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Win this E-bike at HaveFunBiking.com

When you sign up for our email updates at HaveFunBiking.com, you are also entered for a chance to win this E-bike, the all-new Avenue Electric Bike by Pedego. Fill out the form below to enter. Register here, good luck!

Along with a chance to win this E-bike, your entry will also give you a complimentary e-subscription to the HFB Blog, which features bike-friendly maps and tips on new bike destinations posted at HaveFunBiking.com. When planning your next adventure, we will also inform you about what’s new for bicycle-related products and gadgets.

Good luck, and share this contest for the Avenue E-bike, with your friends!

About Avenue E-bikes

The Avenue E-Bike is a beautifully designed electric bike perfect for urban riding or commuting. It has a step-thru frame for easy mounting and dismounting. The bike also has a powerful 500W 48V power system with a fully integrated battery.

Everyone’s favorite bike media company is giving away a set of wheels

Managed by Constant Contact, the HaveFunBiking (HFB) e-database is a news media source sharing outdoor activities, mainly centered around Minnesota destinations. Since the beginning of 2003, HFB has promised that our email list will never be sold or shared, and you can always opt-out at any time. Plus all individuals signing up for this prize drawing for the e-bike can expect no sales appointments or calls.

The fine print

Deadline to enter: 11:59:59 PM PT, September 17, 2023
Sweepstakes drawing date: October 7, 2024
Selection Process: The Grand Prize winner is selected using a computer-generated selection method to ensure that each drawing is conducted entirely at random. We will notify the winner via email and phone. The selected winner will have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is randomly selected.
Number of winners: 1
Eligibility: You must be 18 years old or older to win.
Approximate Retail Value: $2,299.00 USD

Helpful tips to consider before purchasing an e-bike

With the popularity of e-bikes (electric-assist bicycles), here are some helpful tips and questions to ask when buying a bike. The top question we have been asked here at HaveFunBiking.com, along with the price of an e-bike, is how the new government rebate program works. What are the e-bike types and styles and battery/motor options available?

This is followed by the range or distance you can expect to travel on a charge, riding in rain and snow and maintenance tips. In conclusion, after reviewing the following tips, we suggest visiting several bicycle shops that carry electric-assist bicycles to narrow down the right bike for you. Ask them specific questions we have touched on here. Then, like buying a car, test-ride the e-bike you want.

Different types  of e-bike displays in the Eco-Building at the MN State Fair

Top 10 questions asked when selecting an e-bike.

1. An e-bikes cost, and what about the Minnesota Tax Credit

Has the idea of touring by e-bike piqued your interest?

There are many variables when buying an electric assist bike, including the distance you can ride and how you will use it; the number of times you can charge the battery; its weight (bike and battery); the warranty; and whether you will need to take out a loan to finance the bike? Along with a good warranty, the quality of standard parts or upgraded parts on the electric bike can increase the price from $2,000 to $6,000 or more. Plus, having adequate insurance coverage for possible damage, theft, and liability can increase the price.

See more information on the cost of buying an e-bike here.

What’s the skinny on the MN Electric-Assisted Bicycle Rebate

The Minnesota Transportation Finance and Policy bill included a new electric bike rebate program that takes effect July 1, 2024. In the 2023 session, four million dollars were appropriated for the 2024 and 2025 calendar years. This Rebate Program will allow $2 million to be used starting July 1, 2024. Then again, consecutively, 2 million dollars for 2025 will be available until June 30, 2026.

The credit maximum is $1,500, depending on your income. To qualify, an Individual must assign the credit at the time of purchase after July 1st with an eligible retailer that is in the rebate program. If you qualify, this will reduce the cost of purchasing an e-bike. For more information on the rebate, contact your local bike shop or see Minnesota Tax Changes.

2. Consider payment options to get the right e-bike

Enjoy the Micro-Mobility experience for hauling cargo or kids.

To get an electric bike that will fit your needs over the next two to five years, find out if the bike shop or bike manufacturer (if buying online) offers a no- or low-interest loan. Some lending institutions, like Affinity Plus, offer low-interest bicycle-specific loans and let you borrow 120% of the cost of the bike, allowing you to buy accessories like helmets, locks, baskets/panniers, lights, etc.

See more information on financing here.

3. Check the bike warranty, and then insure it

Many bikes come with limited or full warranties. Typically, e-bikes may come with a 2-year warranty on parts, motors, and batteries. Some e-bike brands have a 5-year, “no questions asked” comprehensive warranty. So, learn what sort of warranty is being offered before you buy. A reputable e-bike company will have its warranty information on its website.

A warranty should be a part of the purchase price.

It is recommended that you Insure your new bike. Check if your car, renter’s, or homeowners insurance can bundle an e-bike into your policy. If not, look at an insurance company that often covers theft and collision protection for your e-bike, similar to automobile insurance. Many companies, like AAA and Velosurance, even offer roadside assistance for bicycles and e-bikes.

See more information on warranties and insuring an e-bike Here.

4. E-bike types and gear options

There are two types of motors: the wheel hub type and a center crank model pictured here.

There are so many types of e-bikes available! First, what is your primary use for buying an e-bike? Is it for commuting, hauling cargo, off-road riding, touring, or riding in winter conditions? Once you know how you will use the bike, check out the nationally defined classifications below and your state DOT statutes for e-bikes:

  • Class 1: e-bikes are pedal-assist only, no throttle, with a maximum speed of 20 mph
  • Class 2: e-bikes with pedal assist and throttle, with a maximum speed of 20 mph
  • Class 3: e-bikes are pedal-assist, with or without a throttle, with a maximum speed of 28 mph.
    Most states consider e-bikes with a maximum speed of 20 mph “OK to use all non-motorized bike routes.”

See more on the types and speeds of e-bikes here.

5. What’s the battery’s range and life before recycling?

A centerpost battery for an electric bike
A center post battery mount is standard for many electric bike models.

The general rule is that a 36-volt, 10.5Ah (ampere-hours) battery should get 20 to 40 miles per charge, with the average weight of rider + gear & cargo being less than 200 pounds in ideal weather conditions. You’ll get fewer miles the higher the assist level you use. You may enjoy 50 miles or more on a single charge on low assist. To maximize the life of your e-bike battery, try to charge it before it is close to empty.

Recycling your battery: Call2Recycle is helping e-bike owners recycle their batteries. On the right side of their website, please type in your zip code to get a list of places that will recycle your e-bike battery when it’s time to replace it.

For a more in-depth look at how volts x amps = watts can give you an approximate range, click here.

6. Weight limits, and a size that fits you

There are many sizes and types of e-bikes and trikes to test ride.

Most manufacturers recommend a maximum combined weight of around 275 pounds for a rider and gear & cargo on an e-bike. Cargo bikes are meant to carry small people or big loads and can accommodate riders + gear up to 400 pounds or more. Typically, e-bikes can handle total weights more than described by manufacturers’ specs. However, it may reduce the range or increase maintenance, including wheel spokes repairs.

Most e-bikes weigh between 30 and 65 pounds, with the battery weighing anywhere from five to 15 pounds. The battery’s weight increases with voltage, but its capacity (range) also increases.

For more on weight limits and restrictions, click here.

7. Maintainance and your options to have your bike repaired

Like a regular bicycle, always start with an ABC’s (Air, Brake & Chain) check before you ride to maximize your e-bike investment. You should schedule a tune-up every six months or every 1,000 miles you have ridden. This will protect your warranty. Check the manufacturer’s service recommendations to what they specify.

If you’re buying an e-bike online, see what sort of repair service or online support the company provides, or make sure your local or favorite bike shop can fix the electrical components of the e-bike you select. Bikes with Bosch drivetrain systems are well respected and offer the following information for care and longevity. 

For more information on maintaining our preparing an e-bike, click here.

8. Riding an e-bike in the rain or snow

E-bikes work well year-round.

Like most standard bicycles, E-bikes are water-resistant and can be used in most weather conditions. You may need accessories (like rain gear or studded tires) to ride safely. Most e-bike models also provide a high-quality, water-resistant casing to protect your battery when wet and cold. You can ride an e-bike at any temperature, but the colder it is, the more it may impact the battery’s range. Bring your battery (or the entire bike + battery) inside if you’re not riding it. Do not leave the battery on the bike if parking the e-bike outside at any time in the winter.

Click here for more information on riding an e-bike in rain or snow.

9. Keeping your new e-bike safe and secure

To protect your e-bike investment, consider using a U-lock with a cable lock when locking your bike outside (also recommended for indoor public storage areas). Another anti-theft device to consider is a GPS track tag. Ask your local bike shop for their recommendations. Again, having adequate insurance coverage for possible damage, theft, and liability is wise.

For more information on securing your e-bike, click here.

 10. What else should I do before purchasing?

A test ride should be part of the plan indoors or out before purchasing.

Have fun and test-ride the e-bike(s) you want to focus on. One of the essential parts of buying an e-bike is taking the model(s) you are most interested in for a test ride. Like buying a car, test-ride the e-bike will help you finalize your decision once you have narrowed the selection down. Visit several bicycle shops that carry the e-bike brands you are most interested in. So grab your helmet and go for a test ride. Consider these questions while test-riding that new e-bike:

  • Does the e-bike fit the way I like it to
  • Do I feel comfortable on the e-bike climbing hills
  • And finally, is the quality and functionality over everything I expected while riding?

Now that you are back from your test ride, does the e-bike you like fit into your budget, and does it have a warranty? An e-bike is a significant investment, whether $1,500 or $10,000. So, with a warranty, you can rest assured that your investment is well covered. For more information on scheduling a test ride, click here.

Have fun on your new e-bike. We would enjoy hearing about your experiences here at HaveFunBiking!

With an e-bike, it’s easy to bring along your faithful friend or haul cargo.

Minnesota mountain bike trails to shred

Whatever your riding style, downhill, cross-country, or a leisurely ride after work, you’ll find plenty of mountain biking trails to choose from. Minnesota offers many off-road trails to shred. No matter your skill level, you will find plenty of glaciated ridges: lush forests, and open prairies to explore. Plan your next outdoor adventures with our list of mountain bike trails in Minnesota. You will find many fun opportunities year-round, as many of these trails are open for fat biking throughout winter. Thanks to the Minnesota Off-Road Cyclist (MORC) and several other community organizations who maintain these trails.

Fat bike fun on Minnesota’s Mountain Bike Trails

From lift-served downhill and legendary red dirt trails of the North to the open-air feel of the prairies further south, you’ll find outstanding mountain bike trails across Minnesota.

Minnesota mountain bike trails in the North

You will find many trail options when visiting Northern Minnesota.

 In Northern Minnesota’s vast forests, find an extensive network of rugged singletrack and easy-to-moderate mountain bike trails to enjoy. Explore the following list, with many state, regional, and city parks that maintain off-road trails to provide riders at every skill level with a fun experience. Whether seeking a serene roll or a challenging thrill, Minnesota has no shortage of mountain bike trails to explore. For that next Northern Minnesota adventure you want to plan, click here for over 25 trail systems to shred.

Minnesota’s Central Region

Enjoy the mix of prairie and forested trails regardless of your skill level.

In Minnesota’s heartland, find an extensive network of rugged singletrack and easy-to-moderate mountain bike trails to enjoy. Explore the following list, with many state, regional, and city parks that maintain off-road trails to provide riders at every skill level with a fun experience. Whether seeking a serene roll or a challenging thrill, Minnesota has no shortage of mountain bike trails to explore. For that next Central Minnesota adventure you want to plan, click here for over 15 trail systems to shred.

Minnesota’s Twin Cities Metro Area

The TC Trails here are perfect for the beginner and the serious rider.

In the Twin Cities, mountain bikers will find trails to enjoy year-round. No matter your skill level, you will find the singletracks trails flowing in the summer. Then in the winter months, they are groomed for fat biking. Explore the following list, with many regional and city parks that maintain off-road trails to provide riders at every skill level with a fun experience. Whether seeking a serene roll or a challenging thrill, Minneapolis-St has no shortage of mountain bike trails. Paul Area. For the next mountain bike adventure you want to plan in the Twin Cities Metro, click here for over 15 trail systems to shred.

Minnesota’s South

Southern Minnesota awaits your arrival from the driftless area to the open prairies.

In Southern Minnesota’s open prairies, meandering rivers, and stunning bluffs, find an extensive network of rugged singletrack and easy-to-moderate mountain bike trails to enjoy. Explore the following list, with many state, regional, and city parks that maintain off-road trails to provide riders at every skill level with a fun experience. Whether seeking a serene roll or a challenging thrill, Minnesota has no shortage of mountain bike trails to explore. For the next mountain bike adventure you want to plan in the Twin Cities Metro, click here for over 15 trail systems to shred.

Twin Cities Metro mountain bike trails to enjoy

In the Twin Cities, you will find an extensive network of mountain bike trails, offering rugged single-track and easy-to-moderate trails to enjoy. Explore the following list, with many regional and city parks that maintain off-road trails to provide riders at every skill level with a fun experience. Whether seeking a serene roll or a challenging thrill, there’s no shortage of mountain bike trails in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. For that next Adventure you are planning, here are more than 25 trail systems to shred.

Plenty of trails to shred.

Fun riding Twin Cities Mountain Bike Trails

Bethel

Bethel Haunted Forest Trails: 6 miles

A series of interconnected loops in an 80-acre wooded area, one mile south of the town of Bethel. Rated easy to intermediate with advanced sections featuring hills, twists, and log crossings. Trails are shared with hikers and are open for fat biking and snowshoeing in the winter.
Map

Spring, summer, fall, or winter, the River Bottoms is a fun place to ride.

Bloomington

Minnesota River Trail: 11 miles

Another Twin Cities mountain bike trail system is nicknamed Minnesota River Bottoms. You will find mostly singletrack winding through wooded areas along the river bank. The trails can be challenging and muddy after rain. Plenty of jumps (optional) and some obstacles. Trails are shared with hikers and are groomed for fat biking in the winter.
Map

Burnsville

Buck Hill: 6 miles

This is a beginner to an intermediate system that includes two downhill flow trails. The skills park here features a bermed course with drops, a rock garden, skinnies, and a dragon tail.
Map

Terrace Oaks: 2.3 miles

A fairly technical, intermediate singletrack trail system with many climbs and amazing descents.
Map

Cottage Grove

Cottage Grove Bike Park

West Draw Park is a work in progress with the Cottage Grove Bike Park. Setting on 26 acres, this family-friendly park currently includes a 4x track, two pump tracks, and a complete dirt jump plaza.
Info

Cambridge

Springvale County Park: 3 miles

A flowing singletrack trail system offers banked turns and a beautiful rolling jump while weaving up and around a lake, then traversing streams, swamps, forests, and a glacier moraine berm. Elevation gain is just under 160′ but these trails are fast and are great for beginner to intermediate riders. Constructed drops, teeter-totters, rolling jumps, boardwalk sections, and rock gardens keep the ride interesting. Trails can be accessed from both the North and South parking lots. There is a bike repair station along with a bathroom and drinking fountain in the South parking lot. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter.
Map

Chaska

Hawk’s Ridge Mountain Bike Trail: 4 miles

Hawk’s Ridge occupies a narrow sliver of land just east of Pioneer Ridge Middle School. It’s primarily an open, hilly, multi-use trail hand-built by volunteers of the Carver Trails group. Trails are beginner and intermediate levels with great views, challenging corners, and verticals carved into the hillside. There is a green (easy) trail around the perimeter of the park and a short black (most difficult) trail also. Note: Parking is available across the street at Pioneer Ridge Middle School during off-school hours only. Since there’s no parking on any residential streets around Hawk’s Ridge, riders must park at nearby city parks and ride in during school hours.                      Map

Eagan

Lebanon Hills Regional Park: 11 miles

This course is a favorite for many in the region, with some beginner trails but mostly intermediate. With a good mixture of rolling hills and technical singletrack. Woods provide a secluded feel in the south suburban area. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter.
Map

Great jumps along the switchbacks.

Elk River

Hillside Park: 6 miles

The park here is mostly posted with advanced to expert trails that are either climbing or descending for the entire course. A great park for skills practice. with quick/tight switchbacks, rock rolls, drops, berms, and good jumps. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter.                          Map

Inver Grove Heights

Salem Hills: 4.4 miles

Gently rolling hills through woods and reclaimed prairie consisting of three loops: Harmon Park, Sawmill, and Foul Pond Loop.
Map

Lake Elmo

Lake Elmo Park Reserve: 8 miles

A beautiful park for beginners to intermediate with a pleasant view of Eagle Point Lake. This is a multi-use trail with many fun features with some hard-packed singletrack and grassy trail. Be prepared to share the park with horseback riders. Fat bikes are allowed on Big Bluestem Trail in the winter.                                                                                                                                                 Map

Reid Park Trails: 1 mile

On 30 acres, this beginner-friendly trail is a work in progress.
Map

Sunfish Lake Park: 5 miles

This park offers three loops with distinct ratings of easy, intermediate, and advanced skill levels. Features include a bridge, logs, and switchbacks. Note that other trails exist in this park, and biking is only allowed on the singletrack trails. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter.                 Map

Find trails for beginners to advanced.

Lakeville

West Lake Marion Trail: 5 miles

On the west side of Lake Marion, near Casperson Park,

The hard-packed singletrack course flows through rolling wooded and open field terrain. Find a pump track at the trailhead. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter.
Map

Lino Lakes

Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park: 3.2 miles

Here you will find two separate, one-way singletrack trail loops. One on the east side of the park (Sherman Lake Loop) and one on the west side (Rice Lake Trail), about two miles apart.  Both are continuous loops with a single entry and exit point connected to existing paved trail riders will use to access the loops.  The two trails ride similarly with a flowy design, but a slightly different feel.  Both are entry-level trails suitable for most riders. The trail loop on the west side features a few challenging climbs combined with fun, flowy segments for a total length of approximately 1.4 miles.  The 1.8-mile east side loop features a few jump opportunities with some downhill segments that should add a little thrill for gravity trail fans. The plan is to eventually have additional miles of trails in separate nodes across the park.                                                           Map

Maple Grove

Elm Creek Park Reserve: 12.7 miles

Built to accommodate all skill levels of riders with Interconnected singletrack loop trails. the system is mostly intermediate, with short sections of easy and advanced trails.
Map

Minneapolis

Theodore Wirth Park: 12 miles

A great trail system consisting of several separate loops, just minutes from downtown. The singletrack trails are Intermediate to advanced, offering twists and turns with many technical features. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter. One more of the Twin Cities mountain bike trails to check out.                                                                                                                                             Map

Minnetonka

Lone Lake Park: 5 miles

This trail system is designed to accommodate a variety of mountain biking skill levels. It offers ample challenges, from the steep topography to the fast, flowy single-track. The trail is also open to hiking and trail running in dry months, as well as snowshoeing and fat biking in the winter. Two trailheads provide users easy access from Rowland Road, in the park’s southwest section, or Shady Oak Road, in the east.
Map/Info

Here you will find many features to keep the ride interesting.

Monticello

Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park: 14.25 miles

This system offers many options for all skill levels, including fast singletrack, switchbacks, and a meandering double track. Be ready to deal with logs, roots, and wooden bridges.
Map

Montiview Challenge Course: 2.75 miles

As the name implies, this trail demands good bike-handling skills. A very tight and twisty singletrack route with many short, steep hills runs through the woods and some open spots with great views of the surrounding area. Jumps, bridges, teeters, rock gardens, boulder piles, and other features keep the ride interesting. The park also features a sculpture by a local artist and a bike repair station. A work in progress; look for more trails to be added in the future. Parking and a restroom are available near the trailhead at the top of Holy Spirit Trail, and the park can also be accessed from the off-road paved path off Jason Ave. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter.
Info

Oak Park Heights/Stillwater

Valley View Trails: 3.2 miles

Intermediate singletrack with some beginner and advanced sections. Features include a bridge, boardwalk, rock garden, and switchbacks. Trails are one way with an estimated 400′ elevation change.
Map

Rockford

Lake Rebecca Park Reserve: 13.25 miles

Easy to advanced singletrack loops through the wooded landscapes with wetlands. Start at the Hilltop picnic area.
Map

Saint Paul

Battle Creek Regional Park-West: 8 miles

Battle Creek features a wide selection of trails within its boundaries for Intermediate to advanced riders. including both 3.3-mile multi-use trails and 4.5 miles of singletrack. Thickly wooded, with some limited visibility on turns. One more of  Twin Cities mountain bike trails to check out.                                                                                                                                                   Map

Fort Snelling State Park: 10 miles

Enjoyable riding for beginners along the Dakota County side of the river. Generally flat trails but scenic. Starts as a wide double track then narrows to singletrack. Trails are multi-use and perfect for fat biking in the winter.
Map

Savage

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve: 10 miles

This trail system features glacial ridges, hilly terrain, and an extensive, lush forest. This is a challenging trail and a favorite for mountain bikers.
Map

Shakopee

Excel Energy Mountian Bike Park: 4 miles

The loop trails circling Quarry Lake are rated beginner to intermediate.  The singletrack course weaves between the tree cover and a larger prairie area, taking advantage of natural and constructed topography. This trail was designed and built to be ridden in any kind of weather, so it doesn’t close when it’s wet. One special feature is the so-called chicken foot, a fallen oak tree that’s been cut flat for riders to balance on as they ride across it. The park also has a pump track.                                                                                                                                                          Map

Waconia

Monarch Singletrack: 10 miles

This trail system at Carver Park Reserve comprises five connected loops that accommodate all experience levels. Easy Rider features wider tread and few sharp turns and climbs, making it ideal for hand cyclists and beginners. The Raptor Ridge loop has flowy trails and a highlight of the entire singletrack: A vista overlooking Parley Lake followed by berms and a roller descent. Paradise Trail has the longest climb of the system and an expert feature area with a concrete rollout, jumps, a slalom section, and a shorter, technical climb. It offers bypasses for the difficult features to accommodate intermediate-level riders. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter.
Info/Map

Enjoy the twisty stacked loop of intermediate single-track trail here.

Woodbury

Carver Lake Park: 4 miles

Carver Lake Park is a nice twisty stacked loop of intermediate singletrack. It’s never too technical, but there are several places where a short advanced side trail leaves the main trail, then rejoins it again shortly.

One more of the Twin Cities mountain bike trails to check out. Offering great flow, it’s easy to get a couple of full laps in less than 1.5 hours with the three sections or loops. Or, add an extra lap on your favorite loop. The trail dries out faster than others in the Twin Cities as well, which makes for a shorter downtime after it rains. There is water (during the warm months) and an outhouse and repair station available at the trailhead. You will also find a well-developed skills park here. The trail is also groomed for fat bike riding in the winter.                                                    Map

See more trails in Minnesota to shred here

Explore Minnesota’s paved and surface bike trails

With more than 4,000 miles of paved Minnesota bike trails, the state has become a world-renowned bicycle touring destination for all to enjoy. Making considerable strides in connectivity, so in some areas, you can pedal distances of up to one hundred and fifty miles without leaving the trail. For example, in southeastern Minnesota, the Root River Trail connects to the Harmony-Preston trail for 60 miles of scenic enjoyment. In central Minnesota, the Central Lakes Trail connects to the Lake Wobegon Trails for over 120 miles of Rail-to-Trail touring pleasure.

As you plan your next adventure, look through the following list of Minnesota bike trails for miles of fun memories. Many of the trails listed are available in the Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide maps for your riding pleasure.

It’s fun riding with friends on all the Minnesota Bike Trails

With Minnesota’s bike trails listed here, find your next adventure

Blazing Star shooting State Trail  –  6 paved miles

The Blazing Star State Trail is paved and runs from Albert Lea Lake in Albert Lea to Myre-Big Island State Park, approximately six miles. The trail currently connects to Albert Lea’s city trail system.

Brown’s Creek State Trail  – 8 and 6 paved miles

This beautiful railroad-grade trail connects the Gateway State Trail in the city of Grant to Stillwater and the city’s round-the-river loop there.

Cannon Valley Trail – 20 paved miles (Rail Pass Required)

The Cannon Valley Trail follows the Cannon River in southeast Minnesota to the Mississippi River, using the abandoned Chicago Great Western Railway corridor from Cannon Falls to Red Wing.

Casey Jones State Trail  – an eight and six-mile stretch is paved

The Casey Jones State Trail consists of three segments, with the most extended section of former railroad grade between the city of Pipestone and the Pipestone/Murray county line. The segment from Pipestone to County Road 67 is paved, and the third portion of the trail offers a paved loop between Lake Shetek State Park and the city of Currie.

Fun along the Central Lakes Trail

Central Lakes State Trail – 55 paved miles

This trail begins in the city of Fergus Falls. It ends in the city of Osakis, where users will enjoy the many different landscape views, ranging from open grassland/prairie, lakes, wetlands, farmland, and forested rolling hills. Towns to visit along the trail include Evansville, Brandon, Garfield, and Alexandria. The Central Lakes Trail at Osakis connects to the Lake Wobegon Trail for another 65-mile stretch to St. Cloud.

Cuyuna Lakes State Trail – 8 paved miles

This trail, abandoned by mining companies over 35 years ago, runs from Crosby to Riverton, inside the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area. Many of the lakes along this trail system were former mine pits and now offer a world-class single-track mountain bike trail system around them.

David Dill/Arrowhead State Trail – 69-mile long multi-purpose unpaved trail

This long-distance, natural surface trail near Tower, MN, is suitable for horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking in the summer.

David Dill/Taconite State Trail – 6 paved miles

This trail stretches 165 miles from Grand Rapids to Ely and intersects with the David Dill/Arrowhead State Trail just west of Lake Vermillion. The first six miles from Grand Rapids are paved for biking and in-line skating and connect to the Mesabi trail.

Gateway State Trail – 18 paved miles

The popular east metro trail begins in St. Paul, travels northeast through Maplewood, North St. Paul, and Oakdale, through Washington County, and ends at Pine Point Regional Park. Here, the Browns Valley Trail connects and runs to the city of Stillwater. Located on a former Soo Line Railroad bed, the trail is generally level and wheelchair accessible.

Gitchi-Gami State Trail – 86 miles, with on 33-miles paved, not continuous

This trail is considered a moderately challenging route and features one scenic view of Lake Superior after another. The trail parallels Highway 61, using the road’s wide 10-foot shoulder along undeveloped segments. The opportunity to spot wildlife is also a common occurrence here.

Goodhue Pioneer State Trail – Two paved segments, four and 5.5-mile

This trail is popular with hikers, bikers, horseback riders, and snowmobilers. Currently, there are two sections of the trail. The northern portion is a paved trail between Red Wing and the Hay Creek Unit of the Richard J. Dorer State Forest and connects with Red Wing city trails and the Cannon Valley Trai. The southern segment of the trail features 4.5 miles of paved trail and is used by hikers and bikers. This segment starts in the city of Zumbrota and connects to the city’s trail system.

Great River Ridge State Trail – 13 paved miles

Located in the beautiful southeastern Minnesota river valley, this trail system follows a former railroad grade with picturesque views of river bluffs. The trail is generally level and accessible and is famous for bicycling, hiking, and in-line skating. Currently, the trail begins in Plainview, traveling south through the town of Elgin, and ends at County Road 9.

Heartland State Trail  – 49 paved miles in two connecting segments

This was one of the first rail-to-trail projects in the country. The trail is located entirely on a level abandoned railroad grade, with the 27-mile segment connecting Park Rapids and Walker and the 22-mile segment connecting Walker and Cass Lake. The Park Rapids to Walker segment also has a parallel natural surface trail for horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking. The Heartland State Trail also connects with the Paul Bunyan State Trail and other regional trail systems.

The Lake Wobegon covered bridge near Holdingford.

Lake Wobegon State Trail – 65 paved miles

The trail runs west from St. Cloud, through Waite Park, Avon, Albany, Freeport, Melrose, Sauk Centre, and up to Osakis, where it joins the Central Lakes Trail and continues to Fergus Falls. At Albany, a paved spur heads north to Holdingford, then to the Mississippi River Trail below Little Falls.

Luce Line State Trail – 63 miles, mostly packed limestone

This former railroad-grade trail stretches across the varied landscapes of metropolitan and rural Minnesota. Primarily crushed limestone surface with a parallel Treadway.

Matthew Lourey State Trail – 80-mile long multi-purpose unpaved trail

The gravel-surfaced trail passes through forests linking St. Croix State Park with ChengwatanaSt. Croix, and Nemadji state forests. The entire trail is open to hiking in the summer. Mountain biking is allowed in some sections of St. Croix State Park.

You will find many trail towns along the Mesabi Trail

Mesabi Trail – 150 paved miles  (Rail Pass Required)

Stretching from the Mississippi River in Grand Rapids to the Boundary Waters near Ely, the Mesabi Trail is like no other in the country. Cutting through the forests of northeast Minnesota, your adventure will take you past lakes, creeks, and ponds, by vast red pits of old iron ore mines now filled with emerald green water.

Mill Towns State Trail – 3 paved miles

This trail currently connects with the city of Northfield trails system near Babcock and Riverside Park on the north end and follows the Cannon River to the city of Dundas, where the trailhead connects to other local trails.

Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area – 6 paved miles, 36 unpaved miles

Not far from the Twin Cities. Watch for wildlife as you travel the multi-use trail, which is paved for six miles from Shakopee to Chaska and unpaved from Chaska to Belle Plaine.

The scenery along the Paul Bunyan Trail can add to the experience.

Paul Bunyan State Trail – 115 paved miles

The Paul Bunyan State Trail is 115 miles long, not including a couple of short on-road connections through the cities of Baxter and Bemidji. Extending from Crow Wing State Park to Lake Bemidji State Park, it is the longest of Minnesota’s state trails and the longest continuously paved rail-to-trail in the country. It connects with the 8-mile Heartland State Trail. At Lake Bemidji State Park, it connects to the Blue Ox Trail, an unpaved motorized trail for snowmobiling and off-highway vehicle riding that extends northeast to International Falls.

Root River State Trail – 42 paved miles

Discover the dramatic bluff lands of southeastern Minnesota on this popular trail. Very accessible, except for some hills near Houston on the east end. Along the trail west, visit the towns of Rusgford, Peterson, Whalon, and Lanesboro before reaching the western trailhead at Fountain. Before Fountain, the Root River Trail connects to the Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail.

Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail – 18 paved miles

Come and enjoy Minnesota hospitality, southeastern style. The paved Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail is a beautiful 18-mile-long multiple-use trail connecting Harmony and Preston communities with the existing Root River State Trail. Main summer uses are hiking, biking, and in-line skating. The trail is groomed for cross-country skiing in the winter.

Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail – 39 paved miles

The Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail is a paved, 39-mile multiple-use trail developed on an abandoned railroad grade. The trail begins at Lime Valley Road near State Highway 14, joins the Minnesota River Trail in Mankato, follows a signed route on city streets through Waterville, passes through three miles of Sakatah Lake State Park, and ends east of Interstate 35 in Faribault. It is generally level and wheelchair accessible. Horses can use a parallel treadway, from Lime Valley Road to the County Road 12 bridge.

Shooting Star State Trail –  29 paved miles

The Shooting Star State Trail is currently paved for about 29 miles between LeRoy and Austin. It begins in the city of LeRoy, travels north through Lake Louise State Park, then west toward the communities of Taopi, Adams, and Rose Creek. There is a short break in the trail in Rose Creek between City Hall and Rose Creek Wayside Park. It picks up again in Rose Creek Wayside Park and travels west and north, primarily in state and county highway right-of-way, until it reaches the intersection of 28th Street NE and I-90. Just across the 28th Street bridge over I-90 is a paved path connecting to the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center in Austin. When complete, the trail will also connect with the community of Lyle (south of Austin) and the Wapsi-Great Western Trail in Iowa (south of Taopi).

You will want to stop often along the Willard Munger Trail for the spectacular scenery.

Willard Munger State Trail –  70 paved miles

This 70-mile Willard Munger State Trail segment is a completely paved trail. Beginning south of Hinkley, the trail first passes through the towns of Finlayson, near Banning State Park, then Rutledge, Willow River, near General C.C. Andrews State Forest, Sturgeon Lake, Moose Lake, and Moose Lake State Park, and Barnum. At  Carlton, the northeast portion of the trail transforms, offering some spectacular scenery at Jay Cooke State Park and along the St. Louis River, to the twin ports of Duluth and Superior. 

See more trails in Minnesota if off-road riding is your preferred choice

A list of bike companies in the Eco Experience Building at the MN State Fair

Thanks for exploring all the electric assist bikes (e-bikes) in the Eco Experience Building at the Minnesota State Fair. From past events, check out the top 10 questions asked when considering an e-bike. With the latest options in e-transportation available today, thanks to Affinity Plus and HaveFunBiking. Below, find links to two E-bike you can win. Plus, a list of bike shops with their favorite electric assist bicycle they are exhibiting. Also, find their contact information you may want to bookmark and have available when you need an E-bike.

Along with questions on the new Minnesota Electric-Assisted Bicycle Rebate Program, here are the answers to the top ten (10) questions asked:  

Top 10 questions asked when selecting an e-bike

With the popularity of e-bikes, many are asking what is the best bike to buy.

1. What does an e-bike cost? Find out here

2. What are the payment options? Find out here

3. Does an e-bike come with a warranty, and how do I insure it? Find out here

4. What are the different types and speeds of an e-bike? Find out here

5. What’s the battery’s range and life before recycling? Find out here

6. What is the weight limit of an e-bike, and what do they weigh? Find out here

7. How do I maintain an e-bike? What if it needs to be repaired? Find out here

8. Can I ride an e-bike in the rain or snow? Find out here

9. How do I keep an e-bike safe and secure? Find out here

10. What else should I do before purchasing an e-bike? Find out here

Have fun on your new e-bike. We would enjoy hearing about your experiences; please e-mail editor at HaveFunBiking.com!

Two chances to win an E-bike

Affinity Plus “Win This E-bike”register here

Win this Pedego City Commuter E-Bike from Affinity Plus

HaveFunBiking “Win This E-bike”register here

Win this Magnum Navigator X E-bike from HFB

Contacts for fun and safe bicycling in Minnesota

Affinity Plustheir website

Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN) – their website

Bicycling News (e-bikes are outpacing e-car sales) their website

Car Free MSPtheir website

Cargo Bike Shoptheir website

Erik’s Bike Shoptheir website

GoCycletheir website

HaveFunBiking.comtheir website

HFB “10 tips on buying an e-bike”weblink

MnDOT Bike Safetytheir website

MnDOT Digital Maptheir website

MnDNR Park& Trailstheir website

Move Minneapolistheir website

Move Minnesota their website

Pedego Stillwatertheir website

Pedego Twin Citiestheir website

Perennial Cycletheir website

QBPtheir website

Surly their website

Velosurancetheir website

Watt Cycle Workstheir website

Good eating along Minnesota’s trails

With all the new maps in the 2023 Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide, we are constantly scouting for good eating haunts, and think you will agree. A tasty meal can add to an adventure. But locating an outstanding cafe, restaurant, or sweet shop in an unfamiliar place can be tricky, especially when hunger has already set in. So please look at the helpful Good Eating tip sheet we created for finding a memorable food experience on your next adventure. Then scroll through our list of communities with unique places to eat below from the current maps we have posted.

Patio dining is the perfect option in Minnesota’s summer months.

If you have a recommendation for a place we should check out, or you would like us to post your review at HaveFunBiking, please send them our way at HaveFunBiking.

Here are our ever-evolving good eating haunts to enjoy

Albert Lea

With scenic bike routes around the fingers of Fountain Lakes and the Blazing Star State Trail, out to Myre Big-Island State Park. An evening downtown at Crescendo is a great dining experience, especially with their piano music setting the ambiance.

Here are some more eating experiences when visiting Albert Lea.

Good eating!

Alexandria

With many bike-friendly roads, the 8-mile Scenic Circuit Loop, and the Central Lakes Trail running through the community, plus the off-road fun in the County Parks of Lake Brophy and Kensington Runestone, upon your return, you will be ready for a wide variety of dining options. 

Here are some more eating experiences when visiting Alexandria.

Bloomington

With many bike-friendly roads and trails throughout the community and off-road fun in Minnesota Valley River bottoms, experience some culinary delights in the south metro here.

Here are some eating experiences when visiting Bloomington.

A much-deserved treat after the ride.

Brainerd

With many bike-friendly roads, the 12-mile Scenic Circuit Loop, and the paved Paul Bunyan Trail running through the community, plus the off-road fun French Rapids Park, upon your return, you will be ready for a wide variety of dining options. 

Here are some eating experiences when visiting Brainerd.

Cook Country

With the Gitchi Gami Trail running up along the North Shore and several off-road trails for mountain biking to explore, ???

Here are some more eating experiences when visiting Cook County.

Ice cream smiles.

Cottage Grove

With many trails throughout the community, scenic bike loops, and off-road fun in Ravine Regional Park to pedal, check out the many eating establishments that will make your taste buds dance. 

Here are some more eating experiences when visiting Cottage Grove.

Crosby -Deerwood

With many bike-friendly road routes and the pave Cuyuna Trail now connecting Ironton, Crosby, Deerwood, and several Cuyuna Moutain Bike trailheads, you will find plenty after your ride of places to challenge your taste buds when visiting.

Here are some eating experiences when visiting the Cuyuna Lakes Area.

Edina

Enjoy miles of scenic riding with the 14-mile Scenic Circuit Loop that connects to the Nine-mile Creek and Minneapolis trail system for more riding options. Then stop at one of the many eating establishments to satisfy your appetite.

Here are some eating experiences when visiting Edina.

Alfresco fun along the trail.

Faribault

Regardless, if you are riding the trails that connect to the 12-mile Scenic Circuit Loop or off-road trails out at River Bend Nature Center, you will find eating establishments to satisfy your tastes.

Here are some eating experiences when visiting Faribault.

Grand Rapids

With the Mississippi River Trail passing through the city, connecting to the Mesabi Trail and several off-road parks is easy. After your ride, enjoy several fun places to eat and drink while visiting.

Here are some eating experiences when visiting Grand Rapids.

Bon Appetit!

Hastings

Enjoy miles of scenic riding with the 10-mile Scenic Circuit Loop here that connects to the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) for more riding options. Then stop at one of the many eating establishments to refuel.

Here are some more eating experiences when visiting Hastings.

Hutchinson

With many trails throughout the community, scenic bike loops, and off-road fun in Stohls Lake Park, find several tasty options to enjoy after your ride. 

Here are some eating experiences when visiting Hutchinson.

Inver Grove Heights

Set in the rolling Mississippi River Valley, the area here offers miles of paved trails connecting to the Twin City Metro trail-grid and off-road riding to work up an appetite while visiting,

Here are some eating experiences when visiting Inver Grove Heights.

Lake County

With the Gitchi Gami Trail running up along the North Shore and several off-road trails for mountain biking to explore, ???

Here are some eating experiences when visiting Lake County.

Service with a smile adds to the day’s outing.

Lakeville

With many paved trails around the lakes and parallel to many Dakota County roads throughout the community and off-road fun at West Lake Marion Mountain Bike Park, you will work up an appetite to add to your experience visiting here.

Here are some eating experiences when visiting Lakeville

Mankato

After riding the Minneopa, Red Jacket, or Sakatah paved trail systems here or the off-road mountain bike parks, check out the current Free Press of Fine Dining.

Here are some more eating experiences when visiting Mankato.

Maple Grove

With many trails throughout the community, scenic bike loops, and off-road fun in Elm Creek Park Reserve, you will find plenty of riding opportunities and places to expand your taste buds when visiting.

Here are some eating experiences when visiting Maple Grove.

Mesabi Iron Range Cities

With many towns along the Mesabi Trail. When not riding the paved trail or one of the popular bike parks at Giants Ridge or Red Head mountain, be prepared for various tastes. Expect to be surprised…and pleased! 

Here are some eating experiences when visiting communities on the Mesabi Iron Range.

Bon Appetit!

Minneapolis Northwest

With the rich diversity of Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park, the many trails here will take your taste buds on a flavor tour of the world without leaving the community, 

Here are some eating experiences when visiting Minneapolis Northwest.

Owattona

With many trails throughout the community, scenic bike loops up to Clintonton Falls, and off-road fun in Kaplan’s Woods, enjoy Foremost Brewpub and flatbreads after a day of riding.

Here are some more eating experiences when visiting Owattona.

Ice cream smiles along the trail.

Richfield

Enjoy miles of scenic riding with the 9-mile Scenic Circuit Loop that connects to the Nine-mile Creek and Minneapolis trail system for more riding options. Then stop at one of the many eating establishments here to refuel. New this year and worth checking out is Kataki Sushi & Ramen

Here are some more eating experiences when visiting Richfield.

Shakopee

With many trails throughout the community that connect to the 10-mile Scenic Circuit Loop and the Xcel Energy Mountain Bike Park at Quarry Lake Park. You are sure to work up an appetite while visiting.

Here are some eating experiences when visiting Shakopee.

Good eating along the trail might be a box lunch from the local deli.

Waconia

With a bike-friendly route around Lake Waconia, many paved trails running parallel along county roads, and the off-road fun at Carver Park Reserve, you will work up an appetite to add to your experience visiting here.

Here are some eating experiences when visiting Waconia.

Willmar

Enjoy miles of scenic riding with the 8-mile Scenic Circuit Loop that connects to the Glacial Lakes State Trail for more riding options. Then stop at one of the many eating establishments to satisfy your appetite.

Here are some more eating experiences when visiting Willmar.

A yummy treat or meal will add to your next t Minnesota trail adventure.

The maps in the new MN Bike/Hike Guide offer many fun places to ride

Now in our 14th year of publishing the Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide, tied to all the information at HaveFunBiking.com, we hope you find all the bike-friendly maps helpful in planning your next adventure. To help you select your next fun outing with family and friends, we have added some suggested route options to most of the maps, along with helpful tips and interesting places to get some refreshments. So bookmark the 2023 Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide so it’s ready and at your fingertips for that next bike adventure.

The handy 2023 Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide

The handy 2023 MN Bike/Hike Guide

Where to find a printed copy of the MN Bike/Hike Guide?

As in the past, the Minnesota guides will continue to be available at the Minnesota Tourism Welcome Centers and many local libraries if you would like a print copy. These handy pocket-size guides are perfect for paging -through, copying a map, or jotting down a few notes when planning your #NextBikeAdventure.

Please help us by sharing your comments on this year’s Bike/Hike Guides

As we continue to update the guide, we would like to hear from you. What do you like about the MN Guide, and how can it be better, so we can continue to add more helpful information in future editions? Please review this digital edition of the guides and give us your comments at [email protected] – Thanks!

Get the latest bike/hike news and a chance to win an e-bike.

Join our monthly newsletter and have a chance to win an E-bike while getting regular HaveFunBiking updates and promotions.

Good luck, have fun and share your next adventure at HaveFunBiking!

Bike gear closeouts and new products reviews

As the e-transportation industry continues to develop, we occasionally list bicycle inventory closeouts that you will find here next to our product review items. So please bookmark this page and check back often as we refresh this page with new items and deals to enjoy that next adventure.

 

New product reviews on items for that next outdoor adventure

As tree buds appear along the forested trails, finally shedding their winter coat, here is a list of new products we thought you might find interesting for that next outdoor adventure. New products for lovers of bikes.

The Thermacell E55 offers a 20 ft. radius of protection from mosquitos.

Over my 25 years in the cycling industry, I have found that the excitement of a new bike only increases as you get older. Here are a few cycles and gear to check out at your favorite bike shop. Click here to see our full review of fun products for that next bike adventure, and check back often.

Win this e-bike at HFB

Save with these bike gear auction items.

Sorry, this auction has ended!

With the closing of PowerBikes.com here in the Twin Cities, here is your chance to get a new e-bike at a near-wholesale price. The inventory listed below is being auctioned off with a huge selection of bike accessories, e-bike certified helmets, locks, bags, cell phone mounts, bags, and every imaginable bike part & tool.

This 2022 Gocycle G4 is one of many e-bikes on the action.

This 2022 Gocycle G4 is one of many e-bikes on the action.

You can get the best deal on a new electric assist bike before the spring riding season begins. Select from new in-the-box, new pre-prepped, demo, and used e-bikes.  Check the full list of e-bikes here.

Good eating tips along Minnesota’s trails

Here are some good eating tips when riding along Minnesota’s trails. Maybe it’s to a new area you haven’t had the chance to explore yet. When visiting a new town, or one that you may not have been to in a while, where is the best place to eat, find that afternoon snack or a refreshing beverage?

A meal can add to the experience of the trail.

A tasty meal can add to an outing, but locating a good restaurant in an unfamiliar place can be tricky — especially when hunger has already set in. To find the best tastes in a new town, follow these tips to know whom to ask and where to look. Bon appetit!

1. Plan, tap your network, then look at local news/blog posts

Traveling to a new place can be nerve-racking, but don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from the barista at that coffee shop near your hotel or the locals there. My first move is to check my contacts for locals to hit up for advice or contacts who might be able to introduce me to someone in the area. Often, locals won’t send you to the restaurants on every best-of list but to their beloved haunts.

Add some fun research to your trip planning by reading up on local history that may influence a signature dish or sandwich served along the trail. A treasure trove of posts from local food bloggers or reporters is a quick Google search away to find the hot spots to add to the memorable trip. It’s easy to save all the addresses to a Google Map or print one out and highlight the places worth visiting along the trail. Also, before you go, you can post on Facebook and Twitter to see if anyone in your circle also has must-visit spots to share.

Another option is putting the word out to your social media network that you plan to visit an area and are looking for recommendations to favorite haunts. Put the word out on your Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn page.

Another option is to look at local newspapers and websites, though, increasingly, vigorous local food scene coverage can be hard to find. “Local news is much more helpful in larger cities.

A deli might be the perfect option when a picnic along the trail is in the plan.

2. Ask the locals where to eat

Getting recommendations from the hotel staff or local chamber can be a reputable source. But,  some of the best restaurant picks we’ve gotten are people we’ve met along the trail enjoying the many highlights the area offers. The local police can be a wealth of knowledge of good eats, and employees at the local bike shop could have a scoop on what’s good nearby for lunch. And asking people you meet can be a good icebreaker for even more tips and suggestions to discover that gastronomic delight.

3. Avoid eating on the main tourist drag

Restaurants near prominent tourist attractions usually don’t have to be excellent or exciting to get a decent crowd. Most travel experts say, “Usually, neighborhood places are a better bet than the main tourist drags.” Don’t be afraid to walk down a famous restaurant stretch and pop into a place where the menu draws you in. If you are like me, “I am moved by menus that make me hungry.” Follow your hunger, and you (probably) can’t go wrong. Do some research beforehand through Yelp, message boards, and friends who have been there.

When the food is spectacular, you may have to make reservations.

4. Look for lines, and then book reservations

That says a lot if people are willing to wait to dine at a particular eatery. We’re not advocating wasting precious vacation time waiting long times to be seated for every meal, but once you find a spot that looks hot, research to find a better time to come back, or even better, see if they take a reservation.

Enjoy our list of fun places to eat when riding Minnesot’s trails.

5. Our list of good eating places along Minnesota’s trails

At HaveFunBiking.com, with all the new maps in the 2023 Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide, we are constantly scouting for good places to eat. See our evolving list of places for a delightful gastronomic meal as you explore Minnesota’s trails and touring roads.