by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com
Biking to the new Vikings Training Camp, from the Mall of America (MOA) in Bloomington, MN can add to the fun when taking in a scrimmage game. With the recent announcement of the training camp’s schedule, the maps in the Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide can help make it easy get to a game. Less of a hassle factor – starting at the MOA is the perfect place to meet friends staying at area hotels and bicycling together to a game.
Going to an area attraction like the Vikings Training Camp, the Mall is an excellent multi modal gathering point to get there. Biking from the north parking lot at the MOA it is less than seven miles to the new Vikings facility. Along the way make time stop by the Northwest Airlines Museum or Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Center.
Maps and Q-sheet make it easy to find area attractions by bike
Getting to the attractions on a bicycle can be fun and add to the memories. To plan your next visit to one of Bloomington’s Attractions look at the maps on pages 40-41 and 52-53 of the 2018 Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. For a trip to the Vikings camp copy the turn-by-turn Q-sheet below for your next bike adventure.
From the MOA Entrance on the north side! 0.0 Cross the north MOA parking lot.
0.2 Right on East American Blvd (side walk trail or street).
1.1 Cross 34th Ave. NW Airlines Museum/Crown Plaza Hotel (SE corner).
1.3 Entrance to the MN Valley Wildlife Center.
1.6 Onto bike trails over Minnesota River.
3.9 Right on trail along Pilot Knob Rd.
4.1 Left onto Corporate Center Ln.
4.4 Left onto Trapp Rd.
4.9 Left on Egandale.
5.1 Right on Hwy 55 10 foot shoulder.
5.4 Left on Blue Gentian Rd.
6.2 Cross Dodd Rd/149 onto Vikings Pkwy.
6.3 Left at Round-a-bout onto Lone Oak Pkwy.
6.4 Right on O’Nell Dr.
6.8 North entrance to Vikings Training Camp (Valet gate) and bike racks are available at main entrance inside to secure your bike.
Starting at MOA adds to the fun exploring Bloomington’s attractions
A revolutionary place for shopping, entertainment and attractions, John Emerson says, “I like using the MOA as a meeting point when biking around the south metro. It’s nice, I can come a little early or stay after a bike ride and get some shopping in or grab a bite to eat. Plus, getting to and from the Mall is easy with the bike friendly sidewalks, access to light-rail and ample parking.” We agree with John. The MOA makes a perfect multi modal commuting hub where travel treasures can be exploredvon two-wheels in Bloomington.
From the north parking lot, at the Mall of America, the sidewalk/trail running parallel with American Boulevard make the best bike commuter route along the 494 freeway strip. Once at the Mall you will find bike racks near most of the main entrances and lockers for changing cloths inside.
If you are coming in by bus or light rail, use the lower parking ramp on the east side. There are bike racks next to the bus station to secure your bike. For more information see MOA services and map.
Now riding east from the Mall, cross the 34th Avenue at the light rail station. Here at the southeast corner of this intersection you will see the Crown Plaza Hotel where the Northwest Airline Museum is located.
Northwest Airlines History Center Museum
The Northwest Airlines History Center Museum, a mile east of the Mall of America is worth checking out if you are interested in aviation history. Here you will find a treasure trove of Minnesota’s home-town airline history on display. Visiting, you will find over 4,000 aviation artifacts, from 1926 to 1998, to sift through. Plus, a gallery of museum photos hanging in the hotels hallways to enjoy as you make your way to the exhibit. It is easy to spend a couple hours or more looking at the various collections here.
A short distance east of the NW Airline Museum, is the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and Visitors Center
Another Bloomington attraction is the National Wildlife Refuge
Across from the Hilton Hotel, is the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and Visitors Center. Its grand stature overlooking the river valley below offers a castle-like presence. Inside, it feels bigger than the average visitors center and it is. It has everything including information on the wildlife that calls the refuge home. In the theater and interactive exhibits kids can learn about the wonders of the natural world. There are also several large murals that are made out tiny pictures of animals that can be found in the refuge.
Step outside, right behind the center you will find a stone observation deck with two telescopes. Here it’s easy to focus on the flora and fauna across the river valley. It adds to the center’s castle-like vibe and enjoyment.
Back on the route, cross the Minnesota river to watch a viking scrimmage game.
Taking in a game at the new Vikings training camp
The team’s new headquarters, Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center will open next month for scrimmages, July 25th through August 16th. Each day of practice games at the new facility the gate will open to 5,000 fans, via free tickets. Daily, 1,300 of those tickets will be held for the general public. Season ticket holders will have first option to the remainder.
There will be no access for fans without a mobile ticket. These digital tickets are free and available at vikings.com. There is a $10 fee for parking your auto if you you decide to drive. For more information see the article: 12 things you should know attending the training camp
If you have any questions about using the Vikings Mobile Ticketing App, contact the Vikings Ticket Office at (612) 338-4537.
More Bloomington attractions and sights to see by bike
Other travel treasure opportunities to consider riding your bike to and from the Mall of America include: Stopping at the observation area at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport; taking the trail to Lake Nakomis, then Minnehaha Falls and back through Fort Snelling State Park; and a family outing at the Works Museum.
For more fun when staying or visiting Bloomington check out all the activities, attractions and lodging accommodations here.