Category Archives: Landing Pages

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.

Central Minnesota mountain bike trails can add to the fun

In Central Minnesota, find an extensive network of single-track 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, there’s no shortage of mountain bike trails to explore in Minnesota. When planning that next adventure in the Heartland, here are several trail systems to choose from.

Spring, summer, fall, or winter, have fun on the trails in the Heartland.

Central Minnesota mountain bike trails to shred

Alexandria

Lake Brophy County Park: 6.5 miles

Perfect for beginners and experts to expert, this Central Minnesota gravity flow mountain bike trail system offers 200 feet of elevation change. The top overlooks the entire park and the city of Alexandria and has a prairie landscape. Here find dock jumps, drops, and a rock garden on the more technical, expert sections on the west side of the trail system. The eastern part is a cross-country ride with long straightaways and sweeping turns. There are bathrooms, beach access, and a playground. The paved Central Lakes Trail skirts the park and provides access by bike.                                                                                                                                                            Map

Kensington Rune Stone Park: 7.5 miles

Beginner to intermediate, dedicated singletrack. The park has a visitor center with bathrooms. Gromed for fat bikes in the winter.
More Info

Fun on the trail

Cuyuna – Crosby, Deerwood, Ironton

Cuyuna Lakes State Recreation Area: about 70 miles

An IMBA Silver Level Ride Center, the Cuyuna one-way singletrack trails are marked from easy/beginner to hardcore/expert. Along the trails, enjoy stunning views from the top of overburdened piles left from the area’s mining days. Deep mine lakes offer refreshing dip after a hard ride. At the trailhead, dive in or take the kayak out for a paddle. The town of Cuyuna also has a pump track.  Lots of trails are groomed for fat biking in the winter, including the paved Cuyuna Lakes State Trail, which runs through the heart of the system and connects many of the mountain bike trail clusters. Look for the new 7.5-mile adaptive trail that accommodates hand cycles.                                                                                                                                               Map

Fergus Falls

Ferber Park: 2.2 miles

A mix of rolling hills and flat terrain in wooded and grassy areas with less difficult to more challenging trails. Trails were developed by volunteers with help from the City of Fergus Falls and continue to be improved. Look for additional trails in the future.
Map

Glenwood

Barsness Park: 7 miles

The park offers beginners and those with intermediate skills a single track system. Two challenging climbs take you to panoramic views of Lake Minnewaska near downtown Glenwood. This system packs in many rollers, berms, and fun, flowy sections, including some rock obstacles.
Map

Hutchinson

Stahl’s Lake Park: 3 miles

Moderate terrain with some small hills, a balance beam, and seesaw.
Map

McGregor

Savanna Portage State Park: 10 miles

Here find a  mixture of grass and dirt double-track trails. The park offers varied topography in its several loops, with a challenging climb up the Continental Divide with an awesome view as a reward.
Map

Milaca

Milaca City Trails: 14 miles

Located near the Rum River, this system offers a variety of

Trail options for riders of all skill levels.

Most of the parks trails are singletrack and go through a mix of woods, hills, and fields. Trails are groomed for fat biking in the winter.
Map

Pillager – Brainerd Lakes Area

Pillsbury State Forest: 27 miles

The State Forest trails are a mixture of gravel, grass, and dirt logging roads, The trails wind and twist through the forest and past lakes with rolling terrain. All trails are multi-use, encounter some horseback riding activity.
Map

Pine River

Cut Lake Trail: 10 miles

Perfect for beginner to intermediate skill levels, find grassy trails through the forest around Deer and Cut Lakes. Great backcountry riding when you are looking for solitude.                            Map

Saint Cloud

North Loop – Jail Trail: 7.5 miles

Beginner to intermediate with advanced options. Singletrack trail runs through dense woods with sections along the fence of the Minnesota Correctional Facility. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter.
Info

Plum Creek – River Bluffs Regional Park: 3 miles

Beginner singletrack loop near the Mississippi River. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter.
Info

Quarry Park: 2 miles

The new Quarry Park trail system has been cut by hand by Mid Minnesota Cycling Club (MMCC) members over the last few years. Trails are a mix of gravel, dirt, and grass around some granite outcroppings. Passing through a heavily wooded area with a few fairly technical sections where you bike over billion-year-old bedrock. There are many other trails at the park to create an enjoyable MTB trail experience for all rider skill levels. The entrance to the new trail is near the gated entrance. Just follow the fence line to the trailhead.                                                                      Map

Spicer – Willmar

Prairie Woods ELC: 4 miles

Easy singletrack trails at the Environmental Learning Center start at the parking lot and wind through a mix of open prairie and deciduous woods. The Oak Savannah Trail has a seesaw; other trails have short boardwalk sections and bridges. The Kandi Trail Riders maintain these trails and groom for fat biking in the winter.                                                                                        Info

Wadena

Black’s Grove: 8 miles

Beginner to advanced scenic trails that wind through a wooded setting and along Oak Creek. Groomed for fat biking and skiing in the winter.                                                                                Map

See more trails in Minnesota to shred here

Northern Minnesota’s fun mountain bike trails

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, Northern Minnesota has a mountain bike park waiting. For that next Adventure you are planning, here are more than 50 trail systems to choose from.

You will find the fat bike trails fun in spring, summer, fall, or winter!

Fun Northwestern Minnesota Mountain Bike Trails

Bemidji

Lake Bemidji State Park: 5 miles

Beginner to advanced: Park has much to offer with dirt and packed grass trails. The system is well maintained, and the forested terrain has some challenging sections.
Map

Movil Maze: 8 miles

This system lives up to its name, so bring a compass and use the map of the area. There are several spurs that branch off this trail. The trail is a combination of grassy sections and dirt singletrack with ramps. Parts of the system are groomed for fat bikes in the winter.
Map

Callaway

Maplelag: 23 miles

Here you will find a mixture of challenging singletrack and grassy double track, easy to expert on well-kept trails through hardwood forest. Maplelag Resort offers dining and lodging options. About 25km are groomed for fat biking in the winter.
Map

Detroit Lakes

Detroit Mountain: 10 miles

This mountain bike park has trails perfect for beginners and experts. Ride contour flow trails, take the lift up to the top, then zip down the downhill flow trails, or ride the skills park. Lodge with bathrooms, bar, and concessions are onsite. Connecting trail takes you to Mountain View Rec Area trail. Groomed fat bike trails are available in the winter on select routes. Map

Dunton Locks County Park: 3 miles

While in the area, find trail loops along the shores between Lake Sallie and Muskrat Lake. Some wind through hardwood forested hills. Trails are shared with hikers and are groomed for skiing in the winter.
Map

Mountain View Recreation Area: 6 miles

Single track loops through mature, mixed hardwood forest. Trails are laid out to be challenging. Connecting trail takes you to Detroit Mountain Rec Area.
Map

Lake Bronson

Lake Bronson State Park: 5 miles

Good variety of accessible trails and loops to allow for different choices. The trails go through forest and prairie and are a mixture of grass and gravel.
Map

Moorhead

Gooseberry Mound Park: 3.5 miles

Flat and wide singletrack loops on the banks of the Red River of the North. Connects to a short skills-building trail with bridges and rock gardens in Horn Park. This park is beginner-friendly because obstacles have ride-around options. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter.
Map

M.B. Johnson Park: 4 miles

Singletrack loops along the banks of the Red River of the North. Trailhead has bathrooms, water, and a shelter. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter.
Map

Iwen Park: 7 miles

Beginner-friendly trail consisting of a north and south section. Not groomed for fat bikes, but usually well-traveled by snowshoers.
Map

Roseau

Hayes Lake State Park: 5 miles

Beginner trail on grassy, level terrain in a wooded area. Trails start at Hayes Dam.
Map

Mount Roseau: 6 miles

Twisting trails on rolling hills in an open, grassy area, rated beginner to intermediate. Lots of switchbacks on this 60-foot artificial hill keep you on your toes.
Map

Ulen to Crookston

Agassiz Recreational Trail: 53 miles

This abandoned railroad grade is a designated multiple-use trail shared by pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians, and ATV riders. It passes through Ulen, Twin Valley, Gary, Fertile, and Crookston and offers scenic views of the Sand Hill and Wild Rice Rivers while passing many farm fields.
Map

Family fun is a sure bet on many of the trails in Minnesota’s Northeast

Northeastern Minnesota Mountain Bike Trails

Northeastern Minnesota has the Sawtooth Mountains along the North Shore of Lake Superior, ski hills at Spirit Mountain and Giant’s Ridge, the deep forests of the Superior and Chippewa National Forests, the 135-mile Arrowhead State Trail, and the pristine beauty of some of the state’s most beautiful state parks.

Carlton

Jay Cooke State Park: 13 miles

This trail system combines grass, dirt, and pavement with spectacular views. Silver Creek Trail and Summer Trail are groomed for fat bikes in the winter.
Map

Trails in the Chippewa National Forest

State and national forests offer a variety of areas to explore by bike. Some trails are exclusively non-motorized, while others are shared with various users, including OHVs and equestrians.

Simpson Creek Trail: 13 miles
Deer River, MN
Enjoy rolling topography through pines and along glacial eskers, with overlooks onto Cut Foot Sioux Lake and journeys into the cedar swamp. Cyclists travel on both old tote roads and dirt trails. Access at the Cut Foot Sioux Visitor Center or Eagle Nest Road (FR2198).
Map

Cut Foot Sioux Trail: 18 miles
Deer River, MN
An extension of the Simpson Creek Trail, this is an 18-mile loop along old Forest Roads with gravel and sand. Access from the Cut Foot Sioux Visitor Center or the Hwy 46 Wayside Rest 5 miles north of the Center.
Map

Suomi Hills Trail: 19 miles
Marcell, MN
The remote and stunning Suomi Hills has 19 miles of hiking, biking, and ski trails and is part of a semi-primitive non-motorized area. The rolling topography offers mountain bike trails for intermediate and advanced cyclists. Access the Suomi Hills area from the Highway 38 National Scenic Byway.
Map

Trout Lake Trail: 11 miles
Marcell, MN
This is a nice short scenic trail into the woods and out onto the Trout Lake Estate, a national historic site featuring a 1920 lumber baron estate. Access from the north end of Trout Lake off Co 326 or the south end near FR 2065 and FR 2065.
Map

Cloquet

Pine Valley Trails: 5 miles

Stacked loops rated beginner to intermediate with switchbacks and flow sections through stands of pine trees and open areas. These gravel trails are machine built and feature two expert and one intermediate jump trail. Because of the nature of the soil, trails remain open even when wet. Skinnies and gap jump with b-lines keep things interesting. Groomed for fat biking in a park that also has ski trails. A dirt parking lot with a porta potty is available adjacent to the Cloquet hockey arena.
Map

Cohasset

Tioga Trails: 25 miles

This new mountain bike trail system in the location of a former mine pit offers trails for all skill levels as well as jump lines, flow trails, and a beginner skills section. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter.
Map/Info

Duluth Area Mountain Bike Trails

Duluth has been named Gold Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), one of six destinations worldwide. The Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores (COGGS) maintain and develop Duluth’s extensive trail system.

Craft Connector: 1.1 miles
The two-way trail connects the Enger Tower Scenic Overlook and the Lincoln Park Craft District. The downhill ride from Enger has some jump opportunities.

Downer Park: 0.5 miles
A work in progress for the advanced rider. More trails coming.

Duluth Traverse: 40 miles
As beginner-level singletrack, the Duluth Traverse (DT) connects the city’s trail networks at Lester Park, Hartley Park, Piedmont-Brewer Park, Spirit Mountain, and Mission Creek. Currently, 75% of the DT is on singletrack trails, the balance is on gravel roads and some paved road sections. It’s a work in progress and will eventually be all standalone singletrack.

Hartley Park: 9 miles
Beginner to intermediate trails through the hardwood forests and open marsh areas of Hartley Nature Center.

Lester Park: 12.5 miles
Beginner to intermediate. Beautiful views of the river valley and smooth, flowing single track. There are some rocky or rooty sections, but overall the trail is non-technical and the best option in the Duluth area if you are newer to mountain biking. Groomed for fat tire biking in the winter.

Mission Creek: 23 miles
Beginner to intermediate. Fast and flowing singletrack with many bridges, berms, and rollers. This trail network traverses a dramatic, heavily forested landscape with spectacular views of the St. Louis River Valley and Jay Cooke State Park. Groomed for fat biking in the winter.

Piedmont & Brewer Trails: 9 miles
Intermediate to advanced, challenging trails with bridges and features. Significant elevation changes with large rocky bluffs. Groomed for fat biking in the winter.

Spirit Mountain Bike Park
Beginner to advanced. Outstanding views of Lake Superior are the norm at Spirit Mountain. The terrain is demanding but is sure to reward with amazing vistas. Lift-assisted downhill mountain biking and fat biking.

Stone Age: 1.2 miles
Short but quite a workout, even for advanced riders. A long, technical uphill is rewarded with awesome views and the way down has challenges around every corner. Just north of the Mission Creek trails.

Map/Info

Fun for all skill levels!

Duluth to Grand Marais

C.J. Ramstad/North Shore State Trail: 146 miles

This remote and rugged backcountry trail travels through wilderness areas on Minnesota’s North Shore. It’s primarily used for snowmobiling but is open to hiking and biking and, in parts, ATV riding.
Map

Ely Area Mountain Bike Trails

Hidden Valley Recreation Area: 23 miles
Hidden Valley’s ski trails become a mountain bike paradise during the warmer months. In addition to 13 miles of wide, grassy paths, there are another 10 miles of singletrack trail. The system currently consists of five loops rated beginner to expert:
– Magic Carpet: Any level of rider. Balance of climbs and flowy downhills
– The Big Pines Loop: Scenic views as you drop into and climb out of a narrow slot canyon.
– Erratic Behavior: Good climbs, big boulders, and rock gardens with challenging terrain.
– The Outback: The most difficult and longest trail into the far corners of Hidden Valley. Great vistas, good drops, the opportunity to get some air, and rocks to climb.
– Ely Airlines: This short, one-mile trail features jumps, drops, banked turns, and other challenges.
The singletrack trail is groomed for fat biking in the winter. Hidden Valley also has a one-mile mountain biking skills course near the club chalet.
Info

Fernberg Tower Area
This area is located along Fernberg Road, east of Ely. Several county and forest roads intersect, giving an opportunity to explore the Superior National Forest, visit the hill that once held the Fernberg Lookout Tower, and visit several lakes. The route includes both gravel and natural surface trails.
More Info

Nickel Lake Area: 12 miles
This area provides rolling wooded hills, grassy bogs, and beaver dams. There is access to several isolated lakes and an abandoned granite quarry that last operated in the 30s.
More Info

Fenske Lake Area
This area has many opportunities to explore forests and logging roads. Trails cross over rolling hills and pass through spruce forests.
More Info

Grand Marais

Pincushion Mountain: 10 miles

Challenging trails with awesome Lake Superior views. Switchbacks, bridges, rock gardens, and lots of elevation changes. Groomed for fat tire biking in the winter.
Map

Grand Rapids

Forest History Center: 5 miles

Explore the Forest History Center by bike. Beginner trail through 1900s logging camp and virgin timber forest.
More Info

Legion Trails: 7 miles

Hand-built singletrack trail ranging from fast and flowing to tight, twisty, and technical. Near Grand Rapids High School.
Map

Grand Rapids to Ely

Taconite State Trail: 165 miles

The popular multipurpose trail moves through out-of-the-way forests and lakes and stretches 165 miles from Grand Rapids to Ely. It intersects with the Arrowhead State Trail just west of Lake Vermillion. Passes through Bear Head Lake State Park. Some areas may be impassable in the summer.
Map

Hinckley

Saint Croix State Park: 21 miles

Wide, grassy trail in the woods with some dirt sections on the Matthew Lourey State Trail.
Map

On the Mesabi Iron Range

Biwabik

Giants Ridge: 9 miles

Giants Ridge offers lift-served mountain biking on eight downhill gravity trails ranging from easy to expert. The Mountain Bike Park has over nine miles of purpose-built trails on rolling hills through the Superior National Forest. In the winter, 60km of the groomed ski trails are available for fat biking and the resort also offers lift-served downhill fat biking on select downhill runs.
Map/Info

Heading out on Red Head

Chisholm

Redhead Mountain Bike Park: 25 miles

A new, developing trail system on the grounds of the Minnesota Discovery Center as of June 2020. Built around a series of former mine pits, this challenging trail system has some beginner trails but is mostly for intermediate to advanced riders. Punchy climbs and descents, plenty of rock gardens, and jumps make for a great ride, while the scenery is nothing short of spectacular with its ravines, red cliffs, and views of deep, blue lakes. There’s even a waterfall crossing on Fractured Falls Trail. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter.

The goal is to eventually offer trolley rides to some of the far-out trail loops near the Glen location, a restored, historic mining village. The Discovery Center has restrooms and a restaurant.
Map/Info

Hibbing

Maple Hill Park: 4 miles

Intermediate, two-way singletrack with a dirt surface in a 133-acre city park.
Map

Virginia

Big Aspen Trail: 21 miles

The Big Aspen Trail is 21 miles in the Superior National Forest with many loop opportunities and beautiful scenic vistas. The trail is part of old logging roads and abandoned railroad grades from the Virginia and Rainy Lake Lumber Company. It is a multi-use trail, allowing mountain bikes, ATVs, horses, and in the winter, cross-country skiers.
Map

Lookout Mountain: 11 miles

The trail system has dedicated mountain bike singletrack with berms, bridges, and rock gardens in the Superior National Forest. Once you reach the top of a large hill it’s mostly rolling hills through forestland. There are a few large rock features and some challenging intermediate skill-level sections. The trails are two-way; look out for oncoming bikes and hikers.
Map

Side Lake

McCarthy Beach State Park: 17 miles

A choice of nice rides is available on the park trails and the low-maintenance St. Louis County roads inside the park boundary. Bikers can venture out of the park on the Taconite State Trail.
Map

Fun on the trail

Tofte/Lutsen

Britton Peak: 5.5 miles

Trails are intermediate to advanced with a short beginner loop. Enjoy views of the Temperance River Valley and advanced features like a rock garden and boardwalk. Connects with High Climber and Jackpot Trails.
Map

Jackpot and High Climber Trails: 16 miles

This unique ride follows the rolling ridges overlooking Lake Superior and features a machine-built flow trail with big berms, rock gardens, drops, jumps, and rock-armored creek crossings in a Wilderness setting. It’s laid out to be beginner-rated, but technical B-line options are up to the expert level. Parking is available on either end at Britton Peak Trailhead (Tofte) and Ski Hill Road Trailhead (Lutsen Mountains) and on Onion River Road.

While the trail is point-to-point, there are options for a loop ride. From Lutsen Mountains: Ride north on Ski Hill Road to Barker Lake Road, take Barker Lake Road to Honeymoon Trail (USFS 164), and head west on Honeymoon Trail to Sawbill Trail. From there, ride the pavement south to Britton Peak. Follow Jackpot and High Climber back to Lutsen. This option adds approximately 22 miles. Another option is to take the Gitchi Gami Trail. Onion River Road bisects the trail system and serves as the dividing line between High Climber to the east and Jackpot to the west.
Map

Tower to International Falls

Arrowhead State Trail: 135 miles

Approximately 69 miles of the trail are suitable for mountain biking in the summer, but there may be wet areas. Intersects with the Taconite State Trail. Mountain bikers should call the nearest Parks and Trails Area office before leaving for their destination to inquire about local trail conditions and amenities. This is a multi-use trail, including horseback riding.
Map

Two Harbors

Donald D. Ferguson Demonstration Forest: 10 miles

Easy beginner trails through boreal woods in the Superior National Forest, shared with hikers. The trail system is set to expand, with the ultimate goal of 15-20 miles. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter, skis, and snowshoes are also allowed.
Map

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park: 3 miles

Easy trail with a mix of dirt and grass shared with hikers. No singletrack. Stunning views of the Split Rock Lighthouse along Lake Superior. Can be combined with a return on the paved Gitchi Gami Trail for a 6-mile loop. The park grooms this loop and another 3 miles for fat biking in the winter.
Map

Split Rock Wilds Trail: 22 miles

The newest mountain bike trail system in northeastern Minnesota offers a challenging, point-to-point backcountry riding experience connecting the new Shipwreck Creek campground at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park with the Cove Point Lodge property. Trail conditions vary from rugged and rocky to fast and flowy and include multiple advanced and expert-level features like jumps, rock rolls, and drops. There is, however, a beginner-friendly loop near the campground.
Map

See more trails in Minnesota to shred here

Southern Minnesota’s fun mountain bike trails

In Southern Minnesota’s open prairies, meandering rivers, and stunning bluffs, find an extensive network of rugged single-track 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 Adventure you are planning, here are more than 20 trail systems to choose from.

Spring, summer, fall or winter, have fun on the trails in Southern Minnesota.

Southern Minnesota’s fun mountain bike trails

Albert Lea

Myre Big Island State Park: 7 miles

The State Parks trails are well-marked trails shared with hikers through forested hills and by Albert Lea Lake. Riders will find several beginner to intermediate-skill-level trails but limited access when wet.
Map

Austin

Schindler’s Way: 5 miles

This flat and fast singletrack system flows through forest and prairie and sweeps along the Cedar River near the Hormel Foods campus and Todd Park. Groomed for fat biking in the winter. A great beginner trail.
Map

Faribault

Caron Park: 2 miles

Beginner and intermediate singletrack loops with a dirt surface through a completely wooded area. Runs by Prairie Creek and features a natural waterfall. One interesting feature is a large erratic boulder on the intermediate loop. Trails are bi-directional.
Info/Map

River Bend Nature Center: 10 miles

This multi-use dirt and grass trail is shared with hikers and travels through hardwoods along the Straight River with scenic bluff views. Fat bikes are allowed in the winter but need to stay off groomed ski trails.
Map

Shattuck-St. Mary’s: 3 to 6 miles

The trails at Shattuck-St Mary’s are built into the side of the riverbank above the Straight River in Faribault. Hand-built, old-school singletrack traverses up one ravine and down the next. Although the trails aren’t rated as expert, fitness, and skills for riding switchbacks are key as you make your way up and down the many ravines. The trail is an out-and-back with a loop at both ends. The system is a work in progress, with about 80% built.
Map

Henderson

Ney Nature Center: 1.5 miles

Trail one is rated intermediate, and trail two is rated difficult with berms, drops, and a rock garden. Trail access is not on Ney Nature Center property but just north of the intersection of Henderson Station Road and County Road 19.
Map

Beginner to advanced natural surface trails with a beautiful view of the Des Moines River.

Jackson

Belmont Park: 5.3 miles

Beginner to Advanced natural surface singletrack under the mature canopies of Oak, Walnut, and Ash trees with a beautiful view of the Des Moines River.  Bobsled-style flow trails on intermediate and advanced portions of the trail system with plenty of switchbacks, berms, and jumps as they drop 120 feet into the river valley. The one-mile beginner trail near the parking lot is balance-bike friendly.  Other amenities are an enclosed log shelter house with a fireplace, picnic tables, outdoor grills, a bonfire area, a hand pump for water, and an enclosed pit bathroom.                                                                                                                                                 Map

Lynd

Camden State Park: 5.25 miles

The State Park offers a beginner to an advanced mixture of fire roads and singletrack rolling through hardwood forests and prairie terrain. A highlight is the 1-mile rake-and-ride trail section on top of the river valley.
Map

Mankato

Ft. LeHillier Skills Trail: 2.2 miles

A short skills-building area south of Mankato on the Blue Earth River with rollers and berms winding through the wooded river bottom contours. This is a perfect trail to get new riders acquainted with their bike. Trails are bi-directional. Located on the intersection of HWY 66 and 90 just south of Mount Kato.
Map

Kiwanis Mountain Bike Trail: 6 miles

Two single-direction loops on the Minnesota River. The short beginner loop consists of rolling, berm-filled singletrack in the bottom river land with no obstacles or challenging climbs for the novice rider.  More advanced features and options like log piles, jumps, and drops can be found on “B” lines with ride-around on the intermediate loop. A kids’ loop and skill park are accessible from the trailhead.
Map

Mount Kato: 7 miles

Mount Kato has roughly seven miles of cross-country singletrack winding through the wooded hills of their ski area for novice to expert riders.  Riders who like a challenge will enjoy the climbs and descents.
Map

Seven Mile Creek: 8 miles

Seven Mile Creek’s multi-use bi-directional trails feature little technical challenge but some climbs and descents are steep and challenging. The area transitions from the Minnesota River to grasslands in the valley, to deciduous forests on either side and up the bluffs of the creek.
Map

Northfield

Sechler Park: 1.75 miles

This park is designed to introduce beginners to mountain biking and runs along the woods on the shore of the Cannon River. Part of this system is a skills park with berms, jumps, drops, log piles, a teeter-totter, and more. Connects to Heath Creek Trail across County Road 78.
Map

Heath Creek Trail: 1 mile

Across County Road 78 from the Sechler Park Trails, you’ll find a short, more technical trail with a rock garden along Heath Creek. Great views in a densely wooded area.
Map

Fun on the trail

Owatonna

Kaplan’s Woods: 6 miles

Moderately difficult singletrack through hardwood forest in a 225-acre park setting. Some log jumps add challenges. The Owatonna Trails Association maintains six miles of the mountain bike trail and grooms for fat bikes in the winter.                                                                               Map

Red Wing

Memorial Park Trails: 12 miles

This beginner to advanced trail system has many options, with long climbs, challenging obstacles, outstanding views, and twisting singletrack. Select a ride that matches your skills and enjoy the view off Sorin’s Bluff. 7.5 miles of this system is dedicated singletrack; the rest is shared with hikers.
Map

Rochester

Eastwood Park: 7 miles

Find three easy and two intermediate trail loops by Eastwood Golf Course to enjoy. The trail system is mostly wooded, with many tight twists and turns along the Zumbro River.
Map

Gamehaven Trails: 12 miles

The Gamehaven offers five easy and two intermediate singletrack loops with scenic overlooks on Gamehaven Lake. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter.
Map

Saint Peter

Traverse des Sioux: 11 miles

This system consists of a

Rolling and winding trail through the Minnesota River bottoms.

weaving through the trees and over the undulating flood plain. The trails are bi-directional, with trail difficulty rated easy and beginner friendly. These trails have some of the area’s best views of the Minnesota River.
Map

Winona

Holzinger Lodge Trail: 7 miles

Advanced: One of Southern Minnesota’s best single-track mountain bike trails with short, steep climbs, winding curves, and excellent views of the Mississippi at Bluffside Park. Some winter trails are available.
Map

See more trails in Minnesota to shred here

The Coon Rapids 10-mile bike loop makes it easy to connect and discover

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

Named for the turbulent Mississippi River waters at the confluence of Coon Creek, the city of Coon Rapids is a fun place to explore on a bicycle. One of the nine communities in the Twin Cities Gateway, it’s a perfect destination for a bike vacation using the Coon Rapids 10-mile bike loop. Here you will find many connections to hundreds of miles of trails. The Coon Creek Trail and the Mississippi River Trail are two greenway systems here that allow you to pedal safely throughout the area. So, if you enjoy biking along rivers and creeks, we have some ideas for you, starting with the Coon Rapids 10-mile loop.

The 10-mile bike loop is fun for all levels of riders.

The Coon Rapids 10-mile bike loop

Leaving from the outer parking lot of the Muddy Cow Restaurant or a nearby hotel, the route travels in a clockwise direction. Pulling out onto Springbrook Drive, this tour safely crosses Coon Rapids Boulevard. Once across, we suggest using the paved trail that runs parallel to the street due to heavy traffic. After crossing 85th Avenue, about two miles into the loop, consider stopping at the Springbrook Nature Center.

Many roads here offer trails that parallel for added comfort and fun.

Now pedaling along the south side of 85th Avenue, at East River Road, cross the street at the stoplight and use the sidewalk on the west side, up to 85th Lane. Here enjoy the quiet neighborhood streets that connect you to the Mississippi River Trail (MRT).  At 86th Avenue, continue straight ahead on the MRT between two residences, and the real fun begins. Then, as the trail drops into the forested vegetation along the bank of the Mississippi River, it’s a whole new experience.

The visitors center here makes a great rest stop.

Following the trail along the river to the Coon Rapids Dam, you will pass several trail T’s in the park, offering more loop options. One loop in the park circles Cenaiko Lake where you will find many people fishing for trout.

The Coon Rapids Dam and Visitors Center

At the visitor’s center at the Coon Rapids Dam, you will find more information on the area and its history. The dam is another popular fishing location and a crossing point for cyclists riding the Three Rivers Trails throughout the Twin Cities Metro.

Riding across the Coon Rapids dam always offers a refreshing mist of cool air.

Turning north to Coon Creek

Riding up Egret Boulevard, you can ride in the bike lane or use the parallel pedestrian path.

Now at the Dam, the 10-mile Loop leaves the MRT and heads north out of the park on Egret Boulevard. You can ride the designated bike lane or use the pedestrian path paralleling the street on a bike-friendly road. Continuing north after crossing Coon Rapids Boulevard, at Robinson Drive, you will find the Coon Creek Trailhead. On the trail and after crossing the creek, the 10-mile loop takes a right at the trail T. If you want to add a few miles to your ride, here is another option. To your left, the trail will take you up through the Erlandson Nature Center and, further along, connects to Bunker Hills Regional Park.

The smells, sounds, and views of nature as you pedal

Now pedaling south alongside Coon Creek, enjoy the smells, sounds, and views of nature. This stretch of the trail is a tranquil wilderness setting as you pedal along the stream through the forested canopy.  After crossing over a creek bridge one more time, pass under the railroad tracks for another option. Stop for a round of bumper boats, go-karts, or miniature golf at Lilli Putt before heading east and completing the 10-mile Loop.

Enjoy the smells, sounds, and views of nature along the trail.

The trail runs parallel along Coon Rapids Extension and Boulevard for the last few miles of the route. Back at the parking lot, or your hotel, check out nearby eating establishments and plan another bike adventure in the Twin Cities Gateway Area.

Printable map and Q (cue)-sheet)

For a printable bike map of Anoka, click here

For a turn-by-turn Q-sheet of Anoka, click here

The Cedar Falls area has something for both the seasoned cyclist and novice rider.

Cedar Falls, a gateway to some of Iowa’s best bike trails

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

On my first visit to Central Iowa, I was amazed at the intricate network of hard surface bicycle trails the Cedar Falls Area offers. On this trip, I had the opportunity to
ride with several Cedar Valley Cyclists and enjoy some of the roads and trail loops in the area they often frequent. The Cedar Falls area has something for both the seasoned cyclist and novice rider. This is also a bike-friendly community perfect for the off-road cyclist (cyclocross, fat bike, mountain biking, and BMX), with several opportunities awaiting your arrival. Not to mention the wide array of historical, educational, and entertaining attractions to take in when not riding.

About Cedar Falls and the Valley Lake Trail options

The Ceder Valley Trail System offers several loops between Cedar Falls and Waterloo.

The Ceder Valley Trail System offers several loops between Cedar Falls and Waterloo.

The Cedar Valley Lakes Trail through Cedar Falls and Waterloo intertwine throughout the area – Offering over 100 miles of trails. As I discovered, some of these trails connect and meander through neighboring Waterloo for additional cycling opportunities. A Bronze Bike Friendly Community designation by the League of American Cyclists, see the Cedar Falls bike map for an overview of the vast trail systems and designated bike routes you can enjoy, as I did.

My first ride while visiting

On my first day there, before the rest of my group arrived from Minnesota, I had the opportunity to ride with Brian Will. A local realtor, Brian, is a member of the Cedar Valley Cycling Club. He volunteered to show me some of the trail loops and bike-friendly street routes used for connectivity. The first thing I noticed as we explored the trails, the majority of the trails are paved in concrete, with only a few patches of asphalt to remind me of home.  Our first adventure was on the Big Woods Lake Trail. This is a perfect trail loop for biking while viewing birds and wildlife.

Stopping at the Hearst Center For The Arts & Sculpture Garden along the trail.

Brian Will stopping at the Hearst Center for a view of the Arts & Sculpture Garden along the trail.

In the afternoon, after stopping for lunch on Cedar Falls ‘promenade’ (Main Street), we went out and rode sections of the Prairie Lakes Trail. A part of the American Discovery Trail System, we found several loops that took us into some charming and historic neighborhoods in Cedar Falls. Further along, from the trail, we viewed the agricultural test field at the University of Northern Iowa. We then stopped at the Hearst Center’s Arts & Sculpture Garden before returning to the promenade to check out the new brewery downtown.

Road Bike and Trail Touring Options

Gathering for a ride on the Promenade in Cedar Falls.

Gathering for a ride on the Promenade in Cedar Falls.

The next couple of days, with a group of my friends now in town from the Twin Cities, we joined the Cedar Valley Cycling Club on several rides. With several of their members showing up, we explored the trails and roads in the area. First, we visited Waterloo and a couple of other outlying communities. Periodically stopping to visit, they shared information on the communities Bike to Work, Bike to Play program.

Mountain Bike, Cyclo-Cross, and BMX Fun Opportunities

If you prefer the off-road side of cycling, you may be surprised at the number of mountain bike trails in the Cedar Falls and Waterloo area. They include George Wyth State Park, Katoski Green Belt, Riverview Park, Tondro Pray Bike Park, and Ulrich Park.

Tondro Pray Bike Park is your headquarters for off-road fun.

Tondro Pray Bike Park is your headquarters for off-road fun.

At the Tondro Pray Bike Park, you have several additional options along with the mountain bike trails there. The park amenities here include a: BMX/pump track, a mountain bike skills area, and a cycle cross course.

Things to do in Cedar Falls Area after your ride

For this trip, to accommodate 18 of my cycling friends from the Twin Cities, we used one of the hotels on the west side of Cedar Falls, not far from the University of Northern Iowa. Being a bike-friendly community, the AmericInn we stayed at was convenient. The hotel was only a couple of blocks, on quiet streets, to the trailhead and less than 20 minutes, by bike, to the promenade.

Cedar Falls is a great place for cyclists to gather.

Cedar Falls is a great place for cyclists to gather.

Coming off the trail, I noticed the Ice House Museum as I approached downtown, Cedar Falls. This building along the Cedar River was built in 1921. The museum houses an extensive collection of ice harvesting archives that visitors can view while learning what life was like before refrigerators.

On the promenade, you will find a wide assortment of local shops and unique restaurants that will entertain you for hours. Shops include everything: repurposed antiques; two bike shops; contemporary clothing; a cupcake shop; breweries; fair-trade artisan products from around the world; and more.

Things to do in Waterloo

The John Deere Museum offers many example of agricultural history, from household appliances to early farm equipment.

The John Deere Museum offers many examples of agricultural history, from household appliances to early farm equipment.

A 10-minute commute by car or a 30-minute train ride, Waterloo offers several more opportunities when not in the saddle. One of the must-sees when in the area is the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum. The newest exhibit here highlights the history and contribution John Deere has made to agriculture and their farm families through their nearly 100-year operation in Waterloo.

Here at the museum is a John Deere bicycle, from the 70's, displayed.

Here at the museum is a John Deere bicycle, from the ’70s, displayed.

Another option if you are into plants and flowers is the Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens. This 40-acre beauty center features an award-winning Children’s Garden, 4-acre Butterfly Meadow; a Rose Garden; a stunning day lily and Hosta collections; unique Mosaiicultures; and a 1-acre Master Gardener’s Orchard.

Check here for more attractions and museums in the area, and plan your #NextBikeAdventure to Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Through the seasons nature calls riding along the trails in Coon Rapids

Named after the creek that meanders through the area and flows into the Mississippi River, just below the dam, Coon Rapids offers a great mix of wildlife viewing spots here. Two of my favorite trail systems, especially in the spring and fall, are the Coon Creek Reginal Trail and the Mississippi River Trail below the dam. Both trail systems, when the foliage is minimal, offer some spectacular birding and wildlife viewing. In the winter months, the trails are great for fat bike riding, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing to view birds of prey and other wildlife along the waterways. Look for signs of the abundant wildlife that live in or visit the areas described below (mink, beaver, hawks, osprey, deer, turtles, and river otters, to name a few). 

Riding the trails and roads of Coon Rapids

Fun on the MRT, viewing nature, east of the Coon Rapids Dam

Herewith a great mix of paved trails and bike corridors with wide shoulders, You can navigate the city on your bike pretty easily. Just use this handy Coon Rapids bike map and take a tour of the area. It’s easy to connect from your hotel to Bunker Hills Regional Park or the Coon Rapids Dam through the Coon Creek Trail.

The Sand and Coon Creek Trails

A north/south paved nature corridor and waterway offer many viewing spots along the way. The Sand Creek/Coon Creek Trail System stretches over 15-miles from Bunker Hills Regional Park down to the Coon Rapids Dam. In Bunker Hills, you’ll find another trail system winding through beautiful prairie areas with patches of Oak Savanna forests.

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 Bunker Hills Regional Park.

 

The lower portion of the Coon Creek Trail takes you through Erlandson Nature Center and Robinson Park before reaching the Coon Rapids Dam and the Mississippi River Trail.

The Mississippi River Trail (MRT southern loop)

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 gather more information.

 

Below the Coon Rapids Dam and Park Area is another favorite of mine. Using the paved trail (MRT), you are surrounded by a mix of nature. Forests running into both prairie and wetland environments, only minutes away from the main road. The trail here is very well marked with MRT signage, so getting lost won’t be an issue. At the south end of the park, along the trail between the Dam and the riverfront neighborhoods, is a favorite haunt.

Where to eat, stay and play when visiting Coon Rapids

After exploring the trails, the next adventure is finding the perfect dining option in the Twin Cities Gateway.

The options are endless when spending time visiting Coon Rapids and the other eight neighboring Twin Cities Gateway communities in the north suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Similar to the early 1800s, when Coon Rapids was a stopping point on the Oxen Trail from the Red River Valley to St. Paul, hospitality is still key, along with its wildlife corridors, though the trails have changed. Check out their website here, and enjoy!

The Fridley 10-mile bike loop lets visitors discover the MRT

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

Named for an early settler along the east bank of the Mississippi River. Today bike-friendly Fridley, with its 10-mile bike loop, lets visitors discover art, nature, and beautiful flower gardens along the way. Here, with many cycling paths connecting to both the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) and the Rice Creek Trail, it’s easy to get around. One of the nine communities of the Twin Cities Gateway, the city of Fridley is located just north of Minneapolis and a fun place to explore. So, if you enjoy biking along the trails that Red River oxen carts once used, we have some options to explore while enjoying the Fridley 10-mile bike loop.

Fun on the Fridley 10-mile bike loop.

The Fridley 10-mile bike loop

Starting from the outer parking lot of the LivINN Hotel, (southeast corner od I-694 and Central Avenue) the Fridley route heads out in a clockwise direction. After crossing the intersection at Central Ave. drive your bike using the bike lane on 53rd Avenue for the next two miles. Now turning to the north on Main Street, once over Interstate I-694, you will pass Woodsprings Hotel. Those who would like to begin the 10-mile bike loop from this point continue north up to 61st Avenue. Here on your left, you are at the Fridley train station.

Passing through Edgewater Garden Park on the MRT.

Taking the tunnel under the RR tracks

On the east side of the Northstar-Line Fridley Station, use the elevator. Taking your bike with you down to the lower level and walk through the tunnel to the west side of the train tracks. On the main level, on the west side, the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) is right outside the door and ready for you to venture north again. An option for another day, consider boarding the Northstar Train with your bike and ride it up the Anoka, Elk River, or Big Lake, then pedal back to Fridley on the MRT. See the multi-modal train-to-trail cue sheet here.

Many roads in Fridley offer trails that parallel for added comfort.

More adventure awaits at the Locke Lake trail T

Flower gardens invite you into the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts.

Back on the 10-mile bike loop, continue pedaling north on the MRT as the trail passes through Edgewater Garden Park. A little further on, before turning into Locke Lake Park at the trail T, you have a couple more options. If you don’t mind adding some additional miles out and back, continue on the MRT to the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts. With rotating art exhibits, the art center is next to Manomin County Park. Another mile further, you will find the Springbrook Nature Center. These three community highlights can add more memorable moments to any bike ride.

Manomin County Park is on the same grounds as the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts.

Back on the 10-mile bike loop, the trail connects to the Rice Creek Trail in Locke Lake Park. Use caution as you ride your bike through this area. You will need to apply both your front and rear brakes (or walk your bike) as you descend along Locke Lake on the trail. If you are riding with others, allow extra space between each, as a few sharp turns are passing under the RR tracks next to Rice Creek as it flows into the lake. Finally, at the next T, the Rice Creek Trail runs through Fridley Community Park.

Now riding east along the Rice Creek Trail.

After crossing University Avenue, at the stoplight, resume riding east on the Rice Creek Trail. In this section between University and Highway 65, the Rice Lake Trail offers an upper and lower trail segment. The 10-mile loop uses the upper trail, as it’s a bit shorter and takes you past restroom facilities in the park before reaching the tunnel under Highway 65. After the tunnel, resume the route by taking a left at the trail T to Central Ave. If you are staying at Budget Host Hotel or desire to start the 10-mile loop from here, at this trail T take a right and head south a block to the hotel.

Turning south, ice cream may soon be an option.

The trail route now, heading south, runs parallel to Central Avenue. If you have a sweet tooth and desire a delicious Ice cream treat, turn right on Moore Lake Road into Grandpa’s Ice Cream.

The flavors here are worth stopping for.

Continuing along Central Ave, as you reach Hillcrest Drive, you have one more option to cool off. If it’s a hot day, half-mile further south is Moore Lake Park, where you will find a beach for a refreshing swim. Otherwise, take a left on Hillcrest, and the route jogs through several neighborhood streets down to Matterhorn Drive. After crossing over Interstate 694, turn right on Skywood Lane and follow the freeway border wall around to the start.

Back at the parking lot or your Fridley hotel, check out the nearby eating establishments and plan another bike adventure in the Twin Cities Gateway Area.

Printable map and Q (cue)-sheet)

For a printable bike map of Fridley, click here

For a turn-by-turn Q-sheet of Fridley, click here

The Lino Lakes 10-mile bike loop is a true Minnesota experience

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

Here it can feel like you are smack dab in the middle of northern Minnesota, especially while enjoying bike loops along the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes. A perfect place for your next bike vacation the Lino Lakes 10-bike loop and the many trail connections here are worth considering. One of nine Twin Cities Gateway communities, the Lino Lakes area supports a large Blue Heron rookery and hosts the annual Blue Heron Days Festival held in the middle of August. Regardless of when you visit, you are sure to see several species of wildlife to enhance your Minnesota experience while pedaling while biking here.

A true north experience!

The Lino Lakes bike loop is a true north experience

For the Lino Lakes 10-bike loop, the route travels clockwise and begins at the parking lot of the Hampton Inn. After pulling out from the hotel you will find a bike trail running parallel on the east side of Lake Drive. From there It’s a short distance before you are riding in the stunning Rice Creek Park Preserves. One of the largest preserves in the Twin Cities Area the Rice Creek Chain offers both paved and water trails. On the bike route, you are sure to see some of the most significant native wildlife habitat and water resources in the metro area.

The Lino Lakes Area is a family fun location.

Entering the trail system next to the Lino Lakes YMCA the trail circles the shoreline around Marshan Lake, before crossing over the Rice Creek, as it flows out of George Watch Lake. At the next trail T, the route takes a sharp left and runs parallel to the golf course road. After a sharp right curve and before the clubhouse a service road helps trail riders get over to the north shoreline of Reshanan Lake.

From a cottage community to the park it is an enjoyable ride

Passing the Reshanan Lake cottage community, soon Shadow Lake Drive disappears and trail riders are meandering past marshy areas with occasional patches of a forest while making their way to Centerville Lake. Now on E Street, at the boat landing, it’s a short distance along the service road here up to the beach area where you will find restrooms and a visitor center. Leaving the park take the trial to the entrance on Main Street. The Lino Lakes 10-bike loop heads north, but there is an option if you don’t mind adding a couple more miles. Consider taking the trails south along Main Street and visiting the charming little community of Centerville.

A few more options as the Lino Lakes 10-bike loop heads north

Wildlife viewing along the roads and trails here offers many opportunities.

Pedaling north on the trail parallel to Main Street you will cross Rice Creek again as it flows from Peltier Lake across the road to George Watch Lake. Here from the road look up to the northeast end of Lake Peltier and you can make out the Blue Heron Rookery. Soon you are passing the entrance to Wargo Nature Center. A place devoted to increasing the awareness and appreciation of natural and cultural resources. The center is located on a peninsula surrounded by George Watch Lake and offers activities, labs and equipment rental. For another outing, check out the available rental canoes and kayaks to experience the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes water trail.

Back in Lino Lakes for a cool beverage and fun

After a ride, many enjoy stopping in Lino Lakes for a cool beverage.

After crossing over 35W, on the wide shoulder, you are rolling back into Lino Lakes. As you turn onto Lake Drive consider stopping in at the Hammerhead Brewery before returning to the Hampton Inn. Back at the parking lot, check out the nearby eating establishments and plan another fun adventure in the Twin Cities Gateway Area.

Printable map and Q (cue)-sheet)

For a printable bike map of Lino Lakes click here

For a turn-by-turn, Q-sheet of Lino Lakes click here

The Blaine 10-mile bike loop can add more memories to a sporting event

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

With miles of connecting bike trails around the city of Blaine, sports fans and visitors alike will find many phenomenal sights while bicycling here. One of the nine communities of the Twin Cities Gateway this city is a perfect destination for a bike vacation tied to a sporting event. The city offers many trail opportunities surrounding the sports facilities here. So, whether you are an athlete looking for a fun way to get a pre-game workout. Or, a visiting sports fan looking for some added memories we have some ideas starting with the Blaine 10-mile bike loop.

The Blaine 10-mile bike loop can add more fun to your game visit.

The Blaine 10-mile bike loop

A perfect bicycle tour before or after a game this bike loop begins in the parking lot of the National Sports Center(NSC). The route heads south using the service road between NSC and Schwan Super Rink and passes through several parking lots south to 101st  Avenue. Traveling in a clockwise direction drive your bike south on Davenport to the stoplight at 99th Avenue and cross Highway 65. If you are staying at the Asteria Inn & Suites, on 93rd Ave, this is a great place to meet up with the 10-mile loop. it is a short 1/4-mile ride, north on Baltimore Street, from the hotel to 99th Avenue.

The Blaine 10-mile bike loo is fun for all ages.

Crossing the highway and enjoying the trails in Blaine

If you prefer staying off the streets after crossing the highway the trail that runs parallel on 99th Avenue, on the south side, for your added comfort.  On Clover Leaf Parkway, take a right and you are soon on a sequence of city trails up through several neighborhoods. For the next couple miles the route meanderers to the north. As you pedal along the trail you will pass several small neighborhood ponds where it is common to view wildlife.

Many roads here offer trails that parallel for added comfort.

At 113th Ave. the route relies on a combination of roads (with parallel trails). These quiet, low traffic city streets connect you to more neighborhood trails on the route up to Paul Parkway. The last stretch on this section takes riders through the Blaine Baseball Complex with several trail options circling the ball fields. One option, if you don’t mind adding more mileage to your ride is taking a left at the trail T to Bunker Hills Regional Park. On the 10-mile loop turn to the east on Paul Parkway where you will find a trail running parallel with the street.

A sweet tooth option at the 6-mile mark

It’s always fun when riding in the Twin Cities Gateway to stop for ice cream.

If you don’t mind adding a couple of extra miles, take a left on Ulysses Street for ice cream. It is approximately a mile, each way, that you will have to add to your total mileage, But the Big Dipper Creamery is worth the extra miles with 52 flavors to choose. For any bike service needs, while touring here, Pioneer Cycle is across Highway 65, north of Main Street.

Enjoying nature along the trail.

Continuing east on Paul Parkway the route crosses over Highway 65 and turns south on Aberdeen St, again with a trail running parallel on the west side. If you have worked up an appetite for breakfast, lunch or some pie,  Carol’s Restaurant is an option. Her homemade cooking is always a treat when I stop there!. Further south, the 10-mile loop jogs to the east and meanders past some more picturesque trail setting that takes you over a wooden bridge.

Returning back to the NSC or your hotel

After the round-a-bout at 113th, the route continues south on Club W. Parkway. For those staying at the Best Western Plus or  Fairfield Inn & Suites in Blaine, take a right on 108th Ave. The Hotel is south of Target, on the east side to Baltimore Street. If you missed the Big Dipper Creamery option, above you will find ice cream next door to the hotel. For bike touring visitors staying at Asteria Inn & Suites, on 93rd Avenue, continue south using the cue sheet link below.

The 10-mile Blaine loop continues south on Davenport, below 105th Avenue and into the National Sports Center parking lot. Back at the NSC or your hotel checkout a nearby eating establishment and plan another bike adventure in the Twin Cities Gateway Area.

Printable map and Q (cue)-sheet)

For a printable bike map of Blaine click here

For a turn-by-turn, Q-sheet of Blaine click here