With many trails rolling in and around the city of Anoka, the charm of this riverfront community is everywhere that you turn, especially in the fall. One of nine towns of the Twin Cities Gateway, Anoka is the Halloween Capital of the World and offers a vast network of bike-friendly roads and trails. A perfect place to start your ride is the park alongside the confluence of the Rum River as it meets the Mississippi River. Here it’s easy to explore with your bicycle the community history and attractions which are near the trail and historic downtown Anoka.
A great destination for the whole family riding the trails in the Twin Cities Gateway.
Fall trail ride especially around Halloween ar fun
Along with the many paved trails to ride in the area, 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.
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 event here is the Anoka Halloween celebrations where you will find spooktacular events, late 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.
Area trail to explore any time of the year
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 here 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.
Expand your options with a multi-modal tour
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 or below 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.
Then, when you arrive check out some of the dining establishments there to fuel your body before or after your ride. Here are a couple of my favorites before, after or in between a ride.
The bike ride to Hans’ Bakery, about a mile 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 as you step through the door it’s like you have been sent back to a simpler time with a menu tasty items are on a chalkboard. The only modern amenity they have is an I-tablet to ring you up if you select to pay by credit card.
With many specialties, al well-known favorite is the Texas Donut. The name speaks for itself and comes in a couple of different versions. No political jokes here, but it is larger than most peoples’ hands.
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, your selection 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, mid-summer, the Anoka Heritage Home & Garden tour will take you on a very memorable journey covering Anoka’s history. A time when the gardens are in their prime. For a fall visit, ride your bike south of the downtown area into the historic Slabtown, Whiskey Flats, Swede Town or Fireman’s Grove 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 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.
So come and discover Anoka’s history, food, and bike-friendly attributes for your next adventure. You will find plenty of lodging opportunities in the Twin Cities Gateway to make your stay memorable.
by Russ Lowtian, the editor at HaveFunBiking.com