Tag Archives: bike trails

Riding the Minnesota Trail out of Mankato

Biking Your Way to Adventure in Mankato and the Surrounding Area

by Andrew Ellis, 

It always amazes me how bike-friendly Mankato is and this time was no different. Taking in the Mankato River Ramble Bike Ride, I found several new and safe twist and turns the whole family will enjoy as a bike destination. Tucked along the Minnesota River, in Southwestern Minnesota, its a quick hour and a half drive from the Twin Cities to find your #nextbikeadventure here.

Bike-Friendly Mankato

Trail riding in Mankato

Trail riding in Mankato.

The city is located at the point where the Minnesota River and the Blue Earth River merge. This industrialized farm community is actually divided into two, with North Mankato located just across the Minnesota River and easily accessible by bike trail. With several trail systems that connects you to the north side, across the river and the many farm communities up on the bluffs it’s a great destination for all skill levels of cyclists.

Overall I found my recent visit here fun and easy to get around by bicycle. The bike-friendly roads and trail made it easy to connect from one trail system to the next. Plus, there are countless public bike racks within the area for safe storage. Spending a few days here before the River Ramble, using my bike to get around allowed me an easily way to see the city’s many attractions, such as the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, the rock climbing walls at Minnesota State University and many art exhibits. The presence of the colleges here adds to Mankato’s lively and welcoming atmosphere so you can easily browse of mix of nationally known and locally-owned shops, restaurants, and even venture outside the city limits for a tour of the local winery or brewery.

Biking Opportunities in Mankato

Family fun riding the Red Jacket Trail into Mankato.

Family fun riding the Red Jacket Trail into Mankato.

When you’re in a city that’s been certified as a bike-friendly community by the League of American Cyclists, you know you’ll find endless opportunities for pedaling around. That’s especially true for Mankato, the city and it’s surrounding area are full of walking and biking trail loops and more. So, no matter what kind of terrain you’re looking for, there’s bound to be some road or trail in the Mankato area right for you.

Mankato’s Paved Trails Systems

The Indian Lake Conservation Area, a 120-acre regional park, has a trail that’s just over 1 mile long. It takes you on small scenic tour of what the park has to offer. There is also the South Route Trail, in Minneopa State Park, that’s just over half a mile long. This trail connects to the North Minnesota River Trail which also connects to the Sakatah Trail. The North Minnesota River Trail also highlights Mankato’s prime location in the river valley at Riverfront Park.

Bike routes that lead to outlying farm communities

Family fun riding the southern end of the Red Jacket Trail.

Family fun riding the southern end of the Red Jacket Trail.

Mankato’s biking loops are a great way to explore the area without fear of getting lost. The Lake Crystal Loop is the most popular among bikers. It takes you south on the scenic Red Jacket Trail, and through the Minnesota River Valley for a very adventurous ride. You can even top it off top this adventure off with some award-winning pie.

You can also take the North Mankato Loop that mixes trails with low traffic roads, passing by several parks and opportunities to stop for a snack. If you prefer to tour the city, then the Mankato Loop contains mostly off-road trails. It keeps you in town and passes through the Minnesota River Valley.

If you feel like venturing outside the city, take the St. Clair/Eagle Lake Loop. It’ll give you a nice taste of small town hospitality, and you can even stop for a picnic in the park or eat at one of the local diners. If you want to explore north of the city, then try out the North Gravel Ride. You’ll ride along the Minnesota River’s bluffs on your way to the prairie land of Kasota. If you want to hit the open road, then try the St. Clair, Smiths Mill, Madison Lake Loop which takes you southeast of the city.

Mountain Biking

If you’re looking for more of a challenge, then behold Mankato’s mountain biking trails. The Ft. LeHillier Trail was created by the Mankato Area Mountain Bikers (MAMB) and offers both an easy and a difficult track ready for your wheels to get down and dirty. Also, check out the Kiwanis Recreation Area, which has four different loop options that total five miles of mountain biking thrills.  And lets not forget Mount Kato with over seven miles of wooded single-track trails that caters to all skill levels.

Outside of town you can try the trails at Seven Mile Park between North Mankato and St. Peter. It’s a multi-purpose trail system you can use, but watch out for other users.

Road Biking

Getting around the city and the surrounding area is relatively easy. The city’s streets and attractions are essential to making Mankato a bike-friendly destination. As for the surrounding area, there are plenty of roads that you can take to navigate around the area. Many of the loops mentioned above include using roads to follow the courses. However, each road differs in the amount of traffic and the amount of shoulder it has for riders – so stay alert.

An At-A-Glance Look at Mankato

Be sure to check out our At-A-Glance Mankato Article for more details on where to stay, play, and explore for your hand-held devises. As this story and the At-A-Glance Article are mobile-friendly for your convenience, have fun!

Have Fun riding in the Mankato Area.

Have Fun riding in the Mankato Area.

Now with fat bikes, any time of the year is the perfect time to visit Mankato.

It is fun to take a European bike vacation to explore the Netherlands and their 100's of bicycle routes that follow the picturesque canals and rivers there.

Bike Pic Oct 7, exploring the canal routes in the Netherlands

It is fun to take a European bike vacation to explore the Netherlands and their 100’s of bicycle routes that follow the picturesque canals and rivers there.

What better way to continue your fall and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the latest Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Netherlands Canal’ Pic of the Day  

We are now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media. As we pedal forward our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun while we highlight all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing this hand information booklet full of maps.

Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo apperance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic’s of the Day.

Have a great day!

It is fun to take a European bike vacation to explore the Netherlands and their 100's of bicycle routes that follow the picturesque canals and rivers there.

Bike Pic Sept 28, exploring the canal routes in the Netherlands

It is fun to take a European bike vacation to explore the Netherlands and their 100’s of bicycle routes that follow the picturesque canals and rivers there.

What better way to continue your fall and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the latest Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Netherlands Canal’ Pic of the Day  

We are now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media. As we pedal forward our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun while we highlight all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing this hand information booklet full of maps.

Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo apperance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic’s of the Day.

Have a great day!

Here at HaveFunBiking.com we hope you are having fun with your bike no matter where you are. Here we found another unique rest stop along a trail in the Netherlands

Bike Pic Sept 4, have fun were ever you are this Labor Day holiday

Here at HaveFunBiking.com we hope you are having fun with your bike no matter where you are. Here we found another unique rest stop along a trail in the Netherlands. Our hats off to the creative individual who came up with the bike rack in this photo.

What better way to continue your summer fun and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the latest Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Labor Day Weekend’ Pic of the Day  

We are now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media. As we pedal forward our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun while we highlight all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing this hand information booklet full of maps.

Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo apperance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic’s of the Day.

Have a great day!

It fun to get out of the states to bike and explore the Netherlands

Bike Pic Aug 26, exploring the Netherlands and the canal routes there

It is fun to take a Europe bike vacation to explore the Netherlands and their 100’s of bicycle routes that follow the picturesque canals and rivers there.

What better way to continue your summer fun and your #NextBikeAdventure here. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the latest Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Netherlands Canal’ Pic of the Day  

We are now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media. As we pedal forward our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun while we highlight all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing this hand information booklet full of maps.

Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo apperance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic’s of the Day.

Have a great day!

Bike Pic April 29, ice cream smiles Friday!

With warmer weather ahead stopping for ice cream, when riding your bike, seams like the natural thing to do. Here in this photo, two young cyclist find the perfect flavor after riding the trails with their family.

See many more bike friendly places to ride and explore in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking (HFB). 

Now, rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle tourism media our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As HFB searches and presents more fun cycling related photos, worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted that may help you find your next adventure. Then, while out there if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, next to the route you regularly commute on, or at an event you plan to attend, be prepared to smile. You never know where our camera’s will be and what we will post next!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us post? If so, please send it our way and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to: [email protected] with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know?) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 800 pixels wide or larger for us to consider using them. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please reference our blog and the annual print and quarterly digital Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide to find your next adventure. We are proud of the updated – At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for at the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of information, now available for mobile devices.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure – we may capture you in one of the next photos we post.

Have a great day!

The Spring MN Bike/Hike Guide is now available digitally with more maps

With spring in the air, a Minnesota tradition in less than two weeks and the 7th Annual MN Bike/Hike Guide coming in from the printers, carry this handy booklet with you in its digital format today!

As we continue to add more links and helpful information to assist you in finding your next adventure, please page through the Guide’s events, maps and helpful tips pages – and let us know if we missed something. With the summer issue, in its digital format, coming out in late May, we can make change and additions. So, please tell us as you plan your next adventure!

Our HaveFunBiking ‘Pic of the Day’ may help you find your next adventure

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike while showcasing the unforgettable places to ride. As we search for fun bike photos, many worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted – it may help you find your next adventure. Then, while out there exploring, if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, next to a road route you regularly commute on or at an event – be prepared to smile. You never know where our cameras will be and what we will post next!

Plus, we welcome your candid bike shots

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us post at HaveFunBiking?

If so, please send it our way and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to: [email protected] with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know?) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 800 pixels wide or larger for us to consider using them. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

Be a part of a Minnesota bike tradition and get the a free copy of the printed guide

Regarding the 2016 printed guides, be one of the first to receive a printed copy by coming out to Stillwater, MN and participating in the MN Ironman Bicycle Ride on April 24th. With no running or swimming required this spring bike opener will be a fun way to celebrate its 50th year and start the summer cycling season – A true Minnesota tradition with bragging rights guaranteed.

So please bookmark the MN Guide and  HaveFunBiking.com to help find your next adventure – we may capture you in one of the next photos online or in the Bike/Hike Guide.

Have Fun and Keep Riding!

Take a sneak peek of the 2016 MN Bike Hike Guide

As we prepare for press, we invite you to take a sneak peek of the Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide and let us know what you think. As we add more links and helpful information to assist you in finding your next adventure, please page through all the bike events, maps and helpful tips and let us know if we missed something.

Flip through the pages on your computer screen, book the site for future reference and take it with you for your mobile devices when you are on the go. In both our print and quarterly digital editions you will find a full schedule of bike event listings with links, helpful tips to have a safe journey and plenty of maps showcasing bike friendly destinations for planning and riding into your next adventure.

And check back regularly for our HaveFunBiking ‘Pic of the Day’ 

Now, rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle tourism media our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As HFB searches and presents more fun cycling related photos, many worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted – it  may help you find your next adventure. Then, while out there exploring, if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, next to the route you regularly commute on, or at an event, be prepared to smile. You never know where our camera’s will be and what we will post next!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us post on HaveFunBiking? If so, please send it our way and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to: [email protected] with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know?) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 800 pixels wide or larger for us to consider using them. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please reference our blog and the annual print and quarterly digital Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide to find your next adventure. We are proud of the updated – At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for at the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of information, now available for mobile devices. 

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure – we may capture you in one of the next photos we post.

Have a great day!

 

Bike Pic Feb. 12th, ice cream smiles Friday!

Making memories centered around the bike and cool treats. Here the girls in the photo enjoy time with dad at one of the four local ice cream shops in La Crosse, Wisconson.

Along the picturesque Mississippi River Valley this community offers many bike riding opportunities and great treats along the way. A year round bike destination check out the fun at the La Crosse Area Bicycle Festival, September 2-5, 2016.

#FindYourNextAdventure

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking (HFB). 

Now, rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As we search and present more fun photos worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted to help you find your next adventure. Then, while out there if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, next to the route you regularly commute on, or at an event you plan to attend with your bike, be prepared to smile. You never know where our camera’s will be and what we will post next!

Do you have a fun photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us publish? If so, please send it our way and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to [email protected] with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know?) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be at least 620 pixels wide for us to use them. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please reference our blog and the annual print and quarterly digital Bike/Hike Guide to find your next adventure. We are proud of the updated – At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for in the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Bike/Hike Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of bicycle tourism information available for mobile devices where you may see some additional bike pics – maybe of yourself so.

Bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure – we may capture you in one of the next photos we post.

Have a great day!