Category Archives: Destinations

Pedal then Paddle Gateways Rice Creek Chain of Lakes

For a wildlife-rich experience not soon to be forgotten, pedal, then paddle, the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes up in the Twin Cities Gateway Area. With an abundance of bike trails and roads to get there, you will find several options at Wargo Nature Center once arriving. Head out with a paddle, hike, or bike the trails that meander around the chain of lakes shoreline in this mammoth park reserve in the Twin City Area.

Paddling the Twin Cities Gateway's Rice Creek Chain of Lakes is a wildlife-rich experience to remember.

Paddling the Twin Cities Gateway’s Rice Creek Chain of Lakes is a wildlife-rich experience to remember.

Rice Creek Chain of Lakes is located near the community of Lino Lakes, on the southside of Interstate 35W. Once there, Nature Center can fix you up with canoe and kayak rentals to paddle Rice Creek Chain of Lakes.  It is a bit of heaven in the north metro area. Being able to paddle out from the Nature Center on George Watch Lake is a tranquil experience.

What You Will See Paddling the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes

Through the summer and into the fall, you can paddle out from the dock at the Nature Center and connect to one lake after the next. Along the way you are sure to see occasional Leopard frogs hopping off a Lilly pad. Then, perhaps you’ll ever see a Blue Heron and Snowy White Egrets lift off as you pass by.

Hawks are common spectators to the activities as you paddle along the water trail or pedal along the bike trail in the Rice Creek Reserve.

Hawks are common spectator watching as you paddle along the water trail or along the bike trail in the Reserve.

The creek and lakes on this water trail offer excellent bird watching opportunities. And this is the perfect place for the novice paddler. Adventurers will see plenty of raptors such as egrets and herons that perch in nearby trees or forage along the shoreline. Along the way, you may see a sandpiper scampered across a sandbar.

Egrets and blue heron are also a common to see as you paddle along.

Egrets and Blue Heron are common to see as you paddle.

Maybe you’ll see a  soft-shell turtle sliding off the bank. Or maybe an eagle, osprey, or Turkey Vulture swooping down to grab its meal as a fish jumps. It’s scenic and wild at its best, right here in the Twin Cities Gateway!

 

About the Rice Creek Chain

The nearly 5,300-acre Rice Creek Chain is one of two regional parks in the Twin Cities Area that offer multiple-lake paddling. According to many who paddle this north metro chain, the mix of lake and forest vegetation makes it feel like a mini-Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The other reserve in the south metro is Lebanon Hills Park. Lebanon Hills Park is a 2,000-acre multi-lake area with only portage paths between them.

Generally on the Rice Creek Chain portaging is not necessary. The only exception is the occasional downed tree to circumvent, which normally happens in the spring. This rustic North Metro reserve has a water trail wandering through several lakes before it reaches Rice Creek. Rice Creek is a more challenging, less-traveled stretch that flows south to Long Lake. From there, it heads to the Mississippi River.

Paddlers who want a longer trip can follow Rice Creek out the northwest corner of Long Lake, in New Brighton. Here, the creek flows to the Mississippi River at Manomin Park in Fridley. The complete paddle from the Lake Peltier boat ramp in the Rice Creek Reserve to the Mississippi River is about 22 miles.

Rice Creek Reserve Rents

For canoe, kayak, and life jacket rentals, Wargo Nature Center is the place. Located on George Watch Lake, rentals can be used on: Peltier, Marshan, Rice, and Reshanau Lakes. Paddle craft rentals are available May through September, during normal hours. Here is their website for rental prices and times: https://www.anokacounty.us/874/Recreational-Rental-Equipment.  Call 651-429-8007 to check watercraft availability, lake temperatures, and water levels.

For those who want to use their own canoes or kayaks in the reserve, paddling access points include Rice Creek crossings near: Hodgson Road, Lexington Avenue, County Road I, and County Road J.

In the winter the Wargo Nature Center rents snowshoes for those who want to explore the park in a colder season.

A grassroots bike event to expand the Cuyuna Lakes trails

The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew (Crew) a chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) recently announced their upcoming grassroots fundraiser #ForCuyuna to expand the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails. The goal of the #ForCuyuna event is to raise $132,000 in one evening. A hundred percent of these dollars will be immediately matched by the Hallett Trust matching grant and be earmarked, for the design and construction of a 10-mile backcountry adventure trail in the Cuyuna Hills — Crow Wing County’s designated recreation land adjacent to the City of Cuyuna.

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Riding the red dirt of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trail, north of Crosby, MN. – photo by Aaron W. Hautala

Aaron Hautala, volunteer president of the Crew stated, “I continue to be amazed how the red dirt trails of Cuyuna have positively impacted so many individuals and businesses both near and far from the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area. This is a wonderful opportunity for citizens and businesses to invest in the continued expansion of the mountain bike trails in collaboration with the State of Minnesota.”

#ForCuyuna ― The Event, announced by the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew.

The fundraising event was first conceived by Ben Thuringer, Vice President and General Manager of Madden’s Lodge at Madden’s Resort, Brainerd, MN. Thuringer approached Hautala well over a year ago with this simple statement: “Cuyuna is a big deal for our area. At Madden’s, with our summer business, we do not have the ability to assist in maintaining Cuyuna’s mountain bike trails. However, we would like to do what we do best, host an event for Cuyuna to raise a significant amount of money for the trails.” At that moment, #ForCuyuna was born. The event was originally planned for 2015 and was placed on hold temporarily when wind storms blew through Gull Lake last July, 2015.

Hautala remarked, “When we started the #ForCuyuna fundraiser, many said we’d never raise $50,000. The good news is to date we’ve already raised over $264,000 (including match) and now we are purposefully placing the ‘fun’ in ‘fundraiser’ with the objective of raising an additional $132,000 in one night ($264,000 with the match).”

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A family riding the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trail, north of Crosby, MN. -photo by Aaron W. Hautala

These funds will complement the Legislative request for $4.2 million in bonding to complete the Master Vision. “It is meaningful to the Legislature to show this type of local support,” said Judy Erickson, Government Relations consultant to the Crew. “It is exciting to have this type of local enthusiasm for a project as we enter the legislative session.”

The #ForCuyuna event agenda will cover two days, starting on Friday, June 3rd. The event kicks off with a 7p Red Bull deck party featuring DJ Indy at Madden’s. Saturday, June 4th, the event focus shifts to the red dirt and paved trails of Cuyuna. Members of the Crew will host free-to-join group rides for all skill levels. To learn more about each mountain and paved trail group ride please visit www.ForCuyuna.com. To rent a mountain bike or paved trail bicycle in advance, please contact Cycle Path and Paddle, in Crosby at: 218-545-4545.

Saturday evening shifts back to Madden’s on Gull Lake. The evening’s festivities begin at 5 p.m. with the Minnesota Craft Beer (and Moonshine) Experience featuring tastings from Jack Pine Brewery (Baxter), Gull Dam Brewing, (Nisswa), Disgruntled Brewing (Perham) and American Born Moonshine. Also scheduled, is a one-of-a-kind silent auction, a “health-first-minded” dinner, program, and live auction. The live auction will provide guests a chance to bid on prize packages, including a vacation at Madden’s on Gull Lake, a Raleigh gravel grinder bike, Ruttger’s on Bay Lake vacation weekends, and one year of yoga lessons by Holy Yoga in Crosby. Following the live auction, Jillian Rae will provide a live concert to close out the night in “Rockin-the-Red” style.

“It’s our honor at Madden’s to be able to host this event for Cuyuna. As the mountain bike trails continue to expand, so does our entire region’s tourism economy, and more importantly, our area continues to grow as a destination for 21st-century entrepreneurs and employees. This is community economic development through trails. We are so excited to be a partner in this future,” remarked Thuringer in a news release.

Hautala closed saying, “This event marks a unique opportunity. During my 4-plus year term as volunteer president of the Crew, I’ve consistently heard how cyclists and business owners want to expand the trails. Here’s the best opportunity each of us has to take expansion into our own hands. Every dollar we raise doubles. It’s time to take action. It’s time to invest in Cuyuna.”

Tickets for the event may be purchased online; please visit www.ForCuyuna.com. The Friday Night Red Bull Deck Party with DJ Indy is $25 to attend with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the #ForCuyuna matching grant. Limited individual seats for Saturday’s #ForCuyuna – The Event are $60 per ticket; tables of 8 may also be reserved at $560. $30 from every individual ticket and $320 from every table reservation goes directly to the #ForCuyuna matching grant. Madden’s is also offering weekend ‘ride-cation’ packages where the Friday and Saturday events can be combined with overnight lodging.

Print

#ForCuyuna poster shows two days of activities starting a deck party Madden’s Resort. Then Saturday, June 4th, event rides the red dirt and paved trails of Cuyuna.

The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew is a group of local volunteers who gives back to the trails and community by hosting events, conducting trail maintenance, fundraising, and promoting trail advocacy. The Crew’s vision is to become an international, year-round, family cycling destination. To learn more about the Crew visit www.CuyunaLakesMTB.com.

Questions please contact Aaron W. Hautala, Volunteer President of the Cuyuna Lakes Trail Association at: [email protected] or 218-851-6749.

Bike Minnesota’s Salt Lake Birding Festival

With temperature predicted to be back into the 60’s, you will find the 41st Annual Salt Lake Birding event, in Western Minnesota, a fun place to explore by bike. Consider packing up the bikes and family for a spring birding weekend in the Prairie Waters Region of the state on Saturday April 23, 2016. With many birding haunts on local gravel roads, both fat and wide tired bikes work well to quietly approach and view the many species of birds returning to the area.

Bird watchers, looking out at several species of waterfall, on Salt Lake.

Bird watchers, looking out at several species of waterfall, on Salt Lake.

Volunteers will guide birders around Salt Lake, Big Stone Refuge and the lakes, wetlands, and native prairies in Lac qui Parle and southern Big Stone counties over the weekend. The event is free and open to all those who are interested – plus, no pre-registration is needed.

Each year birders will see many species of waterfowl including: Common Goldeneye and American Black Ducks. Also spotted were Snowy and Cattle Egrets and White-faced Ibis. A number of birders located Bald Eagles and Great- horned Owls on nests in the area. Also spotted were three birds that are usually found later in the year, Black Tern, Least Flycatcher and Black and White Warbler. The most unusual find was a Say’s Phoebe, the first time it’s been found by Salt Lake Birders here in Minnesota. Last year, over 90 birders found 143 different species of birds over the weekend. Check out this photo gallery, of some of the birds you may see.

A number of species of waterfowl out in front of the viewing. deck, feeding.

A number of species of waterfowl out in front of the viewing. deck, feeding.

It all happens on  Saturday April 23, at 7 a.m. meet at the Marietta American Legion, located one block west of the intersection of County Road 7 and State Highway 40 (11-miles west of Madison). Coffee, sweet rolls, juice and milk will be available for purchase. Guided car caravans will leave between 7 and 8 a.m.

At noon, stop back at the Legion for a sloppy joes and cake (available at a modest cost). And to compare notes with others a Saturday evening chicken dinner, will be available at the Sons of Norway Hall, on Highway 75, in Madison.

Reservations are necessary for dinner; please contact Julie Claflin by email at [email protected]. After dinner there will be a short program and then the species count for the day will be recorded.

Friday and Sunday birding is on your own, however you may stop by Prairie Marsh Farm for advice and directions to local sites.  See the HaveFunBiking.com  Prairie Waters Destination Page

Or

Local lodging is available at Lou’s Lodge in Madison 320-598-7518, the Vali Vu Motel in Ortonville 320-839-2558, Prairie Waters Inn in Appleton 320-289-2500, and the Country Inn by Carlson in Montevideo 320-269-8000. Free camping is available at Prairie Marsh Farm, 1770 151st Ave, Marietta, located 7 miles west of US 75 and 1.5 miles south of 212. Contact Ken Larson for more information or to reserve a camping site – home 952-595-9265, cell 612-210-8486  [email protected] Information and map at http://moumn.org/saltlake/.

MN High School Teams Compete On New Trail

Brand new to this year’s selection of great courses and tracks in Minnesota, to mountain bike on, is Austin, where the Minnesota High School Cycling Leagues second race of the season was held. With beautiful skies and perfect riding weather the 2015 – Schindler Classic on this new trail offered some cool features including an exciting elevated bridge over a narrow span of water. With a course distance of 3.2 miles the new trail also offers a mix of fast straight-aways and twisty corners. As with any newly cut track, race participants experience a few added bumps and challenges on this new course that added to the fun.

A group of boys at the starting line, ready for their race, in Austin, MN. (photo Rydor Facebook page)

A group of boys at the starting line, ready for their race, in Austin, MN. (photo Rydor Bike Facebook Page)

To see race results from this last Sunday, click here.

The Minnesota High School Cycling League was organized in 2012 to provide competitive mountain biking programs for students in grades 9 to 12. With the cooperation of local race organizers, many partners and sponsors they are able to provide a high quality mountain racing experience. They believe that mountain biking is the ‘T-Ball’ of cycling and several League alumni athletes are now racing on professional teams at events like the Tour of California and the Sea Otter Classic. Due to the rapid growth and participation, the MN League has expanded to now allow middle school aged students to race.

A group of boys out in front after riding their bikes under the start/finish line, in Austin, MN.

A group of boys out in front after riding their bikes under the start/finish line, in Austin, MN. (photo Rydjor Bike Facebook Page)

Regardless of ability level, the Minnesota League is committed to providing a positive experience for all high school and middle school aged student-athletes.

More girls riding together in their race in Austin, MN.

More girls riding together in their race in Austin, MN. (photo Rydjor Bike Facebook Page)

If you are interested in visiting Austin, MN, In addition to new mountain bike trail system, checkout their new artwork center, many wonderful restaurants, the Spam Museum soon to be open in the downtown area, or even the theater and the Rydor Bicycle Museum.

See their website here for more information on the new trail and visiting Austin, MN.

See more photos here, from Rydor Bike shop.

Las Vegas Strip By Bike

What a way to see the Las Vegas strip, then on a bike!

Highly recommended in numbers for safety reasons, for the last ten years at Interbike (the largest  bike show in North America) several hundred exhibitors and show participants have enjoyed the Bike Hugger Mobile Social. A bike ride that begins at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center parking lot and travels east for six miles with colorful, highly eclectic energy along the strip to downtown area for some eats, drinks and Vegas fanfare.

 

A couple riding down the Las Vegas Strip in the Bike Hugger Mobile Social Ride.

A couple riding down the Las Vegas Strip in the Bike Hugger Mobile Social Ride.

Presented by Mobile Social BH, New Belgium Brewing and Tern Folding Bicycles, the 10th annual Bike Hugger Ride was well attended with some participants using new bicycles off the tradeshow floor, along with many custom (some eclectic) built bikes.

A couple of us at HaveFunBiking.com were fortunate to ride some of Tern’s folding bikes designed for multi-modal touring. This gave me a chance to test ride their new folding bike, a multi-model touring model, The bike with racks (back and front) for panniers had a custom tire pump that was a part of the seat post and the bike fits into regulation check-in luggage, as well as my 6′ 2″ frame.

A spectacular show of lights as the group rides down Las Vegas Strip

A spectacular show of lights as the group rides down Las Vegas Strip

As the Bike Hugger Social Ride moved down the strip, taking a lane or two as drove their bikes in a somewhat organized group, at stoplights they visited with motorists as pedestrians on the sidewalk photographed and cheered them on.

At one of the many stop lights a rider poses with a big HaveFun smile.

At one of the many stop lights a rider poses with a big HaveFun smile.

A few miles into the ride the group spread out over a couple blocks with the DEUCE (the local bus that runs from the Vegas strip to the downtown area) a part of the unofficial parade.

Looking back, riders were spread out several blocks in back and in front of the bus.

Looking back, riders were spread out several blocks in back and in front of the bus.

Arriving in Downtown Las Vegas the destination was the Gold Spike Casino where riders received a compliment New Belgium Beer, some appetizers while enjoying the many oversized lawn games and comradery.

HaveFunBiking editor Russ Lowthian stops in front of the Gold Spike Casino and Bar where the ride ended.

HaveFunBiking editor Russ Lowthian stops in front of the Gold Spike Casino and Bar where the ride ended.

Bikes of all types and styles were ridden on this after dark social ride. They included many of the standard models manufactured and displayed at Interbike and then the custom bikes like the two shown below.

A couple of the two-wheeled customs steeds used to parade down the strip.

A couple of the two-wheeled customs steeds used to parade down the strip.

Oversized lawn games included Jenga, lawn chess and other yard games  that were enjoyed in the open air court area,  in the rear area of the Gold Spike Casino and Bar.

Enjoying food and refreshments after the ride participants tested their skills playing Jenga.

Enjoying food and refreshments after the ride participants tested their skills playing a lawn size version of Jenga.

If you are considering a trip to Las Vegas and would like to ride your bike or rent a bike while there we found several bike lanes and routes to get around town and shops to support your next bike adventure to Vegas. For more information, here is a good website [http://www.bikinglasvegas.com/cycling-blog/visiting-las-vegas/] to plan your journey.

Enjoy

Enjoy Minnesota’s “Taste of the Trail”

Each September the nine towns on the Root River Trail system host “Taste of the Trail” over three Saturdays and the area becomes a fall festival of local foods, artisan crafts, entertainment and fun. This annual experience is similar to many “Taste of …“events in many towns all over the Midwest. However, the communities along the Root River Trail, in Southeast Minnesota, focus their attention on all the delicious foods you will find while visiting the area throughout the year.

A stop in Lanesboro could prove to be tasty.

A stop in Lanesboro could prove to be tasty.

Choose a weekend or come back for all three, this multi-Saturday event along the trail is designed to show off the abundance of food and activities along the three sections of the trail system. This year, event kicks off in the towns of Lanesboro, Peterson and Whalen, on Saturday, September 12th. Working together to showcase the many food, beverages and entertainment options at the center of the trail, each town will include its own growers, producers and restaurateurs, offering complimentary samples of their products. Plus, live entertainment will be offered in all three towns as follows:   (click the following links for the latest information)

Lanesboro presents “Voices of Lanesboro,” a celebration of local music and rich history, theater and more.

Old time Norwegian cooking demonstrations in Whalan, MN.

Old time Norwegian cooking demonstrations in Whalan, MN.

The village of Whalan invites visitors to taste test many ethnic foods. With a strong Norwegian influence, it’s only natural to feature such foods as Lefse, Rommergrot, and Blood Klub. And don’t forget to visit Ernie’s Restored 1917 Gas Station and the Whalan Museum.

Some smokin' good food offered in Peterson, MN

Some smokin’ good food offered in Peterson, MN

The town of Peterson presents “A Celebration of Farm Life, while the Riff Rangers will be playing oldies at the restored Peterson Bandstand and local businesses and service organizations will have plenty of tasty food and goodies available..

Then, the following Saturday!

September 19th, the towns of Fountain, Harmony and Preston are working together to show you what the West end of the Trail system offers.

In Fountain, enjoy Tom Schramm’s Music in the Park, sampling foods and beverages from the local businesses and visiting the Fillmore County History Center & Museum.

At the far of the “Trail” in Harmony, enjoy the music of Dubious Cowgirls and display by Harmony Community Garden while savoring some of the food and beverage samples provided by the local businesses there.

“Hooked on Preston” enjoy the area’s Rutabaga Brothers, while enjoying some of the tasy sample offered by the local merchants here. And don’t forget to visit the National Trout Center with a fly fishing course.

A family of cyclists taking a break in Harmony enjoying the tasty samples.

A family of cyclists taking a break in Harmony enjoying the tasty samples.

And there is still more!

Houston, Rushford and Rushford Village cap off this year’s “Taste of the Trail” on Saturday, September 26th. Working together these three communities will show you what the East end of the “Trail” system has to offer.

In Houston, fun continues at the Trailhead Park where you’ll find samples of local food, arts, and activities that you can enjoy and take home. Learn to make your own balloon animals and see the Parade of Owls. Don’t forget to pick up your “passport” with a list of participating businesses offering more samples and a chance to win a major prize!

Arriving in Rushford, make your first stop at the Historic Depot–the community’s trailhead on the Root River State Bike Trail. After sampling some of the garden treats of Rushford Village, pick up a map of the local businesses here offering samples, like lefse and local cheeses.

A fun photo opp. along the Root River Trail.

A fun photo opp. along the Root River Trail.

All Taste of the Trail activities are sponsored by Root River Trail Towns, founded in 1988, and now a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the continued betterment and well-being of the Root River State Trail System.

See the HaveFunBiking At-A- Glance info for an area map and lodging information when planning a visit to the Root RiverTrail Towns.

Minnesota’s Newest Mountain Bike Trail is Ready to Rock

photos forwarded on from coach Spencer Salm­on

In preparation for the 700 high school students coming to compete on mountain bikes and in dedicated to Dick Schindler, Austin, MN new trail is ready for the challenge. Each year the Minnesota High School Cycling League schedules several statewide NICA-sanctioned races to provide student athletes an arena in which to set and accomplish competitive goals while achieving their personal best. With a new team created last year in Austin, the community came through this summer building a trail system where local residents and visitors could enjoy the sport.

A volunteer putting the finishing touches on a bridge so riders can start breaking in the new trail system in Austin, MN.

A volunteer putting the finishing touches on a bridge so riders can start breaking in the new trail system in Austin, MN.

Now that the trail is complete, a call out has been made to help “ride the trail in,” for the meet in Austin on September 20th. and the Austin Team will be able to practice on their “Home Trail” in preparation for the 2015 schedule listed below:

Race #1 – Sun. Sept. 13 Jail Trail, St. Cloud, MN

Race #2 – Sun. Sept. 20 Trail TBD, Austin, MN

Race #3 – Sun. Oct. 4 Game Haven, Rochester, MN

Race #4 – Sun. Oct. 11 Cuyuna Lakes Trail, Cuyuna Lakes, MN

Race #5 – Sun. Oct. 25 Mt. Kato, Mankato, MN

Mountain bikers checking out the new trail in Austin, MN.

Mountain bikers checking out the new trail in Austin, MN.

“It was a great accomplishment,once the land was approved for development, to build such a trail in a little over one month”, according to Austin’s coach Spencer Salm­on. “Volunteers and community response has been nothing short of amazing. It is indeed a tribute to our friend Dick Schindler”.

“Some of the resi­dents want­ed to build trails 10 years ago, ”but it nev­er got the city’s sup­port”, Salm­on said. “This year, once it be­came known kids were going to be com­pet­ing, a plan was quick­ly put to­gether and four miles of new moun­tain bike track were built on land owned by Riverland Community College”.

Some of the other volunteers checking out the new trail in Austin, MN.

Some of the other volunteers checking out the new trail in Austin, MN.

Dick Schindler, a retired Mayo Clinic Doctor and local resident was a big advocates for building the trail in Austin, however, he passed away earlier this year on one of the trail sections he wanted to see developed.

If you are interested in visiting Austin, MN, In addition to new mountain bike trail system, checkout their new artwork center, many wonderful restaurants, the Spam Museum soon to be open in the downtown area, or even the theater and the Rydor Bicycle Museum.

See their website here for more information on the new trail and visiting Austin, MN.

Fun Bike Pic – July 31, MRT

Rohanda and Jim Victorsen look on, with a grin, as Jen Pacyga waves (front right) as she prepares to dip her wheel into the Headwaters for the ride of her life (May of 2012), on the Mississippi River Trail (MRT).

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking, hope you enjoy the photo?

Now, rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As we search and post more fun photos worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted to help you find your next adventure. Then, if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, next to the route you regularly commute, or at an event you plan to attend with your bike, be prepared to smile. You never know where camera will be and what we will posted next!

Do you have a fun photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us publish? If so, please send it our way and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to [email protected] with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be at least 620 pixels wide for us to post. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please reference our blog and the annual bike guide to find your next adventure. We are proud of the updated, at-a-glance information, and maps we are known for in the Destination section of our website. Now, as the Bike/Hike Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of bicycle tourism information available for mobile device. Plus, beginning September 2015, this year’s e-version of the Guide will move to quarterly editions where you may see some additional bike pics posted.

 Bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure – we may capture you in a pic to post!

Bike Getaway, Stillwater on the St. Croix

Above, riders enjoying the Browns Creek Trail as they roll into Stillwater, MN,

This week the HaveFunBiking Bike Getaway Contest spotlights Stillwater, the 1848 Birthplace of Minnesota, located on the scenic St. Croix River. A bike friendly destination where, when not pedaling, see paddleboats, riverboats and gondolas glide over the water while enjoying unique shopping, dining and entertainment experiences surrounding the new Brown’s Creek Trailhead. A great starting point for many bicycling opportunities, Stillwater is located on the eastside of the Twin City Metro Area and 30 minutes from Downtown St. Paul.

Biking in Stillwater, on the hill, at the corner of Fourth Street S. next to Chilkoot Cafe & Cyclery.

Biking in Stillwater, on the hill at the corner of Fourth Street S. and Churchill Street W. next to Chilkoot Cafe & Cyclery.

Along with the new Brown’s Creek trail that connect to the Gateway Trail, touring cyclists will find hundreds of miles of low traffic, scenic roads meandering in and out of the river valley here in Washington County and over the Lift Bridge into Wisconsin’s countryside. When not riding other fun activities include: birding, hiking, paddling or just hanging out in Stillwater, along the river.

This Bike Getaway highlights a prize package you can build on. It begins with a complimentary one-night stay for two, at Water Street Inn, located in the historic downtown Stillwater area on the river near the remarkable Lift Bridge and bike trail.

Also included in this package for two:

  • St. Croix River Cruise on the St. Croix Boat & Packet, lunch included
  • Dining at The Dock Cafe, recently voted the Twin Cities Best Restaurant on the Water
  • Stillwater was the site of Minnesota’s first prison. Enjoy a free tour, for two, of the original 1800s home of the Prison Warden, by the Washington County Historical Society, and Warden’s House Museum, right at the start of the bike trail
  • Then quench your thirst at the newest craft beer brewery in town, also near the bike trail, on Main Street. Here enjoy a Rock Star Flight (every beer on tap) and two Maple Island Brewing pint glasses to take home.
Map of the Browns Creek and Gateway Way Trails.

Map of the Browns Creek and Gateway Way Trails.

Other fun opportunities to check out while staying in Stillwater:

The winner of this Stillwater Getaway Package will be selected from our HaveFunBiking e-Database on Tuesday, August 18th.  If you haven’t subscribed, please register now for our weekly drawings and the HaveFunBiking e-Newsletter by clicking here.

About Stillwater and the St Croix Riveand Churchill Street W.r Valley

The City of Stillwater is a popular spot for active individual’s using the new Brown’s Creek paved trail system when visiting. A charming historic town built from its early lumber and river e-commerce days, this bike friendly community is a half hour drive from the St. Paul, located on the St Croix River, bordering Wisconsin. The bike trail here gradually follows the Brown’s Creek Valley out of town and intersect with the Gateway Trail that you can ride all the way into St Paul. Staying in Stillwater, enjoy the historic downtown area where it’s easy to find a delicious place to eat or stop after a ride to enjoy an ice cream treat. If water sports (fishing or paddling) are also your thing, extend your stay for more fun on the water. With more than 15 lodging properties (B & B’s, Historic Inn’s, Hotels and House/Lodge rentals it’s easy to make Stillwater your vacation headquarters and waking up to the relaxing sounds of an occasional riverboat whistle. For more information about Stillwater and its many options, see: DiscoverStillwater.com.

About the Bike Getaway Contest

If you like the bike map’s in the HaveFunBiking.com “Bike/Hike Guide” Minnesota edition, here is your chance to win a Getaway Package to one of the bike friendly areas we showcase. Each week, starting June 2nd, we will draw an email address from our e-subscriber database. The selected winner will then be informed they have won a Bike Getaway Package to one of our bicycle friendly destinations highlighted the previous week. The last drawing will be held on September 28th, for a Fahrlander Fitwell Bike.  Just registering here to win, it’s simple and no cost to you.

Congratulations to Hannah Berg, of North Carolina who won our HaveFunBiking Getaway Contest Package to Peterson, Minnesota on the Root River Trail.

*   Please note all our e-database subscribers’ email addresses are used strictly for the HaveFunBiking.com’s e-Magazine and contests and will not be sold to any third party venders.