by Russ Lowthian
Before or after that next soccer game at the National Sports Center, grab the handlebars of a bicycle for a true north Twin Cities Gateway bicycle adventure. Surrounding the soccer fields, in Blaine, MN, the nine communities of the Gateway offer hundreds of miles of paved trail for you and family members to explore.
A Gateway bicycle adventure
The Twin Cities Gateway is made up of nine different bike-friendly communities. Here are the maps of each: Anoka; Blaine; Coon Rapids; Fridley; Ham Lake; Lino Lakes; Mounds View; New Brighton; and Shoreview. All unique in their own way each offers relaxed small town-type atmospheres with plenty to do.
So take a deep breath as you grip your handlebars
Enjoying a Twin Cities Getaway bicycle adventure you will feel as if you’re deep in the country as several communities here border the Mississippi River Trail. Along with several nature parks, it can expand your personal playground while visiting. Options, traveling by bike include stopping along a lake to go swimming or fishing; play a round of disc golf; go birding; explore one of the many parks; or travel the trail through the chain of lakes by bike or rent a canoe. You can even satisfy your inner sports desire by visiting the velodrome track on the grounds at the National Sports Center.
Off-road trails and parks
You can take the Rum River Regional Trail down to where it meets the MRT, maybe stopping in historic downtown Anoka along the way? There is also the scenic trails in Bunker Hills Regional Park offering heavily wooded and prairie flower landscapes. Or, take the thrilling Coon Creek Regional Trail that connects to the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park and the MRT.
For more extensive rides you can also explore the trails along the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve. Or, take the Rice Creek West Regional Trail back to the Mississippi River. This trail passes through Long Lake Park which has several trails that take you by the park’s namesake and Rush Lake. Another option is the trails in the Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park which is filled to the brim and full of beautiful scenery as you switch from one trail to the next.
The velodrome at the National Sports Center
If you’re tired of riding trails and want more of a challenge, check out the velodrome at the National Sports Center. Especially their ‘Thursday nights under the lights’, the wooden track is open to the public for single speed fun. The season begins in late spring and through the summer. Check out their schedule for more details.
Twin Cities Gateway area bike shops 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
Pioneer Cycle | 12741 Central Ave. N.E., Blaine 55434 | 763-755-8871
For more info on the Twin Cities Gateway
Here you will find more details on where to stay, play, and explore this nine-city area.
More places to bike and explore in Minnesota
Check out the Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.