Tag Archives: Anoka Historical Society

The Anoka 10-mile bike loop offers fun and history while exploring

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

At the confluence of the Rum and Mississippi Rivers, discover the city of Anoka, with fun at every turn along the route. A bike-friendly community to explore you will find parks and historic neighborhoods on the Anoka 10-mile bike loop.  One of the nine Twin Cities Gateway communities, it’s a perfect destination for a bike vacation with all the trail opportunities here. So, if you enjoy pedaling through charming neighborhoods visit Anoka on your next bike adventure.

The Anoka 10-mile bike loop is an adventure for all skill levels of riders.

The Anoka 10-mile bike loop

We recommend starting your bike ride at the Gathering Place Band Shell. It’s located in Akin Riverside Park, on the east bank of the Rum River, a block west of Ticknor Hill Bed & Breakfast.

Traveling clockwise, over the river bridge and the pedestrian crossing on Ferry Street enjoy riding along picturesque Benton Street in the historic Whiskey Flats neighborhood. Don’t be alarmed if you hit a pass-through trail while riding along this residential lane it deters traffic. The street here, a part of the Mississippi River Trail, has been altered to block drive-through auto traffic. Soon you are on the trail pedaling into Mississippi River Community Park.

It’s fun riding a part of the Mississippi River Trail while in Anoka.

Kings Island and park amenities

Signage along the trail as you enter Kings Island.

Arriving in the park you will find restroom facilities and 1.7 miles of paved trail on the grounds here. The community park sits on the east bank of the Mississippi River. Here find a playground in the form of a boat, reminding users of the park’s connection with the Mighty Mississippi. The King Island section of the park incorporates the natural beauty of a wooded flood plain with hiking trails and a mix of prairie flowers.

Up to River Bend Park

Leaving from the park the Anoka 10-mile loop utilizes the trail along its northern route up through Anoka’s industrial area. After crossing Highway 10, notice the Regency Inn Hotel to your left and those who want to ride the 6-mile route should turn east on Vista Way here. Back on the 10-mile loop pedaling north up to Bunker Lake Boulevard. Further along, you will find River Bend Park a perfect place to stop and view the Rum River. Another option, after crossing the river bridge, is to take the trail up, over Bunker Lake Boulevard to the Rum River Library and the Anoka Nature Preserve.

The Anoka Nature Preserve is a 200-acre passive recreational area with low maintenance, hard-packed roads, perfect for off-road cycling and hiking. Along the riverbank, several paths lead to wildlife observation decks. Back at the Preserves trailhead, north of the library, you will find a playground and a restroom option.

Riding along the Rum River

Now heading south on the Rum River Trail, pedal along the east bank of the river and enjoy the wildlife viewing. As you get closer to the inner city of Anoka the trail pops out, onto the bike lane on 4th Avenue and through the historic Cutterville and Wet Flats neighborhoods. Here the 6-mile loop emerges from the west and the trail resumes your ride along the river.

The Anoka 10-mile bike loop is fun for all ages!

The historic downtown district of Anoka

As you approach four metal grain bins along the trail you are entering the north side of the historic downtown area of Anoka. Here you will find several delicious dining establishments and other points of interest. Also known as the Halloween Capital of the World, the city of Anoka becomes alive with festivities each fall. Now, before taking the river trail, under Main Street and back to the band Shell, check out the observation deck at the Rum River Dam.

Downtown, don’t forget to stop at Two Scoops for ice cream.

Back at the Gathering Place Band Shell or your hotel checkout a nearby eating establishment and Two Scoops Ice Cream while planning another bike adventure in the Twin Cities Gateway Area.

Printable map and Q (cue)-sheet)

For a printable bike map of Anoka click here

For a turn-by-turn, Q-sheet of Anoka click here

In Minnesota, at the confluence of the Rum entering the Mississippi River you will find many beautiful turn-of-the-century homes and gardens to tour.

Anoka’s Heritage Home and Garden Tour is enjoyable by bike

At the confluence of the Rum entering the Mississippi River, you will find many beautiful turn-of-the-century homes and gardens to tour. This coming Sunday, July 15th, by bike, car or on foot explore 13 historic neighborhoods on the Anoka Heritage Home and Garden Tour.

The Big White House is century old home on the garden to tour.

The Big White House is century old home on the garden to tour.

A part of the Twin Cities Gateway communities, Anoka happens to be a very bike friendly town. Biking is the perfect way to travel from one historic home to the next on this tour. The locations are far enough away from each other that you may not want to walk? On the other hand, they are close enough that driving is cumbersome. Biking is an excellent way to justify stopping at one of the many establishments downtown and grabbing a delicious treat after the tour.

The Heritage Home and Garden Tour

This year there are around 18 stops along the tour, showcasing the community’s past while flower gardens are in bloom. Also featured this year is the Federal Cartridge Clubhouse. Along with a special pop-up tornado exhibit and marketplace at the Anoka Armory, that had been destroyed in the 1939 disaster.

The Mad Hatter Restaurant & Tea Room, in the Woodbury House, is another home worth seeing.

The Mad Hatter Restaurant & Tea Room, in the Woodbury House, is another home worth seeing.

As you tour this river community admire some of Minnesota’s most beautiful homes and gardens up close. From the historic neighborhood of Slabtown to Christian Hill, discover how they got their names. Hear the stories of the first occupants who lived there.

One of the homes featured on tour is the Ticknor Hill Bed and Breakfast, built in 1867 and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. . Another home The Mad Hatter Restaurant & Tea House, located in the Woodbury House with great gardens, is also listed on the National Registry Historic Places. These are just two of the many homes on this tour that you will enjoy seeing.

All participants receive a tour booklet, which contains a map and addresses for you to easily  find the charming homes and gardens on the tour. Once you have purchase your tour book, with map, look at these locations on the city’s bike map showing connectors trails.

For more bicycle opportunities in the Twin Cities Gateway check out these maps.

The Fridley Historic Home & Garden Tour coming July 22

Downriver from Anoka, enjoy a new tradition with the Fridley Historic Home & Garden Tour. This tour, on Sunday, July 22nd  will ramble back in time  to this community’s most famous era, the 60’s! Enjoy scenic homes and gardens by bike as Fridley is another bike friendly community in the Twin Cities Gateway.

Watch the Fridley Historic Home and Garden tour video on YouTube. (Link opens in new tab) 

See the Fridley Historic Home and Garden Tour Event Tickets site for more information and to purchase tickets!