Tag Archives: Mississippi River Trail

Bike Pic Aug 10, fond memories on this rainy Saturday

With rain showers dampening many outdoor activities, this bike pic Saturday take a moment to reflect, while planning your #nextBikeAdventure. This photo was shot as this biker chick and her friend were riding the Mississippi River Trail, in the Twin Cities Gateway.

Get into your bike ride planning mode to continue your summer fun and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the fun ideas and HaveFunBiking Destinations in both the Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide and the Iowa Bike Guide.

Thanks for viewing our Saturday Bike Pic here at HaveFunBiking (HFB). 

Now, rolling into our 14th 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 for more fun photos worth a grin, share your stories so more can find their next adventure. Then, while out there if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, be prepared to smile. You never know where our cameras will be and what we will post next!

Submit your photos

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 editor@HaveFunBiking.com 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 900 pixels wide for us to use them. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

See our blog

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please see our media’s 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!

Bike Pic Aug 8, another picture perfect day to ride in the Twin Cities

Here in this bike pic, on a picture-perfect day, we captured these bikers having fun pedaling the neighborhoods in north St. Paul.

What better way to continue your summer fun and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the great ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa or Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for viewing our ‘Thursday’ bike pic

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 editor@HaveFunBiking.com. 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.

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 appearance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.

Have a great day!

Bike Pic Aug 3, finding shade on your Saturday ride

With the heat picking up again you may see something of interest when rolling your bike into the shade for a break? This photo was shot as this biker dude was coming off the Mississippi River Trail, in the Twin Cities Gateway.

Get into your bike ride planning mode to continue your summer fun and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the fun ideas and HaveFunBiking Destinations in both the Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide and the Iowa Bike Guide.

Thanks for viewing our Saturday Bike Pic here at HaveFunBiking (HFB). 

Now, rolling into our 14th 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 for more fun photos worth a grin, share your stories so more can find their next adventure. Then, while out there if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, be prepared to smile. You never know where our cameras will be and what we will post next!

Submit your photos

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 editor@HaveFunBiking.com 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 900 pixels wide for us to use them. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

See our blog

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please see our media’s 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!

Bike Pic July 29, a perfect day to ride into the Monday morning sun

Another weather perfect day on this fifth Monday in July. Here in this bike pic, we captured these two bikers having fun pedaling into the morning sun, in St. Cloud.

What better way to continue your summer fun and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the great ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa or Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Monday morning sun’ bike pic

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 editor@HaveFunBiking.com. 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.

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 appearance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.

Have a great day!

Biking around Hastings new 10-mile Scenic Circuit loop describes the route that follows along both the Mississippi and Vermilion rivers for all ages and skill levels

Hastings 10-mile trail loop allows riders scenery along two rivers

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

Biking along the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) is just one of the many fun opportunities visitors can enjoy when biking in Hastings, MN. As this historic river town expands its bicycle infrastructure, I had to make it back to Hastings recently to check out the completed 10-mile trail loop. Dubbed the “Scenic Circuit” cyclist of all ages and abilities are finding this scenic trail loop, that follows along both the Vermilion and Mississippi rivers, breathtaking. Along this dual river trail route, cyclists will discover many unique points of interests in both the city parks and along the trails. For those who would like to add a few more miles from the Scenic Circuit it’s easy following the MRT to Schaar’s Bluff and beyond. See the Hastings HaveFunBiking map for more options.

Starting in Historic Hastings

The old mill ruins from 1857 to 1894 produced high quality flour under the name "Belle of Hastings."

At the old mill ruins, high quality flour was produced from 1857 to 1894, under the name “Belle of Hastings.”

Starting our ride in the historic Hastings Downtown Aea we found plenty of parking options when arriving. Both the city parking lot and streets around the historic city hall, on 4th Street, work well. Plus, it’s a short walk after your ride to 2nd Street (the city’s downtown main street) for a snack or meal. For this review we choose to ride the Scenic Circuit counter clockwise, leaving from Levee Park on the MRT.

Following the Mississippi River Trail out of Hastings

Just west of downtown Hastings, this metal sculpture was made from materials collected from the river clean up.

Just west of downtown Hastings, this metal sculpture was made from materials collected from a river clean up.

In the first few miles riding through Jaycee Park, we enjoyed an aerial show from several Bald Eagles. The river art along the trail was also interesting. Several markers explain the rivers history and one art sculpture made a statement from a river clean up project several years back. The giant dragonfly (above) was made from different metals dredged from the river at the time of the Clean Water Act. Further along the Scenic Circuit the trail passes by U.S. Lock and Dam 2. Here it’s always fun to stop and watch boats of all sizes move through the locks from the viewing platform.

The trail running along the back water here is a perfect place to view wildlife and and other bird species that frequents this area.

The trail along the back water is a perfect place to view wildlife and and other bird species that frequents the area.

Before leaving the river bottom another highlight was riding along the picturesque causeway before climbing out of the rivers bluffs. At the top, for those who would like to add a few more miles, Schaar’s Bluff and the new trail out to Dakota County’s Spring Lake Park is an option (see below). To continue along on the 10-mile Scenic Circuit riders should take a left, crossing Nininger Road and then follow the city trail south, down Pleasant Drive.

From the Mississippi to the Vermilion River

Now on the western side of Hastings the Scenic Circuit jogs a little further west along 4th Street, from Pleasant Drive – then heads south along General Sieben Drive. After crossing Highway 55, those who need a rest stop will find Culver’s, on the corner. Continuing south the route turns east onto River Shore Drive. Then, in about an eighth-mile watch for the trail to cross the road and head north up to Northridge Drive. There you should take a right and continue east on the Circuit.

These cyclists enjoyed a perfect day to ride Hastings 'Scenic Circuit'.

These cyclists enjoyed a perfect day to ride Hastings ‘Scenic Circuit’.

At Pleasant Drive take a right, the trail follows the road south to the Vermilion River. After crossing the bridge, on the east side, pick up the trail that flows with the river back into Hastings. You will soon discover why this section of the trail is such a popular part of the MRT.

Along the Vermilion River

Biking and rollerblading Hastings "Scenic Circuit is perfect for all ages and skill levels.

Biking and rollerblading the “Scenic Circuit is perfect for all ages and skill levels.

As the Vermilion River flows swiftly to the east the trail along this scenic stretch of river offers nature lovers a peaceful ride through serenity. From here cyclists and walkers alike will enjoy the two underpasses, one on County Road 46/47 and the second one at U.S. 61, to stay away from traffic. After passing under Highway 61 the Scenic Circuit is now entering Vermilion Falls Park.

Vermilion Park

As you cross over the Vermilion River you will notice all the padlocks attached to the railing.

As you cross over the Vermilion River here you will notice all the padlocks attached to the railing.

Riding into the park, at the first trail intersection you will have an opportunity to park your bike and walk about 100-feet to view Vermilion Falls. Continuing east and taking a left at the trails“T”you are now on the bridge where its easy to view the stream overhead as it cascades towards the Mississippi River. You will also, notice all the padlocks on the bridge’s railing?

No one knows exactly when, why or who started this European trend in Hastings. But this romantic ritual has become very popular with hundreds of locks being attached to the fence on the old railroad bridge that is now a part of the Scenic Circuit trail. The practice invites lovers to hang a padlock on the bridge and toss the key into the water below. For now the city parks department finds the trend touching and so far plans to leave the public love notes (locks) alone as a wall of art.

Another historic option to checkout is the Old Mill Park, about an eighth-mile ahead. Here is another opportunity to park your bike and walk down to the old mill ruins and maybe hike one of the many trails along the river.

From the Mill Park, the trail crosses the railroad tracks and then continues north again towards Downtown Hastings. At the next split in the trail riders should take a right and then follow the MRT signs back to the downtown area for some fun.

Enjoy Historic Downtown after your ride

Over the last few years downtown Hastings has been going through what many call a “Riverfront Renaissance.” With events scheduled throughout the spring, summer and fall the historic river town atmosphere is the perfect place to shop, dine and try biking or walking along the Mississippi River Trail and the Scenic Circuit. After our ride we found several options for cool refreshments and dinner in the downtown Area. You can find more options in our our At-A-Glance article.

If you didn’t bring your bike along, Hastings has a bike share program (first 2-hours free). The Zagster bike station is located under the bridge on 2nd Street and you will need a credit card to activate the locking system to the cycle you wish to ride,

More miles to Schaar’s Bluff and Spring Lake Park.

Returning back to Hastings from Schaar's Bluff its approximately 6-miles.

Returning back to Hastings from Schaar’s Bluff its approximately 6-miles.

The trail loop also connects to several neighborhood parks and the Mississippi River Regional Trail. Known by many as the “hidden jewel” of the Upper Mississippi River Valley, view some spectacular scenery along the way as you pedal along. Riding out to Schaar’s Bluff adds around 12-miles.

This newly completed section of the Mississippi River Regional Trail offers cyclist an occasional view of the river, bridges that cross deep ravines, prairie flowers that border along limestone bluffs.

This newly completed trail offers cyclist an occasional view of the river, two new bridges that cross deep ravines and prairie flowers that border along limestone bluffs.

If you choose to ride out to Dakota County’s Lower Spring Lake Park Reserve and cross the two new bridges on this trail it will add an extra 8-miles and is well worth the extra effort!

In this bike pic, this family knows where the shaded lanes are in St. Paul, MN to stay cool. Dressed in matching tie-dyed T-shirts this family know that riding along Summit Avenue offers protection from the hot sun. 

Bike Pic July 16, staying cool on a family fun ride in St. Paul

In this bike pic, this family knows where the shaded lanes are in St. Paul, MN to stay cool. Dressed in matching tie-dyed T-shirts they ride along Summit Avenue, with its tree lines canopy of protection from the hot sun.

What better way to continue your summer fun and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa Bike Guide or the Minnesota Bike/Hike edition. Then plan your next outing with family and friends at one of the HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for viewing our ‘Finding Shade to Ride’ Bike Pic 

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 editor@HaveFunBiking.com. 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.

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 appearance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.

Have a great day!

A Twin Cities Gateway bicycle adventure, pre or post your soccer game

by Russ Lowthian

Before or after that next soccer game, at the National Sports Center, grab the handlebars of a bicycle for a true north Twin Cities Gateway bicycle adventure. Surrounding the soccer fields,  in Blaine, MN, the nine communities of the Gateway offer hundreds of miles of paved trail for you and family members to explore.

A Gateway bicycle adventure

Here are the maps of the bike-friendly Twin Cities Gateway communities: Anoka; Blaine; Coon Rapids; Fridley; Ham Lake; Lino Lakes; Mounds View; New Brighton; and Shoreview. All unique in their own way, each offers relaxed small town-type atmospheres with plenty to do.

So take a deep breath as you grip your handlebars

Enjoying a Twin Cities Getaway bicycle adventure you will feel as if you’re deep in the country as several communities here border the Mississippi River Trail. Along with several nature parks, it can expand your personal playground while visiting. Options, traveling by bike include stopping along a lake to go swimming or fishing; play a round of disc golf; go birding; explore one of the many parks; or travel the trail through the chain of lakes by bike or rent a canoe. You can even satisfy your inner sports desire by visiting the velodrome track on the grounds at the National Sports Center.

Stop along the trail in the Twin Cities Gateway for a some fishing.

Stop along the trail in the Twin Cities Gateway if wetting a line and catching some fish are a part of your agenda. 

Off-road trails and parks

You can take the Rum River Regional Trail down to where it meets the MRT, maybe stopping in historic downtown Anoka along the way? There is also the scenic trails in Bunker Hills Regional Park offering heavily wooded and prairie flower landscapes. Or, take the thrilling Coon Creek Regional Trail that connects to the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park and the MRT.

Stop along the trail in the Twin Cities Gateway for a round of disc golf.

Stop along the trail, in several of the parks in the Twin Cities Gateway for a round of disc golf.

For more extensive rides you can also explore the trails along the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve. Or, take the Rice Creek West Regional Trail back to the Mississippi River. This trail passes through Long Lake Park which has several trails that take you by the park’s namesake and Rush Lake. Another option is the trails in the Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park which is filled to the brim and full of beautiful scenery as you switch from one trail to the next.

The velodrome at the National Sports Center

If you’re tired of riding trails and want more of a challenge, check out the velodrome at the National Sports Center. Especially their ‘Thursday nights under the lights’, the wooden track is open to the public for single speed fun. The season begins in late spring and through the summer. Check out their schedule for more details.

Twin Cities Gateway area bike shops and rental services

Car’s Bike Shop | 2661 County Road I, Mounds View, MN 55112 | 763-784-6966
Jerry’s Schwinn | 4136 Coon Rapids Blvd. N.W., Minneapolis, MN 55433, USA| 763- 421-4270
Pioneer Cycle    | 12741 Central Ave. N.E., Blaine 55434 |  763-755-8871

For more info on the Twin Cities Gateway 

Here you will find more details on where to stay, play, and explore this nine-city area.

More places to bike and explore in Minnesota

Check out the Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Bike Pic July 12, yeah its Friday and time for that next bike adventure

It’s Friday’s Bike Pic, so stay cool  and ride off on another weekend of fun taking in that next bike adventure that maybe includes riding a bike designated roadway to connect to another trail.

What better way to continue your summer fun and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa Bike Guide or the Minnesota Bike/Hike edition. Then plan your next outing with family and friends at one of the HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for viewing our ‘Yeah Its Friday’ Bike Pic 

We are now rolling into our 11th 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: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. 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.

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 July 09, a fun adventure on the Mississippi River Trail

This Tuesday’s Bike Pic, stay cool and ride off on the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) for that next bike adventure.

What better way to continue your summer fun and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa Bike Guide or the Minnesota Bike/Hike edition. Then plan your next outing with family and friends at one of the HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for viewing our ‘Tuesday’ Bike Pic 

We are now rolling into our 11th 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 editor@HaveFunBiking.com. 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.

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 appearance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.

Have a great day!

Bike Pic, 4th of July medley wherever you are celebrating

This Bike Pic 4th of July, it’s tandem riders above showing their patriotic colors.

Have a safe and memorable Holiday as you enjoy the weekend!

Riding through the neighborhood on the 4th of July. (2013)

Riding through the neighborhood on the 4th of July. (2013)

Father and son riding with Old Glory waving in the breeze. (2012)

Father and son riding with Old Glory waving in the breeze. (2012)

Dorian Grilley, BikeMN, showing of his Stars and Stripes. ( 2011)

Dorian Grilley, BikeMN, showing of his Stars and Stripes. ( 2011)

If you have some fun photos to share send them to editor@HaveFunbiking.com