Tag Archives: Elk River MN

With many trails rolling in and around Anoka, I felt a welcoming charm in this relaxing community with hospitality everywhere that I turned.

Anoka is a fun place to take a fall trail ride, especially around Halloween

With many trails rolling in and around Anoka, the charm in this relaxing community is everywhere that you turn. One of nine Twin Cities Gateway communities, Anoka is the Halloween Capital of the World and offers a vast network of bike-friendly roads and trails. A perfect place to begin a ride, this river town is at the confluence of the Rum River as it flows into the Mississippi River, next to the famous trail with the same name the MRT. Making it easy to view many of the historic buildings which are near the trail and downtown Anoka.

A great destination for the whole family riding the trails and bike friendly roads in the Twin Cities Gateway.

A great destination for the whole family riding the trails in the Twin Cities Gateway.

Along with the many trails to ride, the history and Holloween decor is another reason why you should consider visiting Anoka in the fall. Stop by the local Chamber or call and ask about the festivities surrounding the week of Halloween. Then, when you arrive, check out some of the dining establishments to fuel your body before or after your ride.

Hans’ Bakery

The bike ride to Hans’ Bakery, two miles south of the downtown area will excite your sweet tooth with a delicious assortment of legendary pastries. This establishment started as a diner by German immigrants. Now step through the door and it’s like you have been sent back to a simpler time. The menu items are on a chalkboard. What they offer is presented brightly in a lit showcase window in the front. The only modern amenity they have is an I-tablet to ring you up. If you select to use a credit card to pay.

They have many specialties. One of the most well known is the Texas Donut. Its name speaks for itself and comes in a couple different version. No political jokes here, but its larger than most peoples’ hands.

Avant Garden

This little cafe tucked into the historic downtown area is a great place to stop by if you’re looking for a supreme coffee fix that is local. This establishment has everything you would want from a popular cafe too. In addition, their own unique daily sandwich options can be enjoyed with a Coke from a glass bottle, making it extra special!

Historic homes to see while visiting Anoka

Ticknor Hill Bed and Breakfast, in the Twin Cities Gateway

Each year, in mid-summer, the Anoka Heritage Home & Garden tour will take you on a very memorable journey covering Anoka’s history, when the gardens are in their prime. For a fall visit, ride your bike south of the downtown area into the historic Slabtown and Christian Hall neighborhoods. With many homes in the area decorated with Halloween decor swing by the Ticknor Hill Bed and Breakfast, on the National Registry of Historic Places. Then the Woodbury House that is home to the Mad Hatter Restaurant and Tea House. These are just a few of the historic treats that will tease you to come back in the summer and explore more of the area.

Area trail to explore

Riding the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) into Anoka.

Riding the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) from Elk River, back into Anoka.

Two major trails in Anoka are the Rum River Trails and the Mississippi River Trail (MRT).  Looking at the Anoka Bike Map, provided by the Twin Cities Gateway, the Rum River Trail offers a scenic view of the river and several historic artifacts as the paved trail passes through the downtown area and connects to the MRT. Along ‘Old Man River’ there are connections to the Mississippi River Trail on both sides of the river.

If you are staying in the area for a few days, consider a multi-modal tour. Board the Northstar Train, with your bike, to a station upstream along the MRT and ride your bike back. Just buy a ticket and hop on board. The train will drop you off close to the Mississippi River Trail so you have plenty of time to ride your bike back to Anoka.

Each October, planning a fall bike ride here adds to the fun

Anoka has many happenings throughout the year that you’ll definitely want to check out. But in the fall, the most memorable events is the Anoka Halloween celebration where you will find spooktacular events throughout October.

Known as the Halloween Capital of the World, the city brings out all the stops with everything from the largest pumpkin contest to a scavenger hunt. There are also two main parades: Light Up the Night and the Grand Parade that takes place before Halloween.

The finale of the Halloween Capitol of the World is the Grand Day Parade - the largest in the state.

The finale of the Halloween Capitol of the World is the Grand Day Parade – the largest in the state.

So come and discovering Anoka’s history, food, and bike-friendly attributes for your next bike adventure. You will find with plenty of lodging opportunities in the Twin Cities Gateway to make your stay comfortable.

Its time to find that spooktaculr costume for the next Halloween Parade in Anoka

A Halloween Capital, Discovering Anoka’s History, Trails, and More

By Andrew Ellis

Rolling into Anoka, MN for my next bike adventure, I felt a welcoming charm in this relaxing community with hospitality everywhere that I turned. With gear on, I was ready to this pedal this area they call the Halloween Capital of the World. The vast trail and bike friendly road network in the Twin Cities Gateway communities was ready for me. In Anoka, my headquarters for this trip just north of Minneapolis and at the confluence of where the Rum River flows into Ol’ Man River, along the Mississippi River Trail (MRT). To my amazement many of the historic buildings in this river town are gracing the street in and around the downtown area,

A great destination for the whole family riding the trails and bike friendly roads in the Twin Cities Gateway.

A great destination for the whole family riding the trails and bike friendly roads in the Twin Cities Gateway.

Along with the Gateway’s bike friendly attributes, this towns history is another reason why you should visit Anoka. Options include the annual Anoka Heritage Home & Garden Tour that will let you immerse yourself in the town’s past. Or, stop by the local Chamber and ask about the festivities surrounding the week of Halloween. But, first, check out all the dining establishments to fuel your body before and after your ride.

Hans’ Bakery

The bike ride to Hans’ Bakery will be a nice wake up for your body, but your taste-buds and sweet tooth will rewarded when you arrive at this local legend of pastries. This establishment started as a diner by German immigrants, now step through the door and it’s like you’re sent back to simpler time. The menu items are on chalkboard and what they offer is presented brightly lit showcase window in the front. The only modern amenity they have is a I-tablet to ring you up.

They have many specialties. One of the most well known is the Texas Donut. It’s name speaks for itself and comes in a couple different version. No political jokes here, but its larger than most peoples’ hands.

Avant Garden

This little cafe tucked into historic downtown area is great place to stop by if you’re looking for a supreme coffee fix, but want to venture away from the a big chains. It’s got everything you’d want from a popular cafe too. In addition, their own unique daily sandwich options can be enjoyed with a Coke from a glass bottle. With an indie vibe that would make it a perfect fit in a big urban setting, the staff there made it extra special.

Anoka Heritage Home & Garden Tour

Ticknor Hill Bed and Breakfast, in the Twin Cities Gateway

Thankfully you’ve eaten, because it’s time for a historic event. The Anoka Heritage Home & Garden tour will take you on a very memorable journey in Anoka’s history. It’s a self-guided tour with 17 stops that include area such as the historic Slabtown and Christian Hall neighborhoods. You’ll find out the origins on their names and stories from its first residents.

There are actually two stops on the tour that have made their way onto the coveted National Registry of Historic Places. The Ticknor Hill Bed and Breakfast is the firsts and still provides guests with small town hospitality while they visit. The second is the Woodbury House that is home to the Mad Hatter Restaurant and Tea House. These are just a few of the many waiting for you to come and explore.

Mississippi River Trail

Riding the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) into Anoka.

Riding the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) from Elk River, back into Anoka.

Once you finish with the history tour you may want to hit some more trails before the sun starts to set. Your in luck, the Northstar Train isn’t far from where you are and can take you up stream to a station along the MRT to ride back. Just buy a ticket and hop on board with your bike, the train will drop you off close to the Mississippi River Trail so you have plenty of time to ride your bike back. The river itself flows close to downtown Anoka so you can make your way back on the MRT pretty easily.

10K Brewery

There’s nothing like a cold beer to reward yourself after a day of riding. This is the only local brewery on this side of the Twin Cities Gateway and it has a calendar full of events. Your taste buds can enjoy a wide variety of brews such as their Amber. While quenching your thirst enjoy some trivia or live music from local artists.

A night of art in Anoka

Come by bike or car and see one of the shows like ‘Lady Pirates of Captain Bree’ at the Lyric Arts Main Street Stage.

Now that you packed in some touring miles and your palate has been satisfied you may be ready to immerse yourself in the local arts scene. One of the main attractions is the Lyric Arts Main Street Stage. Here you’ll be able to escape as actors and actresses bring you into different worlds with numerous productions throughout the year.

Reward yourself with a ice cream treat

Depending on when you get done with your ride, you can always head on over to Two Scoops for some great ice cream. It’s a very comfortable place with everything from ice cream in a cone to sundaes. It even has a small candy section that brings to mind the big candy stores many small towns used to have.

The main event in Anoka happens each October

Anoka has many more happenings all throughout the year that you’ll definitely want to check out. On July 8th come by for Riverfest, which is one of the largest craft fairs in the Twin Cities. One of the most memorable events is the Anoka Halloween celebration were you will find spooktacular events throughout October.

Known as the the Halloween Capital of the World, the city bring out all the stops with everything from a largest pumpkin contest to a scavenger hunt. There are also two main parades: Light Up the Night and the Grand Parade that takes place before Halloween.

The finale of the Halloween Capitol of the World is the Grand Day Parade - the largest in the state.

The finale of the Halloween Capitol of the World is the Grand Day Parade – the largest in the state.

So come and discovering Anoka’s history, food, and bike friendly attributes for your #nextbikeadventure in the Twin Cities Gateway.