Tag Archives: League of American Bicyclist

Bicycles and cars

Bike around Saint Cloud and discover all the parks and trails

by Andrew Ellis

The sun is warming the morning air as you ride along the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) through Saint Cloud, MN. Now in Granite Country, you are looking for a change in scenery as you pass a group of buildings, then realize its St. Cloud State University (SCSU). Across the Mississippi River and easy to reach crossing the bridge with your bike is the popular Munsinger/Clemens Gardens. This area, as the river bends to the southeast, is prime and ready to give you and your friends or family many biking opportunities when visiting here.

The Lake Wobegon Trail is a family friendly paved path system offering everyone a fun time.

The Lake Wobegon Trail is a family friendly paved path system offering everyone a fun time.

Saint Cloud is labeled a city, but don’t let that scare you away. The area’s spacious layout provides plenty of room to escape from all the noise of everyday life that can bombard many with stress. The area offers many parks, family friendly trails and other attractions to give you memories that will last a lifetime.

More about bike-friendly Saint Cloud

Now with the Lake Wobegon Trail running through Saint Cloud and stretching 63 miles to Sauk Center, you can visit three colleges along the way. Besides SCSU, the Granite County Area is also home to Rasmussen College, the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. Their presence in the area and the communities they create, along the trail system, helps add to the area’s welcoming atmosphere and unique points of interest for cyclists visiting throughout the year.

The Munsinger Gardens is unique botanical experience along the MRT where you can stroll the winding paths and brick pathways as you experience this Saint Cloud treasure.

The Munsinger Gardens is unique botanical experience along the MRT where you can stroll the paths experiencing its treasure.

The Saint Cloud Area is also a bike-friendly community, awarded by the League of American Cyclists. This gives you the assurance there are plenty of places for you to comfortably roam around using designated bike lanes and trails. And while there are plenty of fun things to do on west side of the river. Don’t forget to cross the river and explore the jaw-dropping and joy-spreading Munsinger and Clemens Garden’s.

Biking trail opportunities in and around Saint Cloud

Granite Country has many opportunities for you to put your tires to the pavement, or whichever surface you prefer to ride on. There are many trails tucked into the area’s various parks, several chances to put your mountain biking skills to the test, trails that take you beyond the city limits, and more. No matter what kind of adventure you’re looking for, Granite Country has you covered. For more information see At-A-Glance St. Cloud and our HaveFunBiking map of the area.

Long Rides

Riding the Mississippi River Trail through the neighborhoods as the route rolls into Saint Cloud.

Riding the Mississippi River Trail through the neighborhoods as the route rolls into Saint Cloud.

If you go west out of St. Cloud you can take the Lake Wobegan Trail and stop along at one of the many trailheads along the way. You can also travel along the famous Mississippi River Trail as you explore St. Cloud and everything you meet along the river’s edge. There even points to cross the river and see what the other side has to offer. For more bicycle touring loop options see Central Minnesota Bicycle Club’s many mapped bike routes.

Quarry Park and Nature Reserve

The largest park in the Stearns County Parks System is bound to have a plethora of biking opportunities. The trails will give you a great overview of the reserve has to offer and they all connect in some way so it’s easy to switch when you want to. There is also some section for mountain bikers to pedal over granite bedrock that is a billion years old.

Pineview Park BMX

Freestyle cycling fun at Pineview BMX

Freestyle cycling fun at Pineview BMX

Saint Cloud also has its own BMX park. You can hit the tracks, watch races on the weekends, and work on your skills if you are there during the week.

Mountain Biking

Riding out on the Jail Trail is one of several mountain biking options in Granite Country.

Riding out on the Jail Trail is one of several mountain biking options in Granite Country.

In addition to the Quarry Park and Reserve, the area has a few more mountain biking opportunities for you. The Jail Trail is an intermediate level mountain bike loop system located east of Saint Cloud. The main loop has some easy elevation challenges, but overall stays pretty flat. There are also additional side loops that add some technical difficulty. Then there’s the heavily wooded Plum Creek Trail, which is an exhilarating five mile-plus ride on a very narrow single-track filled with its share of hills.

Other Off-Road Opportunities

If you don’t want to battle mountain bike trails, but still want to go an adventure you’re in luck. You can hop on the Oxcart Trail that starts at Southside Park and travels north through Lions Park, Municipal Park, and Island View Park. Then there’s the Mayhew Creek Park Trail, Sauk Rapids’ newest trail, which consists of two loops and gives you just over one mile of riding. Also, the secluded crush aggregate Rotary Trail takes you through a wooded wetland complex that goes north of Bob Cross Park to the Bob Cross Nature Preserve. There are boardwalks and observation decks along the way.

Other opportunities when not biking in Saint Cloud

There are plenty of other ways to navigate your way around Granite Country on you bike. Some of the routes lead to downtown St. Cloud where you can explore its many shops and restaurants. See more at Visit Granite Country.

 

Celebrating the city's bike-friendly a ride was organized to tour New Ulm's accomplishments.

Congratulations New Ulm, One of the Latest Bronze Bike Friendly Communities in the U.S.

New Ulm achieved honorable mention bike status designation in 2016. Last week it was announced they are the 21st Minnesota community to earn the bike friendly honor, with bronze. Provided by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB), to celebrate the honors local residence and dignitaries convened in Harman Park, this last Saturday for a bike ride marking the occasion.

Cindy Winters from Hearts Beat Back Project is shown here presenting the LAB Bicycle Friendly Community plaque to New Ulm Mayor Bob Beussman.

Cindy Winters from Hearts Beat Back Project is shown here presenting the LAB Bicycle Friendly Community plaque to New Ulm Mayor Bob Beussman.

A Proud Accomplishment For Everyone In New Ulm

“This is a huge accomplishment that everyone in the entire community should be very proud of,” said Cindy Winters, manager for Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project, which collaborated with The New Ulm Bike Club and the City of New Ulm to submit the application. “Over the last several years, individuals and organizations throughout our community have worked very hard to help implement changes that make it safer and more enjoyable for everyone to bike,” Winters said.

Enjoying the 13-mile paved bike traile loop around the city of New Ulm

Enjoying the 13-mile paved bike trail loop around the city of New Ulm

A Bicycle Friendly Community welcomes bicyclists by providing safe accommodations for bicycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation. Making bicycling safe and convenient are keys to improving public health, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and improving quality of life.

Dorian Grilley, executive director of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN) will present the designation to the New Ulm City Council, at its May 16 meeting. Grilley said, “I am very pleased to see the work of the City, schools and The Heart of New Ulm Project be rewarded with a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community award. BikeMN looks forward to continuing our support of their efforts to make bicycling and walking an easy, safe and fun choice for all.”

Click here for a complete list of Bike Friendly LAB Communities in Minnesota

More information on the Bicycle Friendly Community program is available on the League of American Bicyclists website at: http://bikeleague.org/community.

To find out more about the city and county bike maps of New Ulm, click here.

MnDOT makes 125 county level bicycle maps available

County level bicycle maps are now available in Minnesota. As the second most bicycle friendly state in the United States, according to the League of America Bicyclists, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has recently announced the first of a series of bicycle maps. These are county by county level bicycle maps for the state. In the link below, you’ll find 125 maps with some counties split into more than one sheet. All at this one link location, click on any County Bicycle Map and see trails, road conditions, and more.

Selecting One of the County Level Bicycle Maps

Once you have selected a map, you can print out any of the maps by county (on 8.5×11 or 11×17 paper) to take along to help navigate your bike adventure. Please note, there are no printed versions of these county bike maps available, so you will need to print you own.

Additional Minnesota Maps to Cross Reference

For major metro areas in Minnesota you should also consider referencing local bicycle maps. Local bike maps may have more current local roadway data and trails. Click the following links for these Minnesota cities with bike maps: Albert Lea, Anoka County (TwinCities Gateway) Brainerd, BemidjiCuyuna AreaDuluth, Grand Rapids, Hastings, Hibbing/Virginia, Hutchinson, Lakeville, Little FallsMankatoMinneapolis NorthwestMinneapolis (Hennepin Co.) Park Rapids, Prairie Waters Area (Western MN)Rochester, Root River Trail Towns, StillwaterSt. CloudSt. PaulWalker, Willmar and Winona.

According to MnDOT, “because this is the first effort to show data at the county scale there are some gaps and we will continue to work with the counties to improve the data and layout of these maps with future versions.” They also welcome your comments on how to improve the maps. Submit feedback or changes by emailing [email protected].