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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.

 

 

 

Its Friday! Time to ride off for a a weekend of fun with family and friends.

Next bike/hike adventure – Explore Bloomington

At your fingertips, a fun indoor/outdoor adventure destination

If it is a first-class bike experience you’re looking for, Bloomington, MN, can add to it! Located in the south Twin Cities Metro and home to the world-renowned Mall of America, you will find many cycling opportunities; when you are not shopping. Explore the mountain bike trails along the Minnesota River or pedal the designated bike routes and paved trails to many attractions and parks in the area.

Places to ride

There is no shortage of pedaling fun for all experience levels in Bloomington, MN. You can comfortably share the designated bike-friendly streets with motorists, tour the many paved trails along the roads and parks, or hop on one of the connecting off-road trails. The emerging hotspots for outdoor enthusiasts to bike to include the Hyland Lake Park Reserve, the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, and Normandale Japenese Gardens. At Hyland, you can relax at the beach, play disc golf, go for a nature hike, bike, and more. Or, venture along the trails in Minnesota River bottoms with your offroad bike.

Multi-modal Transportation expands your touring options.

Along with many connecting trails to other parts of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Area, you can also use a city bus or the light-rail system to expand your next bike adventure in Bloomington. Both the city buses and lite-rail lines allow you to board with your bike on the east side of the Mall of America. See more on multi-modal opportunities at Metro-Transit when visiting.

Available Maps for exploring Bloomington

HaveFunBiking Bloomington Map
City Of Bloomington
Minnesota River Bottom Trail
Bass Pond and Old Cedar Bridge Trail
Hyland Lake Park Reserve
Long Meadow Lake Trail
Moir/Central Park

Walk/Hiking Opportunities

City of Bloomington
Minnesota River Bottom Trail
Bass Pond and Old Cedar Bridge Trail
Hyland Lake Park Reserve
Long Meadow Lake Trail
Moir/Central Park

Area Bike Shops and Clubs

ERIK’S Bike Board Ski |431 E 78th St, Bloomington. MN | 952-886-0800 | Website

ERIK’S Bike Rentals |  6515 Richfield Pkwy Richfield, MN |952-886-0800 | Website

Freewheel Bike | 3916 W Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington | 952-888-1427 | Website

REI | 750 W American Blvd, Bloomington, MN 55420 | 952-884-4315 | Website

Where to Play When Not Biking or Hiking

There’s going to come a time when you’ll need a break from biking. But you don’t want to sit in your hotel room. Bloomington 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 there.

Mall of America

60 E Broadway,
Bloomington, MN 55425

Normandale Japanese Garden
9700 France Ave S
Bloomington, MN 55431

Bloomington Historical Museum
10200 Penn Ave S.
Bloomington, MN 55431

AMF Southern Lanes
7941 Southtown Dr.
Bloomington, MN 55431

Hyland Lake Park Reserve & Play Area
10145 Bush Lake Rd
Bloomington, MN 55438

Where to Eat

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

Where to Sleep

A goods night’s sleep makes all the difference. Bloomington offers countless lodging options where you can 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 plenty of options to choose from. For more choices, visit the city’s tourism website for a wide selection of hotels where you kick back and relax at.

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. There are two libraties in Bloomington, the  Penn Lake Library is at 8800 Penn Ave S.  And, the Oxboro Library, at 8801 Portland Ave S. is another good option.

Nearby Airports

Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport
Fort Snelling Unorganized Territory, MN 55111

See the Bloomington Tourism Bureau for more detailed information on your next trip to Bloomington, MN.

Next bike/hike adventure – Explore Lakeville

At your fingertips, a fun outdoor adventure destination

Traveling closer to home, near a central metro area, is the new norm for many of us trying to stretch our vacation dollars. So a bicycling staycation or a one-tank drive to explore Lakeville may open your eyes to new horizons with economic and environmental benefits. Where nature meets the Twin Cities, Lakeville offers enough trails and fun outdoor activities around its lakes that you will want to extend your stay.

Established in 1855, the city was named after the recreational waters of Lake Marion, just west of Historic Downtown Lakeville. Today, you will find many paved and off-road trails connecting the several parks in the community.  Especially if you’re looking for some good mountain biking fun. You will want to visit bike, hike, or paddle here frequently. The town may be small, but there are enough fun outdoor activities around its lakes for everyone. Even if you only stay long enough to stroll or roll the Lakeville Public Art tour.

Places to ride when you explore Lakeville

The city has many biking options. It all depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking to explore the entire town, then plenty of roads with trails allow for a nice comfortable bike ride. If you’re looking for a little challenge, the West Lake Marion Mountain Bike Park or Buck Hill, Lebanon Hills, and Murphy Hanrahan offer offroad riding that caters to all skill levels.

Lakeville’s scenic circuit loop, city trails, and other loop routes

Enjoy the Lakeville Area/HFB Map below for comfortable rides around town or out, around many lakes in Douglas County. From the 10-mile Scenic Circuit Loop around town to the 22-mile or 35-mile road/trail tours.

Available Maps

HaveFunBiking Lakeville Map                                                                                                               West Lake Marion Mountain Bike Trail
Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve
Buck Hill Mountain Bike Skills Park
Ritter Farm Park
Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Walk/Hiking Opportunities

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve
Ritter Farm Park
Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Area Bike Shops and Clubs

Lakeville Cycle                                                                                                                                                18049 Jamaica Path                                                                                                                              Lakeville, MN 55044

Valley Bike & Ski
7707 149th St. W
Apple Valley, MN 55122

Hiawatha Bicycling Club
P.O. Box 24920
Edina, MN 55424

Where to Play When Not Biking or Hiking

When you need a break from pedaling, Lakeville still has plenty to entertain everyone. You can go relax in the sun at one of the beaches, or go take a refreshing dip in one of the lakes. You can also try your best to bowl a perfect game at one of the bowling centers or see you come out on top of the paintball battlefields. There’s something for everyone. Check out Lakeville’s tourism site for more.

Antlers Park Beach
9740 201st St. W.
Lakeville, MN 55044

Lakeville Family Bowl
20944 Holyoke Ave
Lakeville, MN 55044

MN Pro Paintball
22554 Texas Ave
Lakeville, MN 55044

Lakeville Area Arts Center
20965 Holyoke Ave
Lakeville, MN 55044

Hot Sam’s Antique & Foto Park                                                                                                             22820 Pillsbury Ave. So.                                                                                                                  Lakeville, MN 55044

Where to Eat

We all know food plays a massive part in your overall tourist experience. That delicious burger you have at a small restaurant alone can cause you to make repeat visits in the future. And getting a taste of the town’s homegrown wines and brews may cause you to bring home some thirst-quenching souvenirs. No matter what your taste buds are looking for, Lakeville will satisfy everyone’s appetite. Check the town’s tourism site for more info.

Barley and Vine Kitchen Bar
17516 Dodd Blvd
Lakeville, MN 55044

Lakeville Brewing Company
8790 Upper 208th St. W
Lakeville, MN 50544

Mainstreet Coffee and Wine Bar
20790 Holyoke Ave
Lakeville, MN 55044

Goodfellas Pizza
20643 Kenrick Ave
Lakeville, MN 55044

Where to Sleep

After a long day of fresh air, you’re going to need to rest your head. Lakeville has plenty of lodging options where you can soak in the hot tub or kick back and relax with a good book.

Holiday Inn & Suites
20800 Kenrick Ave
Lakeville, MN 55044

Baymont by Wyndham Lakeville
17145 Kenyon Ave
Lakeville, MN 55044

Quality Inn
17605 Kenrick Ave
Lakeville, MN 55044

Motel 6 Minneapolis South – Lakeville
11274 210th St.
Lakeville, MN 55044

Candlewood Suites Lakeville I-35
21060 Keswick Loop
Lakeville, MN 55044

Hampton Inn Lakeville
20851 Keokuk Avenue
952-213-3144

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 Heritage Library 20085 Heritage Dr. Lakeville, MN 55044

Nearby Airports

Minneapolis – Saint Paul International Airport
Fort Snelling Unorganized Territory, MN 55111

See the Visit Lakeville for more detailed information on your next trip to explore the Lakeville Area.

Next bike/hike adventure – Explore Albert Lea

At your fingertips, a fun outdoor adventure destination

Explore Albert Lea offers many family-friendly biking, hiking, and paddling opportunities. In southern Minnesota, at the crossroads of Interstate 35W and I-80, you will also find the annual Rock N’ Roll the Lakes Bicycle Ride here in August. Other options include mountain biking in Big Island State Park, enjoying a picturesque ride around Fountain Lake, or a trip to the State Park on the Blazing Star State Trail. Then, after your ride, take in the art, history, and music the community has to offer.

Today's bike pic, looking through last summers photo archives, we found this biker couple riding around Fountain Lake, in Albert Lea, MN. See more fun photos on their Facebook page from Rock N' Roll the Lakes.

A relaxing ride around Fountain Lake is a great way to Explore Albert Lea.

In the “Land Between the Lakes,” Albert Lea is nestled between Albert Lea Lake and Fountain Lake. Geographically located at the crossroads of Interstate I-90 and Interstate 35W in southern Minnesota, this charming community is about 90 miles south of the Twin Cities. Both the city and the lake were named in honor of Albert Miller Lea by Joseph N. Nicollet. Nicollet explored and mapped streams and lakes in this county in 1835.

Today, when exploring Albert Lea, you will find a relaxing setting to bike with family and friends while enjoying some of southern Minnesota’s hospitality.

Albert Lea was one of the first cities to participate in the Blue Zone Health Initiative.

Explore Albert Lea by bike

Albert Lea MN Bike Map by HaveFunBiking.com

Albert Lea MN Bike Map by HaveFunBiking.com

Along with the paved trail running out to Myre-Big Island State Park, many recreational trails will allow cyclists and walkers to enjoy the area. In addition, there are many bike-friendly streets and rural roads to explore the countryside. If you want to explore Albert Lea’s nature-based sides, one of the best ways is by taking the Blazing Star State Trail. The trail is paved from Albert Lea Lake to Big Island State Park, a distance of approximately six miles, and it connects to Albert Lea’s city trail system. Plans are for the trail to connect to Austin’s city trail system and the Shooting Star State Trail. When completed, the Blazing Star State Trail will be approximately 20 miles long and connect Albert Lea to Austin via Big Island State Park.

Trail users will enjoy views of rural landscapes along the entire trail. Big Island State Park has the opportunity to experience a diversity of natural environments, including wetlands, oak savanna, big woods, and prairie. The park is an excellent birding spot in southern Minnesota, especially during spring and fall migration.

Places to ride

Myre-Big Island State Park

This park has something for everyone, with hike/bike trails around wet lowland marshes and through patches of oak savanna and grasslands
19499 780th Ave.
507-668-7060 Website https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/park.html?id=spk00175#homepage

Blazing Star State Trail

The Blazing Star State Trail is paved and runs from Albert Lea Lake to Myre-Big Island State Park.
Website https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_trails/blazingstar/index.html

Bike around Fountain Lake

From Downtown Albert Lea, this map shows the ten and 18-mile route for the annual Rock N’ Roll the Lakes Ride
Website https://havefunbiking.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/AlbertLeaRides10mi18.pdf

Available Maps

HaveFunBiking Albert Lea Area Map

AlbertLeaRides(10mi)18

AlbertLeaRides(30&50mi)18

Walk/Hike Opportunities

Exploring Albert Lea Parks 
Exploring Myre-Big Island State Park

Area Bike Shops and Clubs

Broadway Bicycle Shop | 114 S. Broadway Ave, Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-373-2060

Martin’s Bike Shop |1137 South Broadway Ave., Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-377-3704

Where to Play When Not Biking

Albert Lea has a variety of attractions to keep the whole family having while they visit, including:

Freeborn History Museum

Where time travel is possible, and our past inspires the future, discover your pioneer spirit with many exhibits
1031 Bridge Ave.
507-373-8003 Website https://www.freeborncountyhistory.org/

Marion Ross Performing Arts Center

Named after a star of the “Happy Days” TV show, the center is in the historic downtown district and a great place to spend an evening while visiting
147 N. Broadway
507-377-4371 Website http://actonbroadway.com/concertsevents/

Albert Lea Civic Music

Albert Lea High School Auditorium
2000 Tiger Lane
Website http://www.albertleacivicmusic.com/concert-series.html

Albert Lea Farmers Market

Open on Wednesdays, stop and check out all the local produce and treats from the area.
Broadway Ave. And Fountain St.
Website https://www.facebook.com/ALFarmersMkt/

Albert Lea Art Center

After your ride, the center offers programs, classes, Art on Broadway, and more
101 S. Broadway Ave.
507-373-5665 Website http://www.thealbertleaartcenter.org/home.html

Freeborn County Arts Initiative

Encouraging exploration of new ideas, art forms, and self-expression through the arts, the Gallery is in the Historic Downtown District
224 S Broadway Ave. Studio 3
507-721-1285 Website https://www.fcai.us/

Albert Lea Aquatic Center

This family-friendly center is a great way to cool off after your ride
321 James Ave.
507-377-4370 Website http://cityofalbertlea.org/departments/parks-and-recreation/aquatic-center/

Albert Lea Audubon Society

This local chapter offers information, classes, and field trips centered around an increased interest in ecology and nature study around ornithology.
Website http://www.albertleaaudubon.org/

Albert Lea Disc Golf Courses

Check out three parks offering challenges for disc golf players in between your bike excursions around Albert Lea.
Website https://www.explorealbertlea.com/land

Events

Rock N’ Roll the Lakes Bike Ride is Saturday, August 12, 2023 – A fun ride for the entire family,

Bayside Water Show, come Join the FUN… Memorial Day to Labor Day at Edgewater Bay in Albert Lea, MN

For more events and fun, see the Albert Lea Calendar Here

Where to Eat

Regardless if you are in the mood for a quick snack, a casual meal, or upscale fare after your ride, or outdoor activity, there is a place for you at the table in Albert Lea.

Some of the favorites

Along with the favorite chain restaurants, when exploring Albert Lea, you’ll find that it has some local restaurants that will give you a one-of-a-kind experience.
Crescendo Exquisite – offers excellent food and fine wines | Menu | 118 S. Broadway Ave., Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-377-2425
Elbow Room – Offers burgers | Menu | 310 E. 8th St., Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-373-1836
Trumble’s – Offers classic hometown feel with all your favorites | Menu | 1811 E. Main St., Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-373-2638
Grandma’s Kitchen – Offers a great family feel with favorites foods for all ages | Menu | 115 E. Clark St., Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-552-1599                                                                                        Thirsty FoxPub & Grill  – Is a fun little gem that offers a micro brew menu, along with a great menu of food for differing tastes. | Menu |1105 S Broadway Ave Albert Lea, MN 56007 |507- 369-5911

Here are many more options. https://www.explorealbertlea.com/life

Where to Sleep

The area around Albert Lea provides visitors with their preferred lodging settings from trusted hotel brands. B & B’s and lodges. Click here to view all the lodging properties to choose from.

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 Albert Lea Library is at 211 E Clark St., Albert Lea, MN 56007; their phone number is 507-377-4350.

See the Explore Albert Lee Tourism Bureau for more detailed information on your next trip to explore Albert Lea.

Next Bike Adventure – Twin Cities Gateway

At A Glance: Exploring the Twin Cities – Fun and Food

Located on the northern edge of Minneapolis and St. Paul, the Twin Cities Gateway location is a Minnesota vacation destination where having a bicycle can be an advantage. Here you will find top-ranked golf courses, Minnesota’s largest outdoor water park, the National Sports Center (the world’s largest amateur sports facility), and countless other family attractions, all accessible from your hotel room by paved trail systems and bike-friendly roads. The Gateway area also offers a stunning natural environment where outdoor recreation opportunities are abundant. Also, there are shopping areas galore that range from your favorite stores to charming and unique boutiques. 

Here a young lady rides her bike along a trail in the Twin Cities Gateway area as the fall colors peak.

A young lady rides her bike along the trail in the Twin Cities Gateway area as the fall colors peak.

Where to Bike In the Area

HaveFunBiking TCGateway Area Map

With nine bike-friendly communities encompassing the Gateway Area, explore and enjoy the beauty of these North metro suburbs with your bike or a rental. With many parks connected by a vast trail system throughout the area, you will have many chances to see and experience Mother Nature as you pursue your favorite outdoor activities here. One of many options when visiting the area is a bike ride along the Mississippi River Trail (MRT).

Below is a brief description of each T.C. Gateway Community and ideas for things to do when you’re not biking. Additionally, places to stay, places to eat, and valuable links to help you Find Your Next Adventure are included.

Area Bike Shop and Rental Services

Car’s Bike Shop | 2661 County Road I, Mounds View, MN 55112 | 763-784-6966 
Jerry’s Schwinn | 4136 Coon Rapids Blvd. N.W., Minneapolis, MN 55433, USA| 763- 421-4270
Penn Cycle | 12555 Ulysses Street N.E., Suite 160, Blaine, MN 55434 | 763-432-9430
Pioneer Cycle | 12741 Central Ave. N.E., Blaine 55434 |  763-755-8871  

Where to Play When Not Biking 

Along with the bike opportunities in the Twin Cities Gateway Area, you will also find Adventure Seaplanes, golf, shopping, aquatic centers, the National Sports Center, and more. Plus, there is the Theatre District, the Mall of America, and more that are just a short drive or train ride away. 

Where to Eat 

In each of the nine communities of the Twin Cities Gateway, you will find many options to choose from. 

Where to Sleep When Visiting the Twin Cities Gateway

Stay at a comfortable, convenient, and affordable Twin Cities Gateway hotel or a quaint Bed & Breakfast. All 25 quality lodging properties in Anoka, Arden Hills, Blaine, Coon Rapids, Fridley, Ham Lake, Mounds View, New Brighton, and Shoreview are easily accessible and offer free parking. Each is located within minutes of many Minneapolis and St. Paul attractions.

Click here for a complete list of lodging properties for your next Twin Cities Gateway adventure.

Things to do

Anoka

HaveFunBiking’s Area Map
Twin Cities Gateway’s Map of Anoka’s Bike Trails
Anoka is easily accessible with a North Star Commuter Rail Station to get you to and from Minneapolis so you can visit the “Halloween Capital of the World.” Anoka is filled with many fun attractions, events, and activities. The historic Downtown boasts an array of unique shops, restaurants, and services, all surrounded by beautiful city parks, trails, and neighborhoods. Events such as Anoka Riverfest & Craft Fair and the Anoka Classic Car Show draw visitors from all over the summer. As the “Halloween Capital of the World,” Anoka’s Octobers are filled with fun activities, including three parades and a 5K Grey Ghost Run.

Here’s a list of just a few of the many things Anoka has to offer:
Lyric Arts Main Street Stage – this theatre has a full season of musicals, plays, and music events | 420 E. Main Street, Anoka, MN 55303 | 763-422-1838
Anoka Aquatic Center – featuring a climbing wall, diving board, water slide, sand volleyball court, and many other attractions | 1551 Seventh Avenue, Anoka, MN 55303 | 763-576-2980
Historic Downtown – the heart of Anoka is perfect for every shopper, whether you’re looking for clothes, décor, gifts, or antiques
Hans Bakery – known for their tasty treats such as the BeeHive and Texas doughnut | 1423 5th Avenue, Anoka, MN 55303 | 763-421-4200
Broncos of Anoka – one of Anoka’s unique restaurants specializing in slow-roasted sandwiches | Menu | 2371 7th Ave. Anoka, MN 55303 | 763-421-0602

Click here for Information about Anoka.

Blaine

Have Fun Biking’s Area Map
Twin Cities Gateway Map for Blaine’s Bike Trails
Located just 12 miles north of downtown Minneapolis along Interstate 35W and Highways 10 and 65, Blaine is home to the National Sports Center. The National Sports Center is an Olympic-class training facility and international hub for youth sports, as well as the TPC – Twin Cities golf course, which annually hosts the 3M Championship of the PGA Champions Tour. Don’t miss the Blaine Festival in late June, fun for the whole family. With more than 60 parks, you will find 140 miles of trails within Blaine’s boundaries.

Here’s a list of just a few of the many things Blaine has to offer:
Carol’s – great for delicious home-style American food| Menu | 11888 Aberdeen St. N.E., Minneapolis, MN 55449 | 763-757-9700
Big Dipper Creamery – family-owned ice cream shop with 52 flavors of tasty homemade ice cream | Menu | 1250 126th Ave. N.E., Blaine, MN 55434 | 763-276-9972
Fogerty Arena – known as the “Ice House,” this is a great place to watch a game of hockey, have fun during free skate, or learn how to curl at the home of Four Seasons Curling Club | 9250 Lincoln St. N.E., Blaine, MN 55434 | 763-780-3328
National Sports Center  the world’s largest amateur sports facility with 50 soccer fields and eight hockey sheets; this center is also home to Minnesota’s professional soccer team Minnesota United F.C. | 1700 105th Ave. N. E., Blaine, MN 55449 | 763-785-5600

Click here for more information about Blaine.

Coon Rapids

HaveFunBiking’s Area Map
Twin Cities Gateway’s Map for Coon Rapids’ Bike Trails
Traveling to Coon Rapids is made easy with the North Star Commuter Rail Station. This makes going back and forth to Minneapolis or a multi-modal bike ride using the Mississippi River Trail a breeze. The community offers a unique combination of urban excitement and small-town friendliness for residents and visitors alike. There are many recreational activities in Coon Rapids within Bunker Hills Regional Park. Visitors can also enjoy Coon Rapids’ softball and baseball fields, tennis and basketball courts, hiking and biking trails, skateboard parks, fishing, boating docks, and more! Be sure to check out Coon Rapids’ 4th of July festivities too!

Here’s a list of just a few of the many things Coon Rapids’ has to offer:
Riverdale Village – a one-stop shop for all your shopping needs, this shopping center has a variety of stores from clothing to groceries and everything between | 12921 Riverdale Blvd. N.W., Coon Rapids, MN,  55448
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area – this National Park Service natural wonder runs through Fridley, Coon Rapids, and Anoka, offering 72 miles of wilderness in an urban setting. | 111 E. Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105, Saint Paul, MN 55101 | 651-293-0200 
Kendall’s Tavern & Chophouse – conveniently located next to Bunker Hills Golf Course and event center, this excellent restaurant offers customers a variety of options | Menu | 12800 Bunker Prairie Road N.W., Coon Rapids, MN 55448 | 763-755-1234

Rose Garden – a family-owned restaurant for over a decade that provides you with delicious Chinese cuisine | Menu | 2500 Coon Rapids Blvd., Coon Rapids,  MN 55433 | 763-323-2080

Click here for more information about Coon Rapids.

Fridley

HaveFunBiking’s Area Map
Twin Cities Gateway’s Map for Fridley’s Bike Trails
There are various ways to get from the Twin Cities to Fridley. One of which is the North Star Commuter Rail. Fridley is home to the first station on the North Star Commuter rail, and this rail can bring you down to Target Field. Here you can enjoy the many outdoor activities and recreational facilities just a short drive away from the bustling downtown Minneapolis. Find many attractive recreational park facilities on the Mississippi River, like Manomin Park, the Reidel Estate and Farm, and Riverfront Park. The City’s northwest corner is nestled within Springbrook Nature Center, a 127-acre nature preserve and interpretive learning center. On the City’s east side, Moore Lake features a beach, sandy dunes, park shelters, and a fishing pier.

Here are just a few of the many things Fridley has to offer:
Grandpa’s Ice Cream – a family-owned shop that has “Premium Homemade Ice Cream” in 32 flavors and sorbets lets you mix and match tastes to make shakes and malts | 1258 East Moore Lake Drive, Fridley, MN 55432 | 763-572-2078
Zantigo – a restaurant exclusive to Minnesota, Zantigo provides delectable Mexican flavor to their food | Menu | 255 57th Avenue N.E., Fridley, MN 55432 | 763-586-1044
Shortstop – a local bar and grill that gives a good hometown feel with favorites such as wings, burgers, pasta, and wraps | Menu | 1298 Moore Lake Drive, Fridley, MN 55432 | 763-571-3417
Fridley Historical Center – take a walk around the local museum to learn more about the history of the area | 611 Mississippi St. N.E., Fridley, MN 55432 | 763-571-0120

Click here for more information about Fridley.

Ham Lake

Twin Cities Gateway’s Map for Ham Lake’s Bike Trails
Travel to Ham Lake – home of Majestic Oaks Golf Club –  one of the metropolitan area’s largest and most highly regarded championship courses. Summertime is when a boom of travelers visit the area to camp on the rustic shores of Ham Lake. Some of these summer visitors are hosted by the Ham Lake Campground, one of a handful of campgrounds in the metropolitan area. This facility stands out with its assortment of recreational activities, boat rentals, and themed weekends throughout the seasons.

Here are just a few of the many things Ham Lake has to offer:
T-Box Bar & Grill – a cozy place to grab a bite to eat while also featuring an array of drinks | Lunch Menu | Dinner Menu | 1431 147th Ave. N.E., Ham Lake, MN 55304 | 763-413-9950

Brown Family Adventures – a large indoor playground unlike any other complete with a large tree house, suspension bridges, and slides | 14200 Lincoln Street NE, Suite 500, Ham Lake, MN 55304 | 763-331-0265
Mansetti’s Pizza & Pasta – a great place to swing in and grab a bite of your favorite foods | Menu | 16220 Aberdeen St. N.E., Ham Lake, MN 55304 | 763-434-1515
Majestic Oaks – a gorgeous golf club that includes the 46th Hole Bar and Grill and a dinner theatre which is great after a round or two of golf |701 Bunker Lake Blvd  Ham Lake, MN  55304 | 763-755-2140

Click here for more information about Ham Lake.

Lino Lakes 

HaveFunBiking’s Area Map
Twin Cities Gateway’s Map for Lino Lake’s Bike Trails

Lino Lakes is a city with a chain of 13 lakes and easy access to both Interstates 35W and 35E. Lino Lakes is a great location to tap into the Twin Cities’ excitement and then retreat to the tranquility of the City’s natural surroundings. Biking, hiking, canoeing, and camping are at your doorstep in Lino Lakes. Families will enjoy canoeing and kayaking on the Rice Creek Water Trail. Visitors can bring their canoes and kayaks or rent them at Wargo Nature Center in the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park. Campers will find that the Regional Park campgrounds are a little bit of heaven right in the metro area!

Here are just a few of the many things Lino Lakes have to offer:
Rehbein’s Indoor BMX Park – known as “The Barn,” it is Minnesota’s only indoor BMX Park | 426 Pine Street, Lino Lakes, MN 55014 | 651-784-5824
Kingdom Baking – exclusive to Lino Lakes, Kingdom Baking serves tasty baked goods and coffee with some gluten-free and vegan options | 6505 Ware Road, Lino Lakes, MN 55014 | 651-484-0240
The Tavern on Main – a great sports bar conveniently located close to 35W, making it easy to enjoy their delicious menu | Menu | 8001 Lake Drive, Lino Lakes, MN 55014 | 651-783-7106
Chomonix Golf Course – bring your clubs for a round of golf at this beautiful golf course | 700 Aqua Lane, Lino Lakes, MN 55014 | 651-482-8484

Click here to learn more about Lino Lakes.

Mounds View

HaveFunBiking’s Area Map
Twin Cities Gateway Map for Mounds View’s Bike Trails

Check out the Festival in the Park or just plan a great leisurely getaway in Mounds View. A charming city located at the juncture of Interstate 35W and State Highway 10, it is just a short ten miles from both downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul. When not biking, check out the many attractions such as the Mounds View Community Center/Event Center/YMCA, their ten city parks, or the hiking and biking trail system. Don’t forget Mounds View’s Festival in the Park (link provided above) held each August. The parade and the Car & Tractor Show are the Festival’s main attractions.

Here are just a few of the many things Mounds View has to offer:
Zero Gravity Trampoline Park – more than just trampolines, Zero Gravity also has laser tag, a foam pit, and an arcade to keep the kids entertained all day | 2292 Woodale Drive, Mounds View, MN 55112 | 763-231-3033
Mounds View Community Theater
 – catch a show put on by the members of Mounds View | 651-638-2139
Moe’s of Mounds View – a fun place to go for a distinctive menu and fun events such as trivia nights and Bingo | Menu | 2400 Highway 10, Mounds View, MN, 55112 | 763-786-1800

Click here for more information about Mounds View.

New Brighton

HaveFunBiking’s Area Map
Twin Cities Gateway’s Map for New Brighton’s Bike Trails

A century-old city that is truly young at heart, New Brighton is conveniently located at the intersection of I-694 and I-35W, a 15-minute ride to downtown Minneapolis or Saint Paul. New Brighton offers 13 neighborhood parks, an exceptional community center, and a beautiful executive golf course, Brightwood Hills. New Brighton’s Community Center offers a versatile location for meetings and events. In August, don’t miss Stockyard Days, New Brighton’s week-long celebration with a parade, fireworks, street dances, and more!

Here are just a few of the many things New Brighton has to offer:
New Brighton Community Center – home to Eagle’s Nest, one of the Twin Cities’ largest indoor playgrounds, a full-size gym, and an indoor track with something for everyone | 400 10th Street, New Brighton, MN 55112 |651-638-2130
Bru House – more than your typical coffee house, the Bru House also has a breakfast, and lunch menu that is open at 6 a.m. every weekday and even has a drive-thru for those times when you are in a rush | Menu | 1431-A Silver Lake Road, New Brighton, MN 55112 | 651-631-1112

Limu Coffee – for a non-traditional coffee fix, Limu offers “true Ethiopian flavor” in all of their coffee drinks but also has some non-coffee beverages for everyone to enjoy | Menu | 500 5th Ave., New Brighton, MN 55112 | 651-633-3454
Giuseppe’s Italian Ristorante – a homey cafe with traditional Italian cooking | Menu| 1435 Silver Lake Road, New Brighton, MN 55112 | 651-631-2774

Click here for more information about New Brighton.

Shoreview

HaveFunBiking’s Area Map Our Map
Twin Cities Gateway’s Map here for Shoreview’s Bike Trails

Experience the numerous attractions the picturesque community of Shoreview has to offer. Just ten miles north of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Shoreview is amidst a beautiful natural landscape for riding your bike. Shoreview’s beautiful environment includes lakes, parks, wetlands, and open spaces. There are eleven lakes in the community, including three with public beaches. Visitors enjoy outdoor recreation in 14 parks, and the City has more than 50 miles of trails and sidewalks. During late July, don’t miss the Slice of Shoreview Days, featuring an art fair, parade, and fun for the whole family.

Here are just a few of the many things Shoreview has to offer:
Shoreview Community Center – complete with a large indoor playground and water park, Shoreview Community Center is a great place to have fun with the whole family | 4580 Victoria St. N., Shoreview, MN 55126 | 651-490-4700
Razs Coffee & Ice Cream – a great place to grab some coffee and ice cream along with some soup and salads  | 1049 Highway 96 W., Shoreview, MN 55126 | 651-766-6965

Marianne’s Kitchen – specializing in sandwiches, this shop has a good homey feel and offers gluten-free options | Menu | 3600 Lexington Ave. N., Shoreview, MN  55126 | 651-484-2585

Meister’s Bar & Grill – has great American and German food with fun events such as a trivia night, karaoke night, and live music to keep you entertained as you eat | Menu | 1056 Highway 96 West, Shoreview, MN 55126 | 651-482-8829

Click here for more information about Shoreview.

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

Next Bike Advenure – Waconia, MN_Riding My Bicycle

At-A-Glance – Fun and Food

Waconia is a great taste of what you can do in Minnesota’s great outdoors. The go-to bike-friendly tourist spot is less than an hour drive from the Twin Cities. You can spend time on the lake fishing, water skiing, or any of your other favorite water sports. There are beaches where you can spend the day getting a nice tan or jump in the water for a refreshing swim.

If you prefer to stay inland there’s still plenty to do. You can pedal down many of its county roads and take in all the scenic beauty. You can also visit its locally-owned shops, feed your tastebuds at its local restaurants, and take in the town’s historical sites. If you’re up for more of a bike adventure then there are two trails that take you beyond the town’s border.

Where to Bike in the Area

This is a town full of fun for those pedaling around. There are trails that take you beyond the town limits, and there’s plenty to explore just navigating its county roads and streets.

Available Maps for the Area

HaveFunBiking Waconia Area Map
Dakota Regional Trail
Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail

Walk/Hiking Opportunities

Baylor Regional Park
Dakota Regional Trail
Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail

Area Bike Shops and Clubs

 

SPOKES Bike and Ice Cream Shop
8850 Glacier Rd
St Bonifatius, MN 55375

Where to Play When Not Biking or Hiking

When you find you need a little break from pedaling around, there’s still plenty for you to do. You can conduct your own taste test of their homegrown brews or wine selections, play a round of golf, kick back and take in a movie, and more.

Schram Vineyards Winery & Brewery
8785 Airport Rd
Waconia, MN 55387

Waconia Brewing Company
255 W Main
Waconia, MN 55387

Island View Golf Club
7795 Laketown Pkwy
Waconia, MN 55837

Emagine Waconia 6 (Movie Theater)
101 West 1st St
Waconia, MN 55387

Where to Eat

At some point you’re going to need to fuel your body for the rest of day, or something to eat after that last trail. Waconia has plenty of delicious places where you can satisfy your appetite. And if you’re looking for some good coffee for the morning or a little extra caffeine for that last trail, they’ve got you covered there as well. For more information visit their tourism page.

Pangea Cafe
37 W Main Street
Waconia, MN 55837

Lola’s Lakehouse
318 E Lake Street
Waconia, MN 55837

Mocha Monkey
115 S Olive Steert
Waconia, MN 55837

El Rey Azteca
813 Marketplace Drive
Waconia, MN 55837

Where to Sleep

There comes a point where it’s time to call it a day. So, what do you do? Waconia has various options to choose from. You can lay on a nice, comfortable bed, or spend the night with nature. For information on hospitality, check out Waconia’s tourism site.

AmericInn Lodge & Suites Waconia
550 Cherry Dr.
Waconia, MN 55387

Waconia Inn Hotel & Suites
301 E Frontage Rd
Waconia, MN 55387

Baylor Regional Park
10775 County Rd. 33
Norwood Young America, MN 55397

Public Wi-Fi Spots in the Area

Along with most hotels, coffee shops and restaurants having Wi-Fi availability, the Carver County Library is another good option.

Exploring Northfield has a lot to offer anyone who comes to visit. This guide should provide you a great head start to finding your #NextBikeAdventure.

Next Bike Adventure – Northfield, MN_Riding My Bicycle

At-A-Glance: Exploring Northfield – Fun and Food

Located along the Cannon River Valley corridor, 30 minutes south of the Twin Cities, is Northfield. A great southern Minnesota bicycle destination for a family day trip or biking vacation. The relaxed lifestyle and picturesque surroundings here draw many people out for exploring the hidden treasures of this historic milling town. Here, cyclists can enjoy the local paved trail, local mountain bike trails and a vast network of road biking routes on the scenic rolling terrain, used by stagecoaches for a true touring experience. With a vibrant downtown area, still sharing the history of the famous bank robbery of Jesse James you will find plenty of retail areas, many recreational activities – other than biking, and restaurant choices in town to explore – it’s easy to spend several days here.

Where to Bike when Exploring Northfield, MN

There really is no better way to experience what this community has to offer than on your bike. It has trails that take you through its history and lets you explore all the wildlife it has to offer with its many off-road trails. For those who long for biking on the open road there are many paths outside the town. The local bike clubs has designed many loops in the area ready for you to conquer. You can also make the trek to nearby Nerstrand Big Woods State Park for some more scenic trails.

Available Maps for the Area

HaveFunBiking Northfield Area Map 

Northfield Bike Club Ride Routes

Map My Ride   

Milltowns Trail

Sechler Park MTB Trail
Caron Park MTB Trail

Walk/Hike Opportunities When Exploring Northfield

Cannon River Wilderness Area
Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

Area Bike Shops and Clubs

Cannon River Offroad Cycling & Trails (CROCT)
Main Office: 912 Meadow View Dr,
Northfield, MN 55057

Where to Play When Not Biking or Hiking

At some point you’ll have to take a break from the trails. Luckily the community here has plenty to offer. You can explore the town’s history with Jesse James and more at the Northfield Historical Society, go for that perfect bowling score at Jesse James Lanes, or go for a refreshing swim in the Old Memorial Pool. Take a look at more info by visiting their tourism site.

Northfield Historical Society
408 Division St.
Northfield, MN 55057

Riverwalk Market Fair
Bridge Square
Division St and 4th St
Northfield, MN 55057

Jesse James Lanes
1700 Bollenbacher Dr.
Northfield, MN 55057

Old Memorial Pool
801 7th St E
Northfield, MN 55057

Where to Eat when Exploring Northfield

As you ride the trails during your stay you’re going to need fuel for your body. Thankfully, Northfield has several choices to keep your taste buds and stomach happy. Below is just a sampling of what’s waiting for you as you get into town or are coming of the trails. If these don’t appeal to you, there are many other options to choose from.

Tandem Bagels
317 Division St. S
Northfield, MN 55057

The Ole Store Restaurant
1011 St. Olaf Ave.
Northfield, MN 55057

Hogan Brothers’ Acoustic Cafe
415 S Division St.
Northfield, MN 55057

Applebee’s 
2433 Highway 3 S
Northfield, MN 55057

Where to Sleep When Visiting 

You’re going to need a place to rest at night. Northfield and the surrounding area has many lodgings available depending on your preference. You choose to spend a night with nature, enjoy some Northfield hospitality at a local Bed and Breakfast, or sleep like royalty in one of the many hotels. Below is a list of favorites, but you can check out more choices on Northfield’s tourism site.

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
9700 170th St E
Nerstrand, MN 55057

The Magic Door Bed & Breakfast
818 Division St S
Northfield, MN 55057

Country Inn & Suites By Carlson
300 MN-3
Northfield, MN 55057

Public Wi-Fi Spots in the Area

Along with most hotels, many coffee shops and restaurants have Wi-Fi availability. The Northfield Public Library is also a great option.

Northfield Public Library
210 Washington St
Northfield, MN 55057

See the Northfield Tourism Bureau for more detailed information.

 

Next Bike/Hike Adventure – Explore Minneapolis Northwest

At your fingertips, a fun outdoor adventure destination

As the Mississippi River and its internationally known Mississippi River Trail (MRT) enter the Twin Cities Metro area, visitors staying in Brooklyn Center or Brooklyn Park (also known as Explore Minneapolis Northwest) can access some of the nation’s best bike trails. You can find several comfortable bike routes from your hotel room that will connect you to paved urban trails. These trails will take you through the vibrant cities of Minneapolis’s northwest suburbs. You are linking to MRT to visit local parks along the river or ride trails to downtown Minneapolis for a Twins ball game. For those interested in mountain or fat biking, Elm Creek Park Reserve is also easy to connect to by trail, no matter your hotel choice.

A family having fun riding bike on city trails in Brooklyn Park, MN.

Here a family having fun riding their bikes on city trails in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

When not biking, Explore Minneapolis Northwest offers good times with family attractions, outdoor art fairs, restaurant patios, and other festival event activities throughout the year. In the Fall, enjoy the colorful foliage in the city parks, including the mighty Coon Rapids Dam, while local wineries and breweries nearby offer the crisp flavors of the harvest. Check out the dozens of arts and theater options in between winter fat bike experiences, cross-country skiing, or ice skating. As spring flowers bloom in the city parks and along the bike trails, the beautiful setting will welcome cyclists to return again and again.

Where to Bike in the Area

Being a bike-friendly area, you will find many safe and relaxing street routes, bike trails that parallel roadways with heavier traffic levels, and miles of urban paved trails in Minneapolis Northwest. These trails will also connect you to many popular Twin City Metro trail routes. For the mountain biker, find many fun trails no matter your level of expertise.

For those looking to travel closer to home

Traveling closer to home, near a central metro area, is the new norm for many of us trying to stretch our vacation dollars. So a bicycling staycation or a one-tank drive to explore the Minneapolis Northwest and neighboring communities may open your eyes. Offering new horizons with economic and environmental benefits. With enough trails and fun outdoor activities around its parks and along the Mississippi River, you may want to extend your stay.

Available Bike Maps for the Area

HaveFunBikingMplsNW Map
Hennepin County Bike Map
Brooklyn Parks Trails 
Maple Groves Trails
Coon Rapids Dam Trail
Medicine Lake Regional Trail
Rush Creek Regional Trail
Shingle Creek Regional Trail
Elm Creek Park Trail 
Elm Creek Park Singletrack

Walk/Hiking Opportunities 
Brooklyn Park
Elm Creek Park
Coon Rapids Dam Park

 Area Bike Shops and Clubs

Brooklyn Center
Fridley Heights Cyclery | 4755 University Ave. N.E., Columbia Heights MN, 54427 | 763-572-1670

Brooklyn Park
Trailhead Cycling | 11350 Aquila Dr. N., Champlin, MN 55316 | 763-712-0312

Maple Grove

REI | 11581 Fountains Dr., Maple Grove, MN 55369 | 763-493-7861

Where to Play when not biking

Brooklyn Center
Surly Brewing Company | 4811 Dusharme Dr., Brooklyn Center, MN 55429 | 763-535-3330

Brooklyn Park
Coon Rapids Dam National Park | 10360 West River Road, Brooklyn Park, MN 55444

Brunswick Zone XL | Bowling | 7545 Brooklyn Blvd., Brooklyn Park, MN 55443 | 763-503-2695

Where to Eat 

Brooklyn Center

50’s Grill | Menu | 5524 Brooklyn Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55429| 763-560-4947 
Scoreboard Pizza | Menu | 6816 Humboldt Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN 55430 | 763-566-4455

Brooklyn Park
Fat Nat’s Eggs | Menu | 8587 Edinburgh Centre Dr. N., Minneapolis, MN 55443

For more places to eat when in the area, click on MPLS NW Restaurants

Where to sleep

Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park have several charming and exciting lodging properties for your next visit. For the most up-to-date listing, visit Minneapolis Northwest Hotels.

WI-FI Hotspots and the Library

You will find Wi-Fi access in many coffee shops, restaurants, and hotels. The Brooklyn Center Public Library and the Brooklyn Park Public Library are two additional options for access.

See the Minneapolis Northwest Tourism Bureau for more detailed information on your next trip to explore the Twin Cities metro Area.

Next Bike Adventure – Mesabi Trail

At a Glance: Exploring Mesabi – Fun and Food

In the Arrowhead Region of Minnesota is the Mesabi Trail towns that offer a variety of biking and other fun recreational opportunities for visitors.

A picturesque Mesabi Trail section between Gilbert and Virginia, MN

A picturesque Mesabi Trail section between Gilbert and Virginia, MN.

Made up of several mining towns along the trail, each with unique history, culture, food, and lodging, they are all surrounded by miles of wilderness. Along the way, see the World’s Largest Hockey Stick, Bob Dillon’s home town, and the Minnesota Museum of Mining just to name a few attractions. Whatever your riding choice is for the first trip, you will always remember the Mesabi Iron Range and will want to come back.

Where to Bike

Explore and enjoy the beauty of the mine pit lakes surrounded by forests, in and around the Mesabi Iron Range.  This northern trail system starts near the Mississippi River, in Grand Rapids, and meanders east through 25 communities across the Mesabi Iron Range. Riding the trail uses a combination of old rail beds, abandon roads between mine pits, and allows you to go over grassy meadows and wooded areas.

For the history buff, the trail and towns here offer a open window of the area’s mining past. Trail riders will pass many man-made lakes from old mines and some iron ore pits that are still-working.

For road riding, select many scenic routes that connect with the trail system.

For the mountain biker, there are miles of varying terrain through state forests and through old log/mining roads, plus several challenging terrain parks near Hibbing and Virginia.

Available Maps for the Area

HaveFunBiking Mesabi Trail Towns Map

Grand Rapids Trail Map
Meabi Trail Map | Interactive Map
Bike Aspen Mtn. Bike Trail, Virgina Map
Maple Hill Mtn Bike Trail, Hibbing Map

Area Walk/Hike Opportunities

McCarthy Beach State Park

Area Bike Shops and Clubs

Bikes on Howard, 407 E Howard St, Hibbing  218-262-0899 link
Itasca Trail Sports, 316 NE 4th St, Grand Rapids  218-326-1716 link
Mesabi Recreational Sports,  720 9th St N, Virginia, 218-749-6719 link
Northern Lights Rental Shop, 6331 Wynne Creek Dr, Biwabik  218-865-3002 link

 

Where to Play When Not Biking or Hiking

Along with the bike opportunities on the Mesabi Trail, you will also find the Minnesota Discovery Center, Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort,  several mine overlooks and tours, great restaurants, and lodging. For more info look below to see what each area of trail has to offer.

 

Where to Eat

Numerous restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores are easily accessible.  Along each portion of the trail you will find unique and delicious dining options to suit your taste. Check below for more information on each community’s options.

 

Where to Sleep When Visiting

 

mesabi trail

   

Aurora

Christened by local civic leaders who were inspired by a particularly brilliant display of northern lights high above the new village, Aurora is located on the eastern edge of the Mesabi Iron range.  Aurora is a town with a schedule full of festivals. While visiting here, view the former LTV Steel Mining Company from the designated lookout point at the city’s edge. Here you will also find lodging, restaurants, parks, shopping, and a library for Wi-Fi access.

Here are a couple of Aurora’s attractions.
Pine Grove Park
Northern Lights Music Festival | opera, symphony, and chamber music | 218-780-2292
Megan’s Restaurant
 | 114 Main St N, Aurora, MN 55705 | 218-229-3418
Riding your bicycle Northeast from Giants Ridge to Ely is approximately 43 miles. The Mesabi Trail has not been totally constructed yet at this end. There is a three-mile section in Soudan and another three-mile section of the trail in Ely. From Giants Ridge you will need to use the paved scenic county roads at the far eastern point of the Mesabi Trail.    

 

Biwabik

The name “Biwabik” in Ojibwa means “valuable” and the mines and taconite plant here have certainly made it valuable. With a unique Bavarian look to the downtown area, the Mesabi Trail runs east along the south side of town and along Embarrass Lake. Then, it continues on to the Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort. There are  restaurants, parks, a swimming beach, and campground nearby.

Here are a couple of Biwabik’s attractions.
Giants Ridge | Skiing, golfing, bike, and etc | 6329 Wynne Creek Dr., Biwabik, MN 55708 | 800-688-7669
R Bar & Vi’s Pizza | Menu | 107 North Main, Biwabik, MN 55708 | 218-865-4164

When riding your bicycling on the Mesabi Trail east, it is four miles to get to Aurora.

 

Bovey/Coleraine/Taconite

Located on the shores of Trout Lake, Coleraine has one of the original Andrew Carnegie Libraries. Additionally, there is a public beach that is there to sit on to enjoy the warm days to cool off. There are also restaurants, gas stations, and an ice cream shop here. Two miles further east is Bovey where you will find more to discover and enjoy. Three miles further east is Taconite where you will find a public beach at Holman Lake and a grocery store in town.

Here are a couple of the area’s attractions.
Annabella’s Antique Mall | 407 2nd Street, Bovey, MN 55709 | 218-245-2055
Nana Chelle’s CafeMenu | 312 2nd St., Bovey, MN 55709 | 218-245-2233

Cotton Park & Beach

Riding your bicycling on the Mesabi Trail from here, it is six miles to get to Calumet.

 

Buhl

Boasting the “Finest Water in America,” the Buhl Public Library is listed in the National Historic Book of Register. Here you find a park for camping, a picnic, or a swim. There is a restaurant and gas station in town as well.

Be sure to check out this great place.
Billy’s Pit Stop Pub & Grub | Menu | 124 State St., Buhl, MN 55713 | 218-258-3689

Riding your bicycling on the Mesabi Trail from here, it is nine miles further east to Mountain Iron.

 

Calumet

Home of the Hill Annex State Park which provides a view of a mine. It also has a museum/gift shop in town. Also, you will also find a public library for Wi-Fi access.

Riding your bicycling on the Mesabi Trail from here, it is five miles to Nashwauk.

 

Chisholm

Home to one of the region’s major tourist attractions, “Ironworld,” Longyear Lake is located here within the city limits with a public swimming beach. Other attractions include the Museum of Mining, a WPA Project called the Rock Wall and Museum, Classic Car Museum, Bruce Mine Headframe, and the Iron Ore Miner Memorial. The town has a restaurant, grocery stores, gas station, library, and an option for camping.

Check out some of Chisholm attractions.
Iron Man Statue in dedication of the Iron Ore area.
Minnesota Museum of Mining | 218-254-5543
Valentini’s Supper Club | 31 W Lake St. Chisholm, MN 55719 | 218-254-2607

Riding your bicycling on the Mesabi Trail from here, it is six miles further east to Buhl.

 

Eveleth/Gilbert

A  community resting not only on a large body of iron ore, but it also on the Laurentian Divide, Gilbert has parks, a library, excellent camping grounds, and several great places for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The Iron Range Historical Society, located in the historic former city hall, houses an extensive collection of  photographs, family history/biographies, and much more. On a spur of the paved trail, heading south for miles, is Eveleth.  A picturesque community and home to the  Mesabi Trail Headquarters and Iron Range Tourism Center is just off of Hwy 53 at the trailhead. While here, notice all the natural and man-made wonders. Check out the “Big Stick”, the largest hockey stick in the United States, located in downtown area and the Hockey Hall of Fame along the highway. Here, close to the trail you will find dining, a library, and lodging options also.

Here are some of the area’s attractions.
United States Hockey Hall of Fame Museum | 801 Hat Trick Avenue, P.O. Box 679, Eveleth, MN 55734 |218-744-5167
World’s Largest Hockey Stick (freestanding)
Poor Gary’s Pizza & Subs | Menu | 420 Fayal Rd., Eveleth, MN 55734 | 218-744-5508

Riding your bicycling on the Mesabi Trail east from Gilbert, it is seven miles to Biwabik.

 

Grand Rapids  

Check out the At-A-Glance Article for Grand Rapids.

From Grand Rapids, riding your bicycling to Coleraine on the Mesabi Trail is eight miles of gently rolling wooded terrain.

 

Hibbing

Located 40 miles east of Grand Rapids and 25 miles west of Virginia, if you take the trail, you’ll find a great lookout point. At Mesabi Trail access point is the Hull Rust Mine viewpoint lookout point and the Greyhound Bus Museum. Known as the “Town That Moved”, “The Grand Canyon Of The North”, and the “Iron Capital of the World”, this is the largest city on the Mesabi Iron Range. Along with most hotels, coffee shops and restaurants having Wi-Fi availability, the public library is another good option.  The Hibbing Public Library is located at 2020 E. 5th Ave. in Hibbing and reachable by phone: 218-362-5959.

Here are a few of the attractions Hibbing has to offer:
Greyhound Bus Museum | 1201 Greyhound Blvd., Hibbing, MN 55746 | 218-263-5814
Historical Society Museum | 400 E. 23rd Street, Hibbing, MN 55746 | 218-263-8522

Sunrise Bakery | 1818 3rd Ave. E., Hibbing, MN 55746 | 218-263-4985

Riding your bicycling on the Mesabi Trail from here, it is seven miles east to Chisholm.

 

Keewatin/Nashwauk

The town of Nashwauk is 28 miles east of Grand Rapids and 13 miles west of Hibbing. The town has a restaurant, grocery stores, gas station, and library. Two and a half miles to the east is O’Brien Lake with a swimming beach. A couple miles further is Keewatin where you will find more places and things to explore.

Here a couple of the area’s places to eat:
Wizards Bar & Grill | 102 Central Ave., Nashwauk, MN 55769 | 218-885-3080

Mucho Si | 231 Central Ave., Nashwauk, MN 55769 | 218-885-4062


Riding your bicycling on the Mesabi Trail from here, it is eight miles east to Hibbing.

 

Mountain Iron

West of Virginia, the city of Mountain Iron is where the “Iron Range” began. It was here that Leonidas Merritt discovered ore in 1890. The town still reflects the mining emphasis. Located just south of town is the Minntac Mine Overlook. Here, visitors have a unique chance to view the operation. In the downtown area you can climb aboard the 1910 Baldwin locomotive on display.

Here are a couple of Mountain Iron’s Attractions.
Historic Downtown | Complete with a locomotive from 1910
Mountain Iron Library | Historic location with a statue to honor the founder of the Iron Ore Range, Leonidas Merritt | 5742 Mountain Ave., Mountain Iron, MN 55768 | 218-735-8625

Riding your bicycling on the Mesabi Trail from here, it is three miles east to Virginia.    

 

Virginia

With two lakes right in the center of town as you pass through or connect with the Mesabi Trail, Virginia offers numerous buildings listed on the National Historic Register showing its pristine past. Located 60 miles north of Duluth and a 100 miles south of the Canadian border, Virginia has natural scenic beauty and many mining attractions and festivals. The Mineview in the Sky gives visitors a 20-story view of the Rouchleau Mine group, the area’s deepest mine. Along with most hotels, coffee shops and restaurants have Wi-Fi availability. Additionally, the public library is another good option.  The Virgina Public Library is located at 215 5th Ave. South in Virginia. They can be contacted by phone at 218-748-7525.

Here are a few of Virginia’s attractions.
Cane Lakes Candies | 414 Chestnut St., Virginia, MN 55792 | 218-741-1557
Giant Loon Seasonally displayed, check out the 20 foot Loon to honor Minnesota’s State Bird
Sawmill Saloon & Restaurant | 5478 Mountain Iron Drive, Virginia, MN 55792 | 218-741-8681

Riding your bicycling on the Mesabi Trail from here, it is seven miles east, up the beautiful rock edged rail-trail, to Gilbert.

Next Bike Adventure – South Saint Paul

At A Glance: South Saint Paul – Fun and Food

Biking along the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) is just one of the many opportunities visitors will find when cycling here in the Southeast side of the Twin City Metro Area. As Ol’ Man River bends through St. Paul, Minnesota, opportunities for mountain biking, paved trail riding, and road touring make this area fun to explore.

A bike rider riding along the Mississippi River Trail, in Mendota Heights, with the Downtown St. Paul skyline in the background.

A bike rider riding along the Mississippi River Trail, in Mendota Heights, with the Downtown St. Paul skyline in the background.

The first thing that riders will notice while biking in the four communities of South St. Paul are the downtown skyline features and colorful scenery as the Minnesota River meets the Mississippi near Fort Snelling State Park. Along with a long list of places to stay and explore here, in this South metro area you will find many bicycle riding options.

Each year there are thousands of people who visit the trails in the South metro communities of Eagan, Inver Grove Heights, Mendota Heights, and South St. Paul. Offering many fun attractions, delicious places to eat, amazing natural beauty, and recreational options while staying makes this area a great place to visit. Everything fun that you would expect from a series of river towns along the Mississippi River is right here at your fingertips.

When not biking, the warm summer air welcomes good times with outdoor art fairs, restaurant patios, festival events, and water sports activities. In the Fall you can enjoy the colorful array of the fall foliage in the city and nearby county parks including the spectacular Salem Hills mountain bike park. While local winery and brewery establishments offer the crisp flavors of the harvest, there’s always more to see, do, and taste. In winter you can experience fat biking or cross-country skiing along the river bottom. Plus, check out the opportunities in the historic downtown districts, take in the sights, and venture back in time to enjoy what these towns can offer. Spring flowers bloom in the parks and along the bike trails welcoming another season to back again.

Where to Bike in the Area

With four bike-friendly communities in this area you will find riding the streets and roads here safe and relaxing. You will also find miles of paved trails nestled throughout the communities. For the mountain bikers, no matter what expertise level, many fun trails are offered in nearby Salem Hills Parks and the river bottoms along the Minnesota River.

Available Maps for the Area

HaveFunBiking South St Paul Area Map

Mississippi River Regional Trail
Saint Paul Cycling Trails

Walk/Hiking Opportunities

Dodge Nature Park
Fort Snelling State Park
Friendly Marsh Park
Kapiosa Park & Landing
Mississippi River Trail
South Saint Paul Riverfront Trail
Thompson Park

Area Bike Shops and Clubs

OneTen Cycle | 1040 Dakota Dr., Mendota Heights, MN 55120 | 651-454-2066
Bike King | 6489 Cahill Ave., Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076 | 651-457-7766

Where to Play When Not Biking or Hiking

Como Park Zoo | 1225 Estabrook Dr., St. Paul, MN 55103 | 651-487-8201
CHS Field- St. Paul Saints | 360 N. Broadway St., St. Paul, MN 55101 | 651-644-3517
Science Museum of Minnesota | 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102 | 651-221-9444
Minnesota State Capitol | 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55155 | 651-296-2881   

Where to Eat

T & T Galley | 901 Southview Blvd., South St. Paul, MN 55075 | 651-451-0146
Old World Pizza | Menu | 5660 Bishop Ave., Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076 | 651-455-1551
The Fireside Lounge and Bar | Menu | 288 S. Robert St., West St. Paul, MN 55118 | 651-457-6397

Where to Sleep  

south st paul

Public Wi-Fi Spots in the Area

Along with most hotels, coffee shops and restaurants have Wi-Fi available. Additionally, the public library is another good option.

The South Saint Paul Library is located at 106 3rd Ave. N., South St. Paul, MN 55075 and can be contacted by phone at 651-554-3240.

There are also other libraries in the area.