Category Archives: Destinations

Biking around Hastings new 10-mile Scenic Circuit loop describes the route that follows along both the Mississippi and Vermilion rivers for all ages and skill levels

Hastings 10-mile trail loop allows riders scenery along two rivers

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

Biking along the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) is just one of the many fun opportunities cyclists can enjoy when visiting Hastings, MN. As this historic river town expands its bicycle infrastructure, I had to return to Hastings last fall to check out the completed 10-mile trail loop.

Dubbed the “Scenic Circuit,” cyclists of all ages and abilities find this scenic trail loop along the Vermilion and Mississippi rivers breathtaking. Cyclists will discover many unique points of interest in the city parks and trails along this dual river trail system. For those who would like to add a few extra miles to this Scenic Circuit Loop, it’s easy following the MRT to Schaar’s Bluff and beyond. See the Hastings HaveFunBiking map for more options.

Starting in Historic Hastings

The old mill ruins from 1857 to 1894 produced high quality flour under the name "Belle of Hastings."

At the old mill ruins, high-quality flour was produced from 1857 to 1894 under the name “Belle of Hastings.”

Starting our ride in the historic Hastings Downtown Area, we found plenty of parking options when arriving. We used the city parking lot, under the Highway 61 bridge, as a gathering place to start our ride. It’s a short walk, after you get back, to walk along 2nd Street (the city’s downtown main street) for a snack or meal. We choose to ride the Scenic Circuit counter-clockwise for this review, leaving from Levee Park on the MRT.

Following the Mississippi River Trail out of Hastings

Just west of downtown Hastings, this metal sculpture was made from materials collected from the river clean up.

This metal sculpture was made from materials collected from a river clean-up just west of downtown Hastings.

In the first few miles of riding the trail through Jaycee Park, we enjoyed an aerial show of several Bald Eagles. Then the art along the river was also interesting. Several markers explain the river’s history, and one marker explains the river clean-up project several years prior. The giant dragonfly (above) was made from different metals dredged from the river under the Clean Water Act. Further along the Scenic Circuit, the trail passes by U.S. Lock and Dam 2. Here it’s always fun to stop and watch boats of all sizes move through the locks from the viewing platform.

The trail running along the back water here is a perfect place to view wildlife and and other bird species that frequents this area.

The trail along the backwater is a perfect place to view wildlife and other bird species that frequents the area.

Before leaving the river bottom, another highlight was pedaling along the picturesque causeway before climbing out from the river’s bank. At the top, for those who would like to add a few more miles, Schaar’s Bluff and the new trail out to Dakota County’s Spring Lake Park is an option (See below for more miles to Schaar’s Bluff and Spring Lake Park). To continue along on the 10-mile Scenic Circuit, riders should take a left, crossing Nininger Road, and then follow the city trail south, down Pleasant Drive.

From the Mississippi to the Vermilion River

Now on the western side of Hastings, the Scenic Circuit jogs a little further west along 4th Street, from Pleasant Drive – then heads south on the wide paved shoulder of General Sieben Drive. After crossing Highway 55, those who need a sweet treat will find Culvers on the corner. Continuing south, the route turns east onto River Shore Drive. Then, in about an eighth-mile, watch for the trail to cross the road and head north to Northridge Drive. There you should take a right and continue east on the Circuit Loop.

These cyclists enjoyed a perfect day to ride Hastings 'Scenic Circuit'.

These cyclists enjoyed a perfect day to ride Hastings ‘Scenic Circuit’.

At Pleasant Drive, take a right; the trail follows the road south to the Vermilion River. On the east side, pick up the trail that flows with the river back into Hastings after crossing the bridge. You will soon discover why this section of the trail is such a popular part of the MRT.

Along the Vermilion River

Biking and rollerblading Hastings "Scenic Circuit is perfect for all ages and skill levels.

Biking and rollerblading, the “Scenic Circuit is perfect for all ages and skill levels.

As the Vermilion River flows swiftly to the east, the trail along this scenic stretch of river offers nature lovers a peaceful ride through serenity. From here, cyclists and walkers alike will enjoy the two underpasses, one on County Road 46/47 and the second one at U.S. 61, to stay away from traffic. After passing under Highway 61, the Scenic Circuit is now entering Vermilion Falls Park.

Vermilion Park

As you cross over the Vermilion River you will notice all the padlocks attached to the railing.

As you cross over the Vermilion River here, you will notice all the padlocks attached to the railing.

Riding into the park, at the first trail intersection, you can park your bike and walk about 100 feet to view Vermilion Falls. Continuing east and taking a left at the trail’s “T,” you are now on the bridge where it’s easy to view the falls overhead as it cascades towards the Mississippi River. You will also notice all the padlocks on the bridge’s railing.

No one knows exactly when, why, or who started this European trend in Hastings. But this romantic ritual has become very popular, with hundreds of locks attached to the fence on the old railroad bridge that is now a part of the Scenic Circuit trail. The practice invites lovers to hang a padlock on the bridge and toss the key into the water below. For now, the city parks department finds the trend touching and plans to leave the public love notes (locks) alone as a wall of art.

Another historic option to check out is Old Mill Park, about an eighth mile ahead. Here is another opportunity to park your bike and walk down to the old mill ruins and maybe hike one of the many trails along the Vermilion River.

The trail crosses the railroad tracks from Mill Park and continues north towards Downtown Hastings. At the next split in the trail, riders should take a right and then follow the MRT signs back to the downtown area for some fun.

Enjoy Historic Downtown after your ride.

Over the last few years, downtown Hastings has been going through what many call a “Riverfront Renaissance.” With events scheduled throughout the spring, summer, and fall, the historic main street atmosphere is the perfect place to end your ride. Stop to shop, dine or stroll along the Mississippi River Trail next to the Scenic Circuit  Loo. After our ride, we found several options for cool refreshments and dinner downtown. You can find more options in our At-A-Glance article.

If you didn’t bring your bike along, Hastings has a bike-share program. The Zagster bike station is located under the bridge on 2nd Street, and you will need a credit card to activate the locking system to the cycle you wish to ride,

More miles to Schaar’s Bluff and Spring Lake Park.

Returning back to Hastings from Schaar's Bluff its approximately 6-miles.

Returning to Hastings from Schaar’s Bluff, it’s approximately 6 miles.

The trail loop also connects to several neighborhood parks and the Mississippi River Regional Trail. Known by many as the “hidden jewel” of the Upper Mississippi River Valley, view some spectacular scenery along the way as you pedal along. Riding out to Schaar’s Bluff adds around 12 miles.

This newly completed section of the Mississippi River Regional Trail offers cyclist an occasional view of the river, bridges that cross deep ravines, prairie flowers that border along limestone bluffs.

This newly completed trail offers cyclists an occasional view of the river, two new bridges that cross deep ravines, and prairie flowers that border limestone bluffs.

If you choose to ride out to Dakota County’s Lower Spring Lake Park Reserve and cross the two new bridges on this trail, it will add an extra 8 miles and is well worth the extra effort, with the Bison now there!

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, 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.

Explore Minnesota’s bike skills parks and pump tracks

Visiting a bike skills park (also known as a pump track) in Minnesota is a fun and easy way to improve the technical skills needed to make riding more enjoyable. But how many of us have learned to ride a bike instead of merely staying upright and confidently moving forward without falling?

By engaging in some essential cycling tips at a bike skills park or pump track, you’ll not only have a greater appreciation for your bike. You will also improve your skill level to enhance your riding ability, especially on a mountain bike trail. These parks consist of a circuit course of rollers, banked turns (berms), and other features designed to improve a rider’s skill level. The term “pumping,” by up and down body movements, generates momentum instead of pedaling or pushing. It was initially designed for the mountain bike and BMX scene, and now, due to concrete constructions, it is also used by skateboarders, roller skaters, and other similar activities. Pump tracks are relatively simple and cater to various rider skill levels. Here in Minnesota, you will find many options listed below for bike skills parks.

A pump track at a bike skills park adds to the fun.

Fun bike skills parks and pump tracks to improve your skills

Biwabik Little Giants Skills Park

The Little Giants Skills Park is designed for learning by exposing new riders to the varied terrain of mountain biking in an approachable setting. The four distinct trails offer berms, rollers, rock gardens, wooden features, small tabletop jumps, and gentle drops, allowing cyclists to grow their confidence riding various obstacles. Many park features here offer a ‘ride-arounds’ that enables riders to mix and match to suit their ability level while providing opportunities to try and test new skills individually.

Buffalo Trapper’s Pond Bike Skills Park

This family-friendly skills park winds through a wooded lot on trial with several ramps to test skills, with bypass options.

Chaska Lions Park Pump Track

The Lions Park Pump Track is s a circuit of dirt rollers, berms, and jumps that loops back on itself. The track here is a fun and easy way to learn the skills needed for better mountain bike handling.

CohassetTioga Recreation Bike Skills Park

Tioga Rec Area has over 20 miles of professional, machine-built cross-country and downhill flow trails. There are trails for every level of rider, including kid-friendly skill-building loops.

Bike skills and pump tracks are fun for all ages.

Cottage GroveCottage Grove Bike Park

The park is a 3-acre urban-style bike skills park open from dusk till dawn that includes a 4x track, pump tracks, two mountain bike skills areas, dirt jumps, and a tot track!

CrosbyCuyuna Pump Track

Cyclists of all ages, beginners, and advanced levels are welcome to conquer Cuyuna’s 2,000-foot-long Lee McCormack (nationally renowned bike pump track designer) designed pump track. The facility includes three tracks (tailored for beginners, intermediate and expert riders.

Detroit LakesDetroit Mountain Skills Park 

A kid-friendly pump track park for those looking to improve their mountain or BMX bike skills when in the Detroit Lakes area.

DuluthSpirit Mountain Skills Park

A perfect park for a first-time riding any “downhill” trail system is to go for a lap or two in their Skills / Jump Park located above the bottom terminal of our Express Chairlift. There are trails with all levels of difficulty in this skills park. Start easy on their pump track to learn how to ride berms and rollers. Then, when you feel ready, practice on some of the park’s berms, jumps, drops, and more. The Skills Park is a great way to get a feel for the downhill trails before moving on to the lift.

The Lebanon bike Skills Park

EaganLebanon Hills Skills Park

Located next to the trailhead parking lot, Lebanon’s skills/terrain park is great for kids. The practice area features varying levels of skinnies, rollers & jumps, berms, and rock sections to practice improving your technical ability. Each segment of the Skills Park and all mountain bike trails are marked using the IMBA Trail Difficulty Ratings System to inform riders of technical difficulties.

Eden PrairieRound Lake Bike Skills Park

The newest addition to the park is a bike skills playground. The bike skills course is available seasonally in a hockey rink and provides a fun rider of all ages and levels. There are nine features to explore, including ramps, beams, and rumble strips.

Bike skills are fun!

HutchinsonTartan Terrain Skills Park

Tartan Park is located within the town limits and is a skills park that caters to beginners and advanced. With many features crammed into a half-acre footprint, this is a fun place for riders to improve their skill level.

Inver Grove HeightsVista Pines Park

New in 2022, the new family-friendly skills and mountain bike park offers many fun challenges to build on a person’s skill set.

The perfect place to develop those lifelong bike skills.

LakevilleWest Lake Marion/Casperson Park Pump Track

Info: A single-track trail system with a new skills area was completed in the Fall of 2020. There are some bigger jumps on one side, but overall the park is kid-friendly and perfect for beginners.

MankatoKiwanis Mountain and Skills Park

At the Kiwanis Recreation Area trailhead, you will find a skills/terrain park with many wooden features and teeters, and a beginner/kids loop around these features.

Bike skills parks are fun for all ages.

MinneapolisBryn Mawr Park Skills Park 

This small skills area in Theodore Wirth Park is slightly more advanced than the other skills parks in the Twin City metro. The park area offers three skill-level loops making this an excellent spot for any rider to develop their skills. This is one of four bike skills systems in Minneapolis. Trail Map

MinneapolisNokomis Bike Skills Park

Located at 2401 E Minnehaha Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN, This small bike park offers kids eight wooden features on an old tennis court. This is one of four bike skills systems in Minneapolis.

North MinneapolisPerkins Hills Park Pumptrack

It is located at 300 34th Ave. N, Minneapolis, MN, you will find an asphalt pump track. This is one of four bike skills systems in Minneapolis.

Perfect for the first time out on a balance bike.

Northeast MinneapolisNortheast Skills Park

Located at 1615 Pierce St NE, Minneapolis, MN, this skills park is also on an old tennis court. With wood track features low to the ground, this is an excellent place for kids to build confidence. This is one of four bike skills systems in Minneapolis.

Northeast MinneapolisThe Factory

It is temporarily closed and looking for a new location.

PlymouthPlymouth Pump Track

This pump track is the first of its kind in Minnesota. The skills area consists of 210 feet of looped track with waves and berms for bicyclists or skateboarders to use their body weight and gravity to propel themselves. The pump track accommodates bicycles of all sizes, skateboards, rollerblades, and scooters.

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Richfield – Taft Park Skills Track

This new bike skills park offers several off-road bike features, including berms, rollers, and jumps in the pump track setting. The center of the track features sloped wood decking obstacles perfect for tots to learn. The track is located on the west side of Taft Park at 62nd Street and Bloomington Avenue,

Roseville – Autumn Grove Youth Pump Track

This track is small (roughly the size of a tennis court). It only has small hills and turns and is perfect for children aged two to nine.

New UlmSkate and BMX Park

Both parks are free and open to the public, with BMX Park use limited to May through September. Inline skaters or skateboarders may use the skate park.

This rider tests her skills riding the berms.

WoodburyCarver Lake Skills Park

The bike park playground is located at Carver Lake Park in the open field area just off the main park entrance road. The bike park playground has four designated areas to provide a complete progression of riding and learning, including a tot track, pump track, and an advanced skills loop with technical trail features. The advanced trail loop includes dirt rollers, wooden berms, wooden technical trail features, and rock gardens.

No matter your age, these bike skills parks will help make that next adventure more enjoyable.

Waconia is a family friendly bike destination a few minutes west of Minneapolis.

Bike Waconia and discover all its many lakeside attractions

by Andrew Ellis

Visiting Waconia with your bike, you will find a charming lakeside community with uptown pizzazz. The area around Waconia offers many fun bike-friendly adventures on the trails and roads there. Nestled along the southern shores of Lake Waconia in Carver County, the area boasts many year-round activities, including; sailing, boating, fishing, water skiing, and swimming, to name a few other recreational opportunities when not touring around on your bicycle while visiting.

The town’s tourism draw was sparked in 1884 when Coney Island, in the middle of Lake Waconia, was turned into a resort. A future planned park area there in a few years, today the mainland has become very popular as a resort community to take its place. Its friendly parks, streets, and nearby trail make it easy to explore all of Carver County.

More About Bike-Friendly Waconia

The warm, welcoming community of Waconia is located less than 45 minutes west of the Twin Cities. Its lakes and surrounding wildlife help make the town a relaxing locale for tourists from all over.

To describe the town as “bike-friendly” may be an understatement. Most of its streets cater to those who prefer pedaling their way around, exploring the area much easier. You can visit one of its several lakes, or immerse yourself in the town’s history. There are also many locally-owned shops to browse and restaurants to satisfy your appetite.

Riding Options When Visiting Waconia

The area has plenty to offer those who prefer to get around by bike. There’s access to trails that take you beyond the town’s border and bike-friendly county roads that allow you to explore everything the town has to offer. There’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Dakota Regional Trail

The northern part of the town has access to the Dakota Regional Trail. Part of the Three Rivers District, you can actually ride it all the way to Wayzata. The paved trail’s Waconia section will take you through its neighborhoods and wildlife. You’ll also get a nice sneak peek at Lake Waconia.

Carver Park Reserve

The park, managed by the Three Rivers District, provides access to the Lake Minnetonka LRT Trail. It’s another trail that can take you beyond Waconia if you wish for a longer ride.

Road Bike Touring

If you don’t want to stick to the trails, then you’re in luck; the town is full of bike-friendly roads that allow for almost limitless exploration. It also has plenty of shops, restaurants, history, and more to fill an entire weekend.

An At-A-Glance Look at Waconia

Be sure to check out our At-A-Glance Waconia Article for more details on where to stay, play, and explore for your hand-held devices. As this story and the At-A-Glance Article are mobile-friendly for your convenience, have fun!

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


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.


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.


Stahl’s Lake Park: 3 miles

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


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.


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.

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.

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.

Plum Creek – River Bluffs Regional Park: 3 miles

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

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


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


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.


Hayes Lake State Park: 5 miles

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

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.

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.

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.


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.

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).

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Saint Croix State Park: 21 miles

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

On the Mesabi Iron Range


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.

Heading out on Red Head


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.


Maple Hill Park: 4 miles

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


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.

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.

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.

Fun on the trail


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.


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.

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


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


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

Fun on the trail


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.


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.

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.

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.


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.

See more trails in Minnesota to shred here

Anoka’s Halloween makes a fun setting for a fall trail ride

by Russ Lowtian,

With Halloween just around the corner, Anokw offers many fall trail riding options in and around the city, see the video. The charm of this riverfront community is everywhere that you turn, especially the last week in October. One of ten towns of the Twin Cities Gateway, Anoka is the Halloween Capital of the World and offers a vast network of bike-friendly roads and trails. A perfect place to start your ride is the park alongside the confluence of the Rum River as it meets the Mississippi River. Here it’s easy to explore with your bicycle. To discover Anoka’s history and attractions in the historic downtown area.

A great destination for the whole family riding the trails and bike friendly roads in the Twin Cities Gateway.

A great destination for the whole family riding the trails in the Twin Cities Gateway.




A fall trail ride, especially around Halloween, is fun

Along with the many paved trails to ride in the area, the history and Halloween decor are several reasons why you should consider visiting Anoka in the fall. Stop by the local Chamber or call and ask about the festivities surrounding the week of Halloween.

Each October, planning a fall trail ride here adds to the fun

Anoka has many happenings throughout the year that you’ll want to check out. But in the fall, the most memorable event is the Anoka Halloween celebrations, where you will find spooktacular events, in late October.

Known as the Halloween Capital of the World, the city brings out all the stops with everything from the largest pumpkin contest to a scavenger hunt. There are also two main parades: Light Up the Night and the Grand Parade, which takes place the last Saturday before Halloween.

The finale of the Halloween Capitol of the World is the Grand Day Parade - the largest in the state.

The finale of the Halloween Capitol of the World is the Grand Day Parade – the largest in the state.

Area trail to explore any time of the year

Riding the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) into Anoka.

Riding the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) from Elk River, back into Anoka.

Two major trails in Anoka are the Rum River Trails and the Mississippi River Trail (MRT).  Looking at the Anoka Bike Map here provided by the Twin Cities Gateway. The Rum River Trail offers a scenic view of the river and several historic artifacts as the paved trail passes through the downtown area and connects to the MRT. Along ‘Old Man River’ are connections to the Mississippi River Trail on both sides.

Expand your options with a multi-modal tour

If you are staying in the area for a few days, consider a multi-modal tour. Board the Northstar Train, with your bike, to a station upstream or below along the MRT and ride your bike back. Just buy a ticket and hop on board. The train will drop you off close to the Mississippi River Trail, so you have plenty of time to ride your bike back to Anoka.

Returning to Anoka, check out some dining establishments to fuel your body for your next ride. Here are a couple of my favorites before, after, or in between a rides.

Hans’ Bakery

The bike ride to Hans’ Bakery, about a mile south of the downtown area, will excite your sweet tooth with a delicious assortment of legendary pastries.

With many specialties, another well-known favorite is the Texas Donut. The name speaks for itself and comes in a couple of different versions. No political jokes here, but it is larger than most peoples’ hands.

Avant Garden

This little cafe tucked into the historic downtown area is a great place to stop by if you’re looking for a supreme coffee fix that is local. This establishment has everything you would want from a popular cafe too. In addition, to their own unique daily sandwich options, your selection can be enjoyed with a Coke from a glass bottle, making it extra special!

Historic homes to see while visiting Anoka

Ticknor Hill Bed and Breakfast, in the Twin Cities Gateway

Each year, in mid-summer, the Anoka Heritage Home & Garden tour will take you on a very memorable journey covering Anoka’s history. At a time when the gardens are in their prime. For a fall visit, ride your bike south of the downtown area into the historic Slabtown, Whiskey Flats, Swede Town, or Fireman’s Grove neighborhoods. Many homes in the area are decorated with Halloween decor, like the Ticknor Hill Bed and Breakfast, The Woodbury House is home to the Mad Hatter Restaurant and Tea House. These are just a few of the historic treats that will tease you to come back and explore the area again.

So come and discover Anoka’s hallowed history, food, and bike-friendly attributes for your next adventure. You will find plenty of lodging opportunities in the Twin Cities Gateway to make your stay memorable.

With record attendance the first few days of the 2018 Minnesota State Fair, using a bicycle to get there can reduce the hassle factor out of visiting the fair. Plus, it is also a great way to burn-off those extra calories from all of the fun things to eat on a stick.

Bike to the Minnesota State Fair, less hassle!

It is time to start planning your visit to this year’s Minnesota State Fair and using your bicycle to get there is a comfortable way to get there. If you plan on attending this year’s ‘Great Minnesota Get-together, bicycle parking is still free. Ride your bike from home or do a multi-modal commute to the fair. Load your bike on your car or use the Metro Transit Bus and park a few miles away and ride to one of the fair’s bike corrals. Commuting by bicycle can take the hassle factor out of your annual visit. Plus, it is a great way to burn off some of those calories from all the fun things you can eat on a stick.

The fair starts August 24th this year and runs through Labor Day, September 4th. So there is plenty of time to go; plan your mode of transportation to get there and what you will see.

Three hassle-free bike corrals at the Minnesota State Fair

Riding your bike to the Fair, cyclists can choose between three secure bike corrals to park their bicycles while visiting. As in the past, riding your bike to the fair can be fun and reduce the hassle of traffic congestion getting there. Each day, those who commute by bicycle to the fairgrounds will find three (3) secure bike locations from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. They are located at:

North Bike Lot: Hoyt-Snelling Gate (#2)

West Bike Lot: Randall Ave-Buford Gate (#16)

South Bike Lot: Como-Snelling Gate (#6) is a popular location. (This bike corral fills fast, so if it is not too inconvenient, plan your route to one of the two above locations.)

Here is a map from the MN Pollution Control Agency showing the best bicycle routes to ride your bike comfortably to the fair.

Bike-related things to do and see at the Minnesota State Fair

The Shoe Clip Light is an ideal item bike commuter safety
The Shoe Clip Light is an ideal item for bike commuter safety
Now that you are at the fair walking around, you can think about what you might want to purchase. Maybe a shoe clip light so you are more visible when out riding at night? You will find out more about where to purchase this item and other fun things on the free Minnesota State Fair App at the Google Play store.

Check out the Eco-Building for the latest in sustainability

At the Minnesota State Fair, check the latest in environmentally friendly exhibits, like the e-bikes, in the Eco Progress Center.

Need a new Minnesota Bike Map? In the Education Building, look for the Minnesota Department of Transportation booth, where you will find the latest maps free of charge.

Like parades?

At the Minnesota State Fair parade, it’s fun to see the uni-cyclists riding among the floats and marching bands. Each day at 2 p.m. on Cosgrove Street, you can watch the Minnesota State Fair Parade. If you are lucky, you might see the Twin Cities Unicyclists Club performing.  These single-wheeled bicyclists always do some fun tricks as they pedal along the parade route. As the parade ends near the Eco Progress Center, you can check out the latest exhibits in environmentally friendly living.

Fun foods at the Minnesota State Fair to try


You will find plenty of fun foods at this year’s Minnesota State Fair. Every year there are many fun and wacky foods and entrees to try at the fair. This year is no exception; looking at the latest published list of new foods to try. Items that have caught my attention includes: the “All Quaked-Up Sandwich,” the vegan “Earthslider,” Breakfast Gnocchi,” and the “Gray Duck Sundae,” to name a few.

Hope this helps you plan your visit to this year’s Minnesota State Fair. If we missed something you may have discovered, please let us know or leave a comment below.

Thanks for viewing our latest review, and Have Fun at the fair. Share your experiences below!

Fun memories and spectacular views on the Mesabi Trail Tour

The 2022 Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour returns in August with four fun distances for that next bike adventure. All routes will travel out and back on the Mesabi Trail from the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm (MDC).

This year’s ride will be returning to one extensive tour on Saturday, August 20th, with four different routes out and back to eliminate the hassle & confusion riders felt from bike transportation requirements in past tours. All four tour routes (12, 32, 46, or 64 miles)  will start and end at MDC, with two routes traveling east and the other two traveling west. 

Partnering with the Minnesota Discovery Center, the center offers free admission to the museum for all riders and reduced fees for trolley rides & mini-golf. MDC is also home to the new Redhead mountain bike park.

On the Mesabi Trail Tour, the trail crosses one of the iron ore train tracks.

While you pedal (fully supported) along one of Minnesota’s premiere paved bicycle trails, you will encounter historic & scenic points of interest, food & music at rest stops, and a finish line celebration complete with a picnic lunch and more music!

Cost of riding the Mesabi Trail Tour in 2022

The cost of riding this year’s event (cost per weekend ride) is $45 for riders 17 years and older.  The ride is still free for kids 16 and under, with a parent or guardian riding along.

The scenery is stunning along the Mesabi Trail.

Mesabi Trail Tour riders enjoy the scenery at O’Brian Reservoir.

Spring, summer or Fall your riding experience on the Mesabi Trail is what great memories are made from.

Spring, Summer, or Fall, your riding experience on the Mesabi Trail is what great memories are made.


More information to plan your visit and lodging to the Mesabi Trail

The Mesabi Trail will reach 155 miles when complete, connecting Grand Rapids, MN, at the Mississippi River Trail to Ely, next to the Boundary Waters. For more information and lodging options, visit:

Visit Grand Rapids:

The Iron Range Tourism Bureau:

To learn more about the trail: