With summer now a cherished memory, we are counting the months before we can reshoot another Minnesota summer bike pic memory. This photo was taken along the Mississippi River Trail last season.
by Andrew Ellis
As tourism opportunities open up again, I wanted to revisit Hutchinson, MN, and their map on pages 46-47 in the MN Bike Guide. A bike-friendly community with a hometown feel and small-town charm, Hutchinson is worth checking out. A short drive west of the Twin Cities, it’s one of those areas where it’s easy to lose track of time as you enjoy all the fresh air. Arriving in town, you have several biking options around lakes and parks nearby for added recreational pleasure. Enjoy pedaling around rather than driving your car here; you will have no trouble creating some new memories while riding your bike in Hutch.
Aside from mountain biking, trail riding, and touring, the countryside offers more opportunities than you can cover in one day. Besides, you can immerse yourself in the local arts created by those who inspire the natural beauty around them. Spend some time learning about the town’s history. Or, if you are looking for a unique place to eat or a gift to take home, there are plenty of opportunities waiting for you to discover.
Minnesota’s hometown feel is in bike-friendly Hutchinson
Located a little over an hour from the Twin Cities, the community here is also known as ‘Minnesota’s Hometown.’ It’s a great place to escape the often road-rage inducing atmosphere of the big city. Here you can ride the Luce Line State Trail to clear your mind and let the calm country scenery work its magic.
Nothing is better than McCormick’s Family Restaurant in Hutchinson to start your day and plan your ride. Voted the number one place for Eggs Benedict in Minnesota, their pancakes and waffles are good too.
When it comes time to take a break from pedaling, there is no shortage of attractions to keep your adventure moving forward. Hutchinson has its share of one-of-a-kind eateries, and if you’re looking for some more action outside, you can try your hand at some paintball.
Riding opportunities in and around Hutchinson
Like many small towns in Minnesota, pedaling around isn’t difficult. Here in Hutchinson, there is one big trail system that takes you beyond the town limits. In fact, you can ride the trail all the way to the Twin Cities. And, if you’re up for the challenges, you will find a few mountain biking opportunities.
The Luce Line State Trail
The Luce Line State Trail stretches 63 miles (from Plymouth to Cosmos) and is a popular attraction for bikers, hikers, snowmobilers, and equestrian enthusiasts. The paved trail includes about 21 miles from the west Carver County line, through Hutchinson, to the west McLeod County line. To learn more about the Luce Line, go to www.luceline.com.
Those wishing for more than paved, level trails are in luck. Thanks to the Hutchinson Area Mountain Bike Association, there are two tracks within reach: Tartan Terrain Park and Stahls Lake Park. Tartan Park is located within the town limits and is a skills park that caters to beginners and advanced. If you want to venture outside the town limits to Stahl’s Lake Park, there’s a nice single-track that caters to all experience levels. Two double track loops range from .5 miles to 1 mile long. One single-track loop is over 2 miles.
Road Biking Opportunities
Like many of Minnesota’s smaller communities, navigating the area on your bike couldn’t be easier. The roads allow you to see all the area’s beautiful scenery, perfect for your next Instagram post. You can use the roads to explore the area’s parks, shops and more. Plus, you will find plenty of city trails that help you around as well.
For more information on playing or staying in a community with Minnesota’s hometown feel. Check out our HaveFunBiking, At-a-Glance Hutchinson article for your next bike adventure. For places to stay and campgrounds, see Explore Hutchinson.
by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com
If you have three days or more open and looking for a true north biking experience in Minnesota, consider Roseau. A few miles from the Canadian border on a recent visit I found this area full of fun offering many off-road bicycling opportunities.
An outdoor bicycle paradise
Perfect for the whole family, the city of Roseau offers a paved bike trail, along with a number of quite street routes. Making it easily get around, to and from your hotel, by bike.
On the eastern edge of the city, I found Mount Roseau. Here, with no forest vegetation on the hill, it made it easy to see the countryside as I rode up, down and around the trails of this mountain bike park. At the top, the view was worth a few moments. But, what was really exciting was learning about the areas remote logging roads and trails in Beltrami Island State Forest. For the fat, gravel, and mountain bike fans this is a haven to check out if you are craving a true north experience.
Roseau a true north biking experience
Minnesota’s North Star City, the community is located in an environmental transition area of the state where the forest gives way to the prairies of the Red River Valley. Located only 13-miles south of the Canadian Border and 27-mile to Lake of the Woods, by auto, Roseau is a six-hour drive from the Twin Cities. In this friendly Scandinavian community, visitors will find many recreational opportunities in the town’s parks and nearby state forests parks.
As a result of this unique location, wildlife enthusiasts traveling by auto, bike or on foot can appreciate the outdoor paradise the area offers. Nearly forty percent of Roseau County is accessible by state or county parks, and wildlife areas. Surrounding Roseau there are tamarack bogs to the north, prairie grasslands to the west and sandy pine forests to the east. All areas provide ample opportunity for a gravel road ride or wilderness fat and mountain biking adventures. Along the way take in several wildlife viewing stations, pick blueberries or just go for a hike and explore. Plus, the Pine to Prairie Birding Trail, near Roseau, is on Minnesota’s premier bird-watching list.
Parks to explore in the area
Four of the most visited Roseau outdoor recreation areas are the Roseau City Park, Sprague Creek Natural Area, Hayes Lake State Park, and Beltrami State Forest.
Roseau City Park
The City Park here is located on 40 wooded acres, along the Roseau River. The park provides a variety of activities including paved trail and mountain biking on Mount Roseau. The single-track trail system offering over 6.5 miles of fun twists and turns for all skill levels. The park also offers various playground equipment, sand volleyball, a fishing pier, and Frisbee golf activities.
Click here to see our bike map of Roseau.
Sprague Creek Natural Area
Easy to ride to, the Peatland Scientific and Natural Area, is just north of Roseau. Once you arrive this area offers hiking trails that feature many bird viewing opportunities.
Hayes Lake State Park
Accessible by bike, Hayes Lake State Park is located 18 miles southeast of Roseau, on County Road 4. Located on the edge of Beltrami Island State Forest, this quiet true north park consists of 3,000 acres of pines, the lake, and wildlife to observe. The park also features a day-use area with fishing pier, swimming beach, and campsites. The lake is a non-motorized recreational area where canoeing and kayaking are popular. While here, also enjoy the opportunity to view rare birds such as bald eagles, great grey owls, Sandhill cranes and a variety of warblers. Wildlife sightings found in the area include elk, moose, bear, and wolves.
Beltrami State Forest
Further east from the State Park and as I mentioned earlier, what really excites me about this area for a true north biking experience is Beltrami Island State Forest. The second largest of Minnesota’s 60 state forests, there are five rivers that have their headwaters here. Also containing scientific and natural areas, riding the forest here is unique.
In this huge forest, there are more than 138 miles of logging roads and trail to explore on your bike. Make sure you have a compass or GPS device along when exploring the trails. Pedaling around low flatland’s, peat bogs and ridges covered in pines, it’s easy to get lost. Along the forest roads, you might find evidence of a former homestead foundation or village. As s you explore, you will for sure want to stop and enjoy some blueberries when you hit a patch.
When not biking
Being the birthplace of snowmobiling and Polaris Industries, in between daily outings take in a plant tour and the museum. At the Experience Center see artifacts from the earliest snowmobiles to Polaris’s movement into All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). History buffs will enjoy the Roseau Pioneer Farm and Village, as well as the Roseau County Museum.
Another Roseau summer tradition is the 100-year old Roseau County Fair. Held in the middle of July, this annual event can add to your biking adventure if you visit at that time. Other activities around town include the community pool, paddling the Roseau River, the local theatre, a bowling alley, and arcade. In the downtown area, you will find many antique shops to browse and reminisce about the past.
Places to stay for a true north biking experience
On my last visit, while exploring this true north destination I headquartered at the AmericInn. Roseau also offers a couple more hotels to fit your needs. Camping (RV and tent sites with water and electric) in the city park is also an option.
Roseau has something for every interest. Check your calendar and plan your next true north biking experience to Roseau, today.
Here, in this photo, a cyclist checks his ride with a custom drum set mounted to the frame of his bike. This HaveFunBiking photo was taken at a 2013 Open Streets Minneapolis event.
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!