Have you ever considered riding your bike along the Mississippi River Trail (MRT)? Not sure if you have the time or ability to do a multi-day bike trip through Minnesota or a tour all the way to New Orleans? Consider trying this single day, self-guided Twin Cities Gateway Train & Trail Loop Tour.
This single day tour is a multi-modal adventure that will give you a chance to see if riding along the MRT is right for you. With three mileage options to consider, the ride can be a fun family outing or a chance to check out bicycle touring. Also, it is a great trip to enjoy with friends. There is plenty of time to go pedaling along the river and visit a few river towns along the way.
With your bike, board the Northstar Commuter Rail for a train ride to Big Lake. Leaving from Anoka by train, it is a 25-miles ride back. Board the train in Coon Rapid for a 27-mile bike ride back. For a 36-mile route, depart from the Fridley Station and ride your bike back further down the MRT.
As you pedal along the Mississippi river on the MRT, visit the river communities of Elk River. Visiting Dayton and Champlin are great opportunities for a rest stop and lunch. Approaching Dayton, both the river and the MRT enters into the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area for the next 60 miles. This area is managed by the National Park Service. Riding this stretch of the Mississippi River Trail offers cyclists several spectacular views as they bike the Great River Road.
To plan a MRT Loop Tour, check the schedule of the Northstar Commuter Rail Line here. Then, download and print this PDF sheet which is a Turn-by-Turn Direction Sheet for your next Twin Cities Gateway bicycle adventure.
For map options see MnDOT’s series of bike maps by county and have fun!