Next bike/hike adventure – Explore Alexandria

There is no shortage of fun when planning a trip to explore Alexandria, MN. Better known by the locals as Alex. Looking at the latest Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide, with all the maps, we wanted to see how Alex stacked up as a one-tank, multi-modal, round-trip destination from the Twin Cities. With increased gas prices taking a bite out of every motorist’s wallet, we found that the Alexandria Lakes Area fits the criteria well. The perfect place to visit is to park the car at the selected lodge and use a bicycle to get around. Offering many relaxing lodging options to make it easy to reach the local bike routes, trails, historic downtown attractions, and several restaurants within easy walking distance.

Big Ole, at the Central Lakes Trailhead in Alexandria, MN

With the bikes loaded and gear packed, Alexandria is approximately 130 miles (about a two-hour drive) northwest of Minneapolis on I-94.

See a whole lot more biking in Alexandria

Using the maps from the Alexandria Area, find many routes and scenic loops that take you out and around the many lakes in Douglas County. Then, after looking at the maps below and planning your next visit, check out the Explore Alexandria website for many other fun outdoor activities the area offers.

Available Maps for exploring Alex

HaveFunBiking Alex Map
City of Alexandria Street Map
Douglas County Road Map
Central Lakes Trail
MTN Bike Runestone Park
MNT Bike Lake Brophy Parkl

The 8-mile Historic Alexandria Route option

From the Central Lakes Trail, north of the downtown area, the scenic Alex Loop uses the quiet north/south neighborhood streets that parallel the main highway or Broadway Street from 30th Avenue. If you start at the trailhead, take a selfie with Big Ole, then visit the Runestone Museum, Fort Alexandria, and the Legacy of the Lakes Museum & Gardens. Further along this loop, the route passes the Douglas County Historical Society and several parks where ducks, geese, and pelicans are close by to view.

The 22-mile loop to Garfield returning on the Central Lakes Trail

There are plenty of scenic bike lanes and trails to enjoy when visiting Alex.


The Garfield Loop uses a series of streets and county roads around a couple of lakes up to the town of Garfield. Here, you will find the Central Lake Trail to return to Alex.

The 35-mile North Lakes Loop

This route winds around the picturesque lakes north of Alex, offering wide paved shoulders on the designated bike-friendly routes. As you ride your bike past the lakefront communities, options for stops include Carlos Creek Winery, the 23 Northman Brewery, and several eating establishments along the way.

Prefer staying on the Central Lakes Trail?

From Big Ole, head east to Osakis or west on the Central Lakes Trail to the many towns before Fergus Falls.

To the east, Osakis is 11 miles and connects to the Wobegon Trail. To the northwest, Garfield is 8 miles, Brandon is 14 miles, and Fergus Fall, at the far end, is 44 miles.

Mountain biking in the Alexandria Area

Would you prefer to bring your mountain bike on your next visit to Alex? Off-road biking is a growing sport in the Alexandria Area, and you can find great single-track trail riding out at Kensington Runestone County Park and Lake Brophy County Park.

Mountain biking the forested trail in Runestone Park.

Runestone Park is near Kensington, and the mountain bike trails here are tons of fun with easy-to-follow signs and many add-on loops to make a ride a little longer if you want. See the map and further details here.

Mountain biking on the single-track trail at Lake Brophy Park

Lake Brophy Park is a relatively new multi-use trail system wandering through the upland prairie fields that take you to some of the best views in the county. A highlight of the park is that using the main trail gets you to the high point. At the top of the hill, 140 feet above Lake Brophy, you can choose from the easy, medium, and challenging trails to descend for an adrenalin fun experience. See the map and further details here.

Area Bike Shops and Clubs

Alex Bike Shop611 3rd Ave E, Alexandria · (320) 219-6868        Website
Big Ole Bike Club – Mountaineers – Cycling Without Age Alex  Website
Central E Bikes403 Broadway St, Alexandria · (320) 808-0975
Jake’s Bikes – 419 N Nokomis St, Alexandria · (320) 219-7433       Website

Outdoor Rentals – Alexandria Public School   Website

Where to Play When Not Biking or Hiking

There will come a time when you’ll need a break from biking or walking the trail. But you don’t want to sit in your hotel room. Alex has many places where you can go for a nice break. And thanks to the city’s bike-friendly atmosphere, you can still get some pedaling in on your way by clicking here. 

Where to Eat

Nothing compliments a memorable day on the trails like a great meal. And Alex is full of choices, whether it’s your favorite fast-food joint or a place to sit and enjoy a mouthwatering meal. Here, you will also find countless restaurants to satisfy your appetite no matter what you crave.

A Blueberry Brioche with maple syrup served at the Cedar Rose B & B.


Where to sleep

A good night’s sleep makes all the difference to get the most from your outdoor adventures. Alex offers countless lodging options to kick back and relax after a hard day of riding and exploring. Many of these places offer various amenities as well. So whether you want to relax in the hot tub or enjoy a good book in your room, there’s a wide selection of hotels.

WI-FI Hotspots and the Library

You will find Wi-Fi access in many coffee shops, restaurants, and hotels. The public library is another good option. The library is at 720 Fillmore Street, in Alex.

Nearby Airports

Alexandria Munincple Airport
2604 Aga Drive, Alexandria, MN 56308   Phone: (320) 762-2111

See more on visiting Alex

Contact the Alex Tourism Bureau for more detailed information on visiting Alexandria, MN.