At a Glance: Exploring Park Rapids – Fun and Food
The gateway to the headwaters of the Mississippi River begins at Park Rapids. With five state forests surrounding this community, there is something for everyone in the Park Rapids area. You can ride the scenic roads and trails around the many lakes for a true north wood’s experience. Lakes, loons, and legends will help you explore the paved Heartland Trail. The trail starts in Park Rapids and will take you east, passing through several charming towns for treats and unique attractions before connecting to the Paul Bunyan Trail.
Where to Bike in the Area
Enjoy the beauty of the lakes and forests around the Park Rapids area. From the park next to Fish Hook River, the Heartland Trail is an easy way to see the countryside as the trail passes several quaint towns along the way. The town of Dorset is just 14 miles away and is known as the “Restaurant Capital of the World.” Here, the streets are lined with shops and many restaurants serving the perfect meal. For the mountain bikers, there are miles of varying terrain in the Paul Bunyan State Forest and Itasca State Park.
The Heartland State Trail is a paved trail between Park Rapids and Cass Lake. The trail is located entirely on a level abandoned railroad grade, except for a segment southwest of Walker which is located on sharply rolling terrain. The 22 mile segment to Cass Lake, north of Walker, was paved in 2002. There are numerous views of lakes, rivers, and streams, many of which are accessible from the trail. The trail passes through northern hardwood forests and stands of jack, red, and white pine, as well as spruce fir forests.
Available Maps for the Area
HaveFunBiking Our Map
Heartland Trail Map
Itasca State Park Map
Itasca State Park Map | Mountain Biking Included
Paul Bunyan and Huntersville State Forests & Trails Map
Area Bike Shops and Clubs
Northern Cycle | 501 1st St. E., Park Rapids, MN 56470 | 218-732-5971
Heartland Bike Club | Ride on Tuesdays & Thursdays | 218-652-3936
Where to Play When Not Biking or Hiking
Jaspers Theater | 17339 Highway 34 East, Park Rapids, MN 56470 | 218-255-1333
Northern Light Opera Company | Park Rapids | 218-237-0400
Nemeth Art Center | 301 Court Ave., Park Rapids, MN 56470 | 218-616-2064
Other Attractions and Points of Interest
All Veterans Memorial Park | Visitors Center & Wayside Rest. US Hwy 71 South, Park Rapids | 218-564-4591
Headwaters 100 occurs annually on September 24th.
Where to Eat
From the deli at the 3rd Street Market to the elegant Necce’s Ristorante, the Park Rapids Area also offers several interesting and charming cafes, coffee, and ice cream shops suited to your taste.
Necce’s Ristorante | 311 Main Ave. S., Park Rapids, MN 56470 | 218-237-4625
Summerhill Farm | 24013 US-71, Park Rapids, MN 56470 | 218-732-3865
Beyond Juice | 203 Main Ave. S., Park Rapids, MN 56470 | 218-732-0422
Where to Sleep When Visiting
Public Wi-Fi Spots in the Area
Along with most hotels, coffee shops and restaurants having Wi-Fi availability, the public library is another good option. The Park Rapids Public Library is located at 210 1st St. W., Park Rapids, MN 56470 and can be reached by 218-732-4966.
See Park Rapids Tourism for more detailed information.
HaveFunBiking To Dorset On The Heartland Trail
There’s a reason why thousands of people visit Dorset, Minnesota each year. The décor of the “Restaurant Capital of the World” is small-town friendly. The streets are lined with boardwalks, casual porch swings, and flower baskets. The shops are filled with special items from artistically-crafted pottery and lamps to unique décor and antiques that turn houses into homes. Whether casual or formal, the restaurants serve the perfect meal around tables for happy friends and families. This makes a trip to Dorset a must-do event.
HaveFunBiking To Nevis On The Heartland Trail
Nevis has been a vacation destination since anglers discovered that the area’s lakes were filled with cool, clear water and lots of fish. Hikers and campers have more than 40,000 acres of the Paul Bunyan State Forest to explore on foot or by bike.