Tag Archives: biking Minnesota

If you have three days or more free and looking for a true north biking experience in Minnesota, consider Roseau.

A true north biking experience with family and friends in Roseau

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

If you have three days or more free and are 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.

The quite city streets makes it easy and safe to connect to the trail to go downtown.

The quite city streets makes it easy and safe to connect to the trail, to go downtown.

On the eastern edge of the city I found Mount Roseau. With no forest vegetation, it made it easy to see the countryside as I rode up and down the trails of this mountain bike park. At the top the view was worth stopping for. But, what was really exciting was learning about the areas remote logging roads and trails in Beltrami Island State Forest. For the gravel, fat and mountain bike riders, this is a haven 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. Roseau is only 13-mile south of the Canadian Border and 27-mile to Lake of the Woods, by auto it is a six hour drive from the Twin Cities. In this friendly Scandinavian community, visitors will find many recreational opportunities in the towns parks and nearby state forests parks.

As a result of this unique location, wildlife enthusiasts traveling by auto, bike or foot can appreciate the outdoor paradise this area offers. Nearly forty percent of Roseau County is open, accessible through state and county parks, forests 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 adventure. Along the way take in several wildlife viewing stations, pick berries or go for a hike and explore. Plus, Roseau is a prime stop on Minnesota’s premier bird watching list, on the Pine to Prairie Birding Trail.

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 mountain Bike trail on Mount Roseau.

The mountain bike trail on Mount Roseau.

The  City Park here is located on 40 wooded acres in southeast section of the city, along the Roseau River. The park provides a variety of activities including mountain biking and a paved trail. Here you will find Mount Roseau mountain bike 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 features 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, Hayes Lake and wildlife. 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 is a popular activity. Hayes Lake also offers the opportunity to view rare birds such as bald eagles, great grey owls, Sandhill cranes and a variety of warblers. Wildlife found in the area includes elk, moose, bear and wolves.

Beltrami State Forest

From this forest road many logging roads and trails intersect and are ready yo explore.

From this forest road many primitive logging roads and trails intersect and are ready to explore by bike.

Further east from the State Park and as I mentioned earlier, what really excites me about this area for a true north biking experience in Beltrami Island State Forest. The second largest of Minnesota’s 59 state forests, there are five rivers that have their headwaters here. Also containing scientific and natural areas riding the forest here is unique.

A family enjoying a true north bike experience in the forest.

A family enjoying a true north bike experience in the forest.

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. Pedaling along the forest roads you will pass through the heart of blueberry country. You might find evidence of a former homestead foundation or village also.

When not biking

From wheels to snow track the the Thrill Team helped to promote snowmobiling with this stunt track.

From wheels to snow track the the Thrill Team helped to promote snowmobiling with this stunt track.

Being the birthplace of snowmobiling and Polaris Industries, in between daily outings take in a assembly plant tour and visit the museum in Roseau. At the Experience Center see artifacts from the earliest snowmobiles to Polaris’s movement into All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s). 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. Plus, downtown you will find many antique shops to browse through and reminisce about the past.

Places to stay for a true north biking experience

On my last visit, while exploring this true north play land 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 today.

The trails are scenic and fun in Minnesota's Hometown feel community, Hutchinson.

Bike around Hutchinson and enjoy Minnesota’s hometown feel

by Andrew Ellis

With spring riding weather soon here, I wanted to recap my visit to Hutchinson, MN. A bike-friendly community with Minnesota’s hometown feel and small town charm it 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 with several lakes and parks nearby for added recreational pleasure. If you enjoy pedaling around, over driving, the whole area is very accessible so you’ll have no trouble creating some new memories.

Riding the Luce Line Trail through Hutchinson

Riding the Luce Line Trail through Hutchinson on the Jaycee’s Water Carnival, June 8th.

Aside from mountain biking, trail riding and the countryside touring opportunities here are plentiful, more than you can take in. You can immerse yourself in the local arts created by those who take inspiration from the natural beauty around them. Spend some time learning about the town’s history and how it all came to be. Or, if you are looking for 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.

To start your day and plan your ride, nothing is better then McCormick’s Family Restaurant, in Hutchinson. 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

Its easy to get out to Stahls Lake Park, from Hutchinson.

Its easy to get out to Stahls Lake Park, from 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. You will find a few mountain biking opportunities if you’re up for the challenges you will see below.

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, just outside of town. To learn more about the Luce Line, go to www.luceline.com.

To take in the Jaycee’s Water Carnival, plan to visiting the week of June 8th.

Mountain Biking

Tartan Park is located in Hutchinson and is a skills park that is perfect for beginners to advanced mountain bikers.

Tartan Park is located in Hutchinson and is a skills park that is perfect for beginners to advanced mountain bikers.

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 in town limits and is a skills park that caters to beginners and advanced (see video). 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. See the MnDOT county bike maps for both road and gravel opportunities.

Come, enjoy the bike-friendly fun in Minnesota's 'hometown feel' of fun.

Come, enjoy the bike-friendly fun in Minnesota’s ‘hometown feel’ of fun.

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 camp grounds see Explore Hutchinson.

With summer now a cherished memory, we are counting the months before we can do a re-shoot of this Minnesota photo taken along the Mississippi River Trail.

Bike Pic Nov 16, seven months and counting for this photo re-shoot

With summer now a cherished memory, we are counting the months before we can do a re-shoot of this Minnesota photo taken along the Mississippi River Trail.

Get into the zone and plan your next bike outing with family and friends at one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. View all the fun ideas in the latest Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Thanks for viewing our ‘Requested Re-Shoot’ 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.

So smooth out your day-to-day ride with Wheelie Wednesday, and:

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 Dec. 23, ready to rock the ride

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!

#FindYourNextAdventure