range, but a group of small mining communities along a well-known paved trail system. The Mesabi Trail serves as an easy way to travel from town to town by bike. From Grand Rapids on the western end to Ely, 135 miles to the east, there is a lot to see as you ride. For the mountain biker’s this mining-range has left a lot of deposits to perfect your skills. The area even boasts some of Minnesota’s best scenic road touring routes, with loop options that tie back to the Mesabi Trail.

Mesabi bike trail near Hibbing

Mesabi bike trail near Hibbing.

More About the Bike-Friendly Mesabi Trail Towns

The area is vast and the Mesabi Trail Towns string through the Iron Range covering many mining towns you can start and stop at. They include Grand Rapids to the west; and further east Hibbing, Chisholm, Mt. Iron, Virginia, Eveleth, Gilbert, Biwabik, Aurora, Hoyt Lakes, Embarrass and now to Ely. Along the way, there is no shortage of walking tours.

You can visit Bob Dylan’s childhood home, the Hull Rust Mine overlook, and Greyhound Museum in Hibbing. You can look into the history of the Range’s “Queen City” at the Virginia Heritage Museum. Take a walk around the US Hockey Hall of Fame, in Eveleth. To enjoy the scenic thrills of mountain biking, there is Giant Ridge, near Biwabik. There are also plenty of lakes to drop a line, swim, or enhance your tan.

The area may cover a lot of miles, but it’s all very accessible – especially if you’re using your bike. The Mesabi Trail makes for a convenient connecting point for all the communities. So it’s easy to travel around to all the unique stores, eateries, and more pedaling on two wheels.

Mesabi bike trail near Virginia.

Mesabi bike trail near Virginia.

Biking Opportunities in the Iron Range

There are several opportunities for biking in the Iron Range. If you’re into mountain biking it’s just a matter of where you want to go first with four different systems to choose from. You can also extend your adventure using the Mesabi Trail to connect to various forest and mining roads.

The Mesabi Trail

Besides mining, bicycle tourism is the other attraction that connects the communities. An amazing adventure in its own right, the trail takes you through the beautiful northern Minnesota trees, hills, wildlife, and more. With so many scenic views there’s no doubt you’ll be stopping to take a picture to add to your memories.

And don’t forget the Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour in 2021. Ride for the fun or ride for the challenge. Either way mark your calendar for Saturday, August 7, 2021, for the most fun you can have on two wheels!

With several mountain bike parks there is something for every skill level.

With several mountain bike parks, there is something for every skill level.

Mountain biking here includes an edgy new park

The Iron Range may not have mountains, but there are plenty of trails and loops for mountain bikers to battle down. Especially the new Redhead Mountain Trails, near Chisolm, they say it will rock you. This huge park with over 30 loops, covering over 25-miles offers giant views of reclaimed mine lands, bright blue pit lakes, and more. See the map of this edgy designed park with remarkable terrain makes it one of the most anticipated new parks in the country.

Further east is Giants Ridge offering over 24 miles of trails and loops that will challenge you and offer up great scenery. Big Aspen offers a whopping 21 miles of trails on old logging roads and abandoned railroad grades. The sections vary in difficulty with many loop opportunities that offer many scenic vistas.

You can also check out Britton Peak which offers a 3-trail system that takes you through Superior National Forest and includes one for the three main skill levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. There’s also Lookout Mountain, thanks to the hard work of the Iron Range Off-Road Cyclists, that has over five miles of single-track and over six miles of the multi-use rideable ski trail.

Road Biking Options

While the Mesabi Trail connects helps connect the towns of the Iron Range, each town has its own road system that allows for easy bike travel and loop options. These roads allow you to navigate from place to place and let you explore each town as in-depth as you wish. The Superior National Forest, on the east end, also has plenty of roads you can use to explore the area.

See more at At-A-Glance Mesabi Trail.

Mounds View is a great mix of busy and calm where you can ride your bike along creek side trails to visit festivals like the town’s 60th Annual Festival in the Park. This two-day jam-packed festival is a great way to start the end of summer vacation. 

Bike races are a big draw to the Festival in the Park, in Mounds View

Emily Stocker,

Mounds View is a great mix of busy and calm where you can ride your bike along creekside trails to visit festivals like the town’s Annual Festival in the Park. This two-day jam-packed festival is a great way to start the end of summer vacation. Watch the fastest bike racers in the Midwest roar around Mounds View. Or give it a try yourself in the events beginner race.

It all starts on Friday, August 16th, in Twin Cities Gateway community of Mounds View, MN. where one can find such an adventure. The festival begins on Friday evening with a dance and leads into Saturday, August 17th with bike races, games, a parade and more music to add to your summer memories. Whether you and your family come by bike, or by car, be prepared for an exciting day.

A Fun-Filled Day at the Festival in the Park

Here safety mascot’s ride in the communities fire truck bucket Festival in the Park parade.

Start your morning off on a run, literally. The Festival in the Park’s 5K race kicks off at the community center starting at 8:30 in the morning. After dashing through town, head over to the North Ball Field and see some snazzy cars. The car show is celebrating its tenth year at the festival and will be going on until 3:30 p.m. – with awards to see if your favorite car wins at 2 in the afternoon. At 10 a.m. get ready to catch some candy at the parade. Afterward, take the kids over to the Front Parking Lot to have some fun with the Fire Department activities. At 1 p.m. there will be a K9 demo in the West Ball Field.

Foot Stomping Music at the Festival

It’s your time to show off your inner star. You have about a week or so to pick your favorite hit song and warm up your vocal cords. Karaoke is on stage from 2:30 to 5 p.m. and usually has some surprises and great singers to please your ears. This year’s band the Elements, which starts playing at 5:30 p.m. to entertain the masses. Apart from having a fantastic name, Big Toe and the Jam will have you stomping your feet and singing along. From “Party Rock” to “Jesse’s Girl”, you don’t want to miss this eclectic set-list everyone will love. The night ends with a bang – fireworks over City Hall Park.

Bike Rodeo and Sprint

Watch as the USA Cycling racers stir the air as they sprint by at Festival in the Park.

Watch as the USA Cycling racers sprint by the spectators, stirring the air as they dart by at the Festival in the Park.

The Mounds View Festival in the Park Sprint Races starts at Noon with the last race starting at 6:05 in the evening. The course is a rectangle with a total distance of 1.1 miles. If you are feeling extra adventurous on this particular day, as this is a USA Cycling Race, there are one-day licenses available at registration. Otherwise, it is just as fun watching the cyclists as they dart by, pedaling as fast they can. Competing or not, the race will be an adrenaline-filled phenomenon.

So make plans today to head over to Mounds View on August 16 and 17th.

Plus the perfect trail to ride when in the area

Many who visit here also enjoy pedaling their bikes on the trail along with the natural settings of Rice Creek.

Rolling into the Twin Cities Gateway across the Coon Rapids Dam.

Coon Rapids parks, trails, and 4th of July celebrations

by Andrew Ellis,

You’ve got your bike and you’re all set. Now, what do you do and where to ride? Luckily, Coon Rapids in the north metro of the Twin Cities Gateway has plenty for you to do and see. Not only does the area offer many bike-friendly roads and miles of paved trails to explore it also does a bang-up job celebrating the 4th of July.

Riding the Trails of Coon Rapids

You can navigate the city on your bike pretty easily. There’s a great mix of paved trails and bike accessible roads that will get you just about anywhere you need to go. Just use this handy downloadable Coon Rapids bike map and take a tour of the area. It’s easy to connect by trail from places like Bunker Hills Regional Park or the Coon Rapids Dam.

Its easy to get around on the bike friendly roads in the Coon Rapids Area.

It’s easy to get around on your bike on the roads in the Coon Rapids Area, with wide shoulders and friendly motorists.

You can even expand your time exploring the area by boarding the North Star Commuter Rail Line with your bike at the Park & Ride Station. Then, ride the train up to Anoka or down to Fridley and bike back on the Mississippi River Trail (MRT).

Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park

The Coon Rapids Dam Visitors Center is a picturesque place to stop and wonder around.

The Coon Rapids Dam Visitors Center is a picturesque place to stop and wander around.

The Coon Rapids Dam and Park Area might be the easiest part of the MRT to start on. It’s home to a section of the Mississippi River Trail that is fairly flat and takes you through a picturesque residential area along the river. The trail here is very well marked throughout your ride so getting lost won’t be an issue. At the south end of the park, the ride gets a lot more exciting with some twists, turns, and small rolling hills. Even with a semi-challenging climb, there is always a fun descend that follows.

The Coon Rapids section of the trail also surrounds you with a mix of natures forests running into a mix of prairie and wetland areas that are just minutes away from the main road. Here you can even ride your bike or walk across the beloved dam with breathtaking views of Old Man River.

Bunker Hills Regional Park

You will find miles of paved trails running through parks and along major roads here.

You will find miles of paved trails running through the parks here and along major roads to get around.

You can get to Bunker Hills from Coon Rapids Dam using a mix of roads and trails. Once you get onto the trails, you’ll find that many of them connect to other trail options, so explore! In Bunker Hill, you’ll find an exciting trail system that twists and turns, taking you through some beautiful natural prairies area with patches of Oak Savanna forests. Bunker Hill also boasts a fun water park if you need to cool off.

Concerts in the Park

Concerts in the Park in Coon Rapids offer music each Thursday Night through the summer.

Concerts in the park in Coon Rapids provide live music each Thursday night, throughout the summer.

After a long day of exploring the trails, there is nothing better than an evening of outdoor music. Enjoy an evening of free entertainment provided by local bands in the area. This summer concert series is scheduled every Thursday night at 7 p.m. Performances are at the pavilion at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park.

Mini Golf

The Lilli Putt Miniature Golf Course here is a bunch of laughs at each hole.

The Lilli Putt Miniature Golf Course.

At some point, you’ll need a break from riding. Why not play a friendly round of mini golf? Each hole at Lilli Putt Miniature Golf is different and will make putting here fun with every stroke. There are also go-karts and a bumper boat ride available here.

Coon Rapids 4th of July Celebration

Some of the spectacular fireworks at the Coon Rapids 4 of July Celebration.

One shot of some of the spectacular fireworks at the Coon Rapids 4 of July Celebration.

The 4th of July is a celebration for everyone and Coon Rapids knows how to celebrate the holiday properly. There are many events scheduled throughout the weekend. You can enjoy the carnival, eat great food, tap your feet to live music and watch the annual parade. Don’t forget to cap it all off with one of the best fireworks shows in the area.

Enjoying nature riding the Rice Creek Trail out of Mounds View.

Discover the Rice Creek Trails natural settings out of Mounds View

If you missed the annual ‘Festival in the Park‘ celebration, with bike races, last weekend in Mounds View, MN, this Twin Cities Gateway community is still worth checking out. Here, you will find a great mix of busy and calm. Where you can ride your bike along creekside trails to visit attractions amongst mother nature. Many who visit here enjoy following the natural settings along Rice Creek and the trail near it. Another option, are the bike friendly roads to expand your coverage for more adventure – And you can start, right from your Twin Cities Gateway hotel.

Rice Creek North Regional Trail

Riding over one of the wooden bridges crossing the Rice Creek Trail

Riding over one of the wooden bridges crossing the Rice Creek Trail

Mounds View is one of the many places that gives you access to the Rice Creek North Regional Trail with the Rice Creek North Regional Trail Corridor. The Rice Creek North Regional Trail is located in the Southeast quadrant of Anoka County [see map].

In the Meadows along the Rice Creek Trail see song birds amongst the wild flower.

In the meadows along the Rice Creek Trail see song birds amongst the wild flower.


The trail provides a connection between Anoka and Ramsey counties and connects the Cities of Blaine, Shoreview and Lino Lakes. A unique feature of the trail the 8-10 foot wide paved trail passing towering trees and the creek (bearing the same name) underneath crossing quaint wooden bridges along the way. Enjoying nature riding the Rice Creek Trail out of Mounds View.

There are also several different landscapes passing through wooded areas where trail users can occasionally see whitetail deer. Then wandering through open meadows the trail greets users with array of natural flower and songbirds. Further along, cyclist will circle several low land marshy areas where it is easy to view many species of waterfall gathering for the fall migration. On the north end of the trail, one can witness prairie restoration.

On the Rice Creek Trail, as fall approaches, view waterfowl as they gather for and prepare for migration.

On the Rice Creek Trail, as fall approaches, view waterfowl as they gather for and prepare for migration.

A part of Minnesota’s Community, located on the northside of the Twin Cities it is easy to find your next bike adventure with a mix of mother nature, near your lodging choice when visiting the area.

With the second Largest rookery in the state, bike over to Lino Lakes Blue Heron Days. The event starts on August 17th and will keep you and your family entertained for the whole weekend!

Ride your bike to and from Blue Heron Days for a good time

Emily Stocker, HaveFunBiking.

When you’re in Lino Lakes it can feel like you’re smack dab in the middle of northern Minnesota, especially when you bike to Blue Heron Days. One of eight Twin Cities Gateway communities, Lino Lakes has the second largest Blue Heron rookery in the state. While visiting you can pedal along many wide open roads and trails that take you by lakes and scenery that can meet you with the horizon. A place where roads, with no shoulder, offer trails or sidewalks that parallel the street to connect you to the vast Twin Cities Gateway trail system. Along the way enjoy the many options including the Blue Heron Celebration, August 17-19, when visiting Lino Lakes.

Bike to Blue Heron Days

Start the weekend with a free yoga session, perfect for yogis or newbies alike. After a relaxing workout, head over to Sunrise Park and catch some softball. There, the American Legion and Lino Lakes Police Department tournament will be taking place and is sure to be a great game. Afterwards, take the kids over to Lino Park with some blankets to watch Disney’s Inside Out. Finish the Friday by dancing the night away at the street dance featuring the band, A Girl’s Journey.

Saturday’s Event

The Lino Lakes Blue Heron Days Festival parade has many floats and marching bands.

The Lino Lakes Blue Heron Days Festival parade has many floats and marching bands.

Saturday, August 20th is packed full of events, making it one day you don’t want to miss. Bright and early, at 8 a.m., the day begins with Police Officer Shawn Silvera Memorial Run. Bring the kids to the YMCA at 9 a.m. for a Kids’ Fun Run and then head over to the parade at 11a.m. to enjoy music and floats. After catching and eating all that candy at the parade, jump off all of the sugar on the inflatables in Lino Park. Sit for a caricature drawing or a henna tattoo from 1 to 4 p.m. nearby. Also, take in the Business Expo, the Art Fair from noon to 4 p.m., a petting zoo, kiddie carnival, and live music by Authorities, all in Lino Park.  Saturday afternoon will keep you busy. Afterwards, another street dance closes the night with the band 8 Foot 4 jamming out for your entertainment.

Sunday’s Event

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. take a tour of Waldoch Farm’s Garden. Come on an empty stomach because they will also have a corn feed. Close out the weekend by supporting the royalty program. At 4:30 p.m. in Centennial Middle School, watch the crowning of the new Lino Lakes Ambassadors.

Get ready for a great weekend and bike over to Blue Heron Festival that runs from August 17th to the 19th.

More info for planning a trip to the Twin Cities Gateway

For bike friendly maps of the to get around the Lino Lakes and the rest of the Twin Cities Gateway click here. For lodging opportunities when visiting click here.

Good times riding in New Brighton

Bike the Long Lake Trail while visiting New Brighton’s Stockyard Days

by Andrew Ellis,

Riding the Long Lake Trails and taking in Stockyard Days, in New Brighton is a great example of what you will find visiting this area. Located on the north side of the Twin Cities, alongside the 35W Freeway in the Twin Cities Gateway Community, you will find many trails to explore. Along with many bike friendly roads the trail  around Long Lake Regional Park and connects to the Rice Creek Trail Circuit. If you have the kids along and want to take a break from exploring, consider Eagles Next Playground. Another opportunity when in the area the middle of August is Stockyard Days, a long standing New Brighton tradition.

Long Lake Regional Park in New Brighton

From your hotel it’s easy to hop on a trail with your bike to get to the park and its many amenities. Pedaling deeper into the park one of the first things you’ll come across is the New Brighton History Center.  Slightly larger than a one room school house, right outside the building is an old train on the tracks.

The recently refurbished depot was converted into the History Center with many railroad artifacts.

The recently refurbished depot was converted into the History Center with many railroad artifacts.

Move past and you will start seeing more places to stop. The beach, by the main parking lot, is a place to stop, relax and enjoy the cool water. Several play areas for kids are also sprinkled throughout the park. There’s also an all grass ball field, with a backstop, picnic tables, and more.

You’ll also notice that the area is full of paths for both riding and walking to take you anywhere in the park. There are even smaller natural surface walking paths that allow you to get a little close to the water. The paved paths are especially fun for bikers with steep climbs that result in exhilarating descend. It’ll quench that need for speed.

Long Lake Regional Park Map in New Brighton

Long Lake Regional Park Map in New Brighton offers many trails.

The trail left of the beach ends up near a parking lot with a very popular fishing pier. If you travel to the right of beach you have more options for exploring. There will be an area where you’ll see a bridge. If you go to the left of the bridge you’ll end up following train tracks along a paved path that’s part of the Rice Creek West Regional Trail.

If you decide to cross the bridge you’ll begin the lengthy journey on the Rice Creek North Regional Trail which takes you by trees, wetlands, and more. Also, pay close attention, because at some point you’ll have to turn onto a residential sidewalk and after that the trail isn’t very well marked. There’s also road construction that may be obstructing the next trail section. There’s also a gas station and McDonald’s close by if you need a break.

Eagles Nest Indoor Playground

A fun place for the whole family when not biking the trails.

A fun place for the whole family when not biking the trails.

Across the highway is the New Brighton Community Center which houses the massive Eagles Nest Playground. There are plenty of places to sit as your kids crawl in side the tunnels, use the slides or play in the ball pit. There are also a few vending machines for snacks and refreshments. It’s a great way to cool off and relax.

New Brighton’s Stockyard Days

If you’re visiting the area from August 5th to the 13th, come enjoy the city’s annual Stockyard Days celebration. The festivities include a golf tournament, Medallion Hunt, movie night, softball tournament, live music, Grande Parade, and more. Long Lake Park will also feature three days of food and crafts. You’ll also catch the finish of the 120-mile Antique Car Run. These cars were built in 1908 or earlier.

tockyard Days celebrates the communities past when stockyards, railroads, fashionable hotels and meatpacking plants flourished here. Days is full of fun

Stockyard Days celebrates the communities past when stockyards, railroads, fashionable hotels and meatpacking plants flourished here. Days is full of fun

The festival began in 1981 as a way to recall the early days of New Brighton as a center for the cattle industry including the stockyards, railroads, fashionable hotels and meatpacking plants.

Stockyard Days bike sprints will give you a taste of NASCAR Racing on two wheels.

Stockyard Days bike sprints will give you a taste of NASCAR Racing on two wheels.

Welcome New Brighton the beginning of your #NextBikeAdventure.

Shoreview offer miles of paved trail to enjoy

Shoreview’s music will have you dancing on your pedals to natures beat

by Andrew Ellis

The trails here can be your playground for you and your bike in Shoreview  – there’s nowhere you can’t go. This Twin Cities Gateway community here offers friendly road routes, trails, and sidewalks so you can take another bike journey wherever you wish. The city also offers some off-road paved trails to get closer with nature and all the beauty the community has to offer. You may even find some smaller paths worth exploring. It’s your adventure and it all starts as soon as you leave your hotel in the Twin Cities Gateway. And don’t forget Slice of Shoreview Days July 27-29.

A perfect vacation headquarters, the Twin Cities Gateway is a cooperative of nine communities including Shoreview and just a few bike-friendly miles north of Minneapolis. Here you can enjoy:

Concerts in the Commons

Shoreview's Concerts in the Commons is the perfect way to get a pedal dancing rhythm for your #NextBikeAdventure.

Shoreview’s Concerts in the Commons is the perfect way to get a pedal dancing rhythm for your #NextBikeAdventure.

This summer features free entertainment outdoors at the Shoreview Community Center concerts, starts in June. Each Wednesday the Center features an outside concert with a different band, starting at 7 pm. It’s free, so steer your bike over and get ready to tap your feet.

Rice Creek North Regional Trail

Get close to nature on all the paved trails winding through Shoreview.

Get close to nature on all the paved trails winding through Shoreview.

With more than 50 miles of paved trail (see map) there’s plenty of riding for several visits. Although it is hard to see some trail markings, especially when connecting from a road route to get to the next section, these trails offer many opportunities to take wildlife pictures, discovering the area’s diverse landscape while catching scents of wildflowers. As you ride you will also see and hear plenty of birds of different kinds chirping away. Every once and a while the trail crosses over the creek and you may want to consider some fishing.

Other Activities

If you want to take a short bike ride over to nearby Spring Lake Park, you can also enjoy the Shoreview Sweetroll Skate Park. The SweetRoll is a tier-one skating facility on the north side of the Community Center. The park here includes a wedge, a spine, a fun box, a quarter pipe, grind rails, and a mini ramp.

If you’re looking for a fun way to cool off, you can bike on over to the Shoreview Community Center for their tropical-themed water park in the Twin Cities Gateway. This three-story water slide equipped park features a one-of-a-kind jukebox with over 100 songs ready to play along with a light show that sliders can enjoy as they twist and turn down to the bottom. At the main pool, you can also play volleyball and there is even an adults-only whirlpool and patio area.

Disc golf opportunities are always a highlight in the many parks of the Twin Cities Gateway.

Disc golf opportunities are always a highlight in the many parks of the Twin Cities Gateway.

For those wanting a round of disc golf all you have to do is ride over to Hansen Park in New Brighton. With 12 holes, this disc golf course is complemented by stands mature trees amongst open spaces to skillfully connect with the baskets. It’s a great way to take a break from biking while still enjoying the amenities of Shoreview.

And don’t forget Slice of Shoreview Days

Consider biking to the Slice of Shoreview for a weekend of fun.

Consider biking to the Slice of Shoreview for a weekend of fun.

If you’re exploring the area in July, from the 27th to the 29th, then you will be in time for the communities annual celebration. Slice of Shoreview Days is packed with fun for the whole family. There is live music, local arts, chalk drawing, a petting zoo, pony rides, a carnival, fireworks, and more.

Visiting Shoreview with your bike can be a memorable weekend you won’t soon forget.

AA great destination for a bike adventure riding the trails and bike friendly roads in the Twin Cities Gateway.

An endless bike adventure in the Twin Cities Gateway of Minnesota

by Andrew Ellis

Take a deep breath as you grip your handlebars and prepare for a bike adventure in the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities. You will feel as if you’re deep in the country. As this north metro community area borders the Mississippi River Trail it can be your personal playground while visiting.

When in the area you can: stop and fish; play a round of disc golf; go birding; travel through a chain of lakes by bike or canoe; or explore one of the many parks. You can even satisfy your inner sports fan by visiting the National Sports Center, with a velodrome track.

Stop along the trail in the Twin Cities Gateway for a some fishing.

Stop along the trail in the Twin Cities Gateway if wetting a line and catching some fish are a part of your agenda.

The Twin Cities Gateway is made up of nine different bike-friendly communities: Anoka; Blaine;, Coon Rapids; Fridley; Ham Lake; Lino Lakes; Mounds View; New Brighton; and Shoreview. All unique in their own way they all offering relaxed small town-type atmospheres with plenty to do, perfect for anyone looking to get away and only minutes from the big city.

A friendly bike adventure get-away

The Twin Cities Gateway is just a short drive or an easy commute by bike from Minneapolis or St Paul. Another major feature is the Mississippi River Trail  (MRT) following the river’s edge in three of the nine Getaway communities: Anoka; Coon Rapids; and Fridley. Plus the other six Gateway Cities have bike-friendly roads and trails that lead to the MRT for a bike adventure.

After riding the trails and bike friendly roads in the Twin Cities Gateway enjoying a cold beverage with friends is a great way to seal the ride.

After riding the trails and bike-friendly roads enjoy a cold beverage with friends at the Hammer Heart Brewery, it’s a great way to seal the ride.

 Mississippi River Trail (MRT)

The MRT starts at the headwaters of  Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and passes through the Twin Cities Gateway before flowing into the Gulf, at the mouth of the river in Venice, Louisiana. While riding along the river in the Gateway communities you’ll pass many opportunities for site-seeing, so make sure your camera is fully charged.

Other Off-Road Trails and Parks

You can take the Rum River Regional Trail down to where it meets the MRT, maybe stopping in historic downtown Anoka along the way? There is also the scenic trails in Bunker Hills Regional Park offering heavily wooded and prairie flower landscapes. Or, take the thrilling Coon Creek Regional Trail that connects to the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park and the MRT.

Stop along the trail in the Twin Cities Gateway for a round of disc golf.

Stop along the trail, in several of the parks in the Twin Cities Gateway for a round of disc golf.

For more extensive rides you can also explore the trails along the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve. Or, take the Rice Creek West Regional Trail back to the Mississippi River. This trail passes through Long Lake Park which has several trails that take you by the park’s namesake and Rush Lake. Another option is the trails in the Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park which is filled to the brim and full of beautiful scenery as you switch from one trail to the next.

National Sports Center

If you’re tired of riding trails and want more of a challenge, check out the velodrome at the National Sports Center, in Blaine. The wooden track is open to the public every Thursday for single speed fun. The season begins in late spring and through the summer. Check out their website for more details.

For more info take a look at the At-A-Glance TC Gateway article

Now that you are considering an adventure to the Twin Cities Gateway, also check out our HaveFunBiking  At-A-Glance Twin Cities Gateway Article. Here you will find more details on where to stay, play, and explore this nine-city area. Great for planning and to link to your hand-held device, for guaranteed fun.

The 2018 Minnesota Bike Guide is here to help you plan your next bike adventure.

The 2018 MN Bike/Hike Guide is ready for planning your next bike adventure

The spring edition of the MN Bike Guide is here, just in time, as the temperatures warm. Page through the 2018 Guide and rediscover the trails and scenic country roads in Minnesota. Now in our ninth year of publishing the guide we have added several more bike friendly destinations in Minnesota. Also, find many bike event listings to help you to make the most of your 2018 bike season.

The 2018 Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide is here to help you plan your next bike adventure.

Sponsored  by AAA, The 2018 Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide is here to help you plan your next bike adventure.

In the latest issue, along with many bike maps, you will find plenty of helpful tip sheets to keep you riding comfortably as you explore the state on your bike. From southern Minnesota (including Albert Lea, Root River Trail and Winona) to several twin city locations and then up to the northern section of the state, you will find over 40 maps in this edition.

Plus, we have added several product pages in the bike guide to make cycling more pleasant.

The MN Bike Guide is perfect when on the go

In addition to our very popular print guide, this mobile-friendly edition is easy to access on your mobile device. We hope you will embed the link to your mobile phone or tablet and take us with you when you are on the go.

Share the guide with your friends

Once you’ve gone through the guide, please share the link with friends and like us on Facebook so others take advantage of the information. You can even plan group trips and make memories together that will last a lifetime.

If you would like to get a printed copy, please go to one of the AAA locations, on the maps and pick one up. You can also order a copy of the Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide, for $5 to cover postage and handling, by clicking the link here to get order instructions. Enjoy