Tag Archives: Myre Big Island State Park

Many Cyclists riding around Albert Lea Lake enjoyable

Biking around Albert Lea may add a little Rock n’ Roll to your summer fun

by Andrew Ellis

Summer is here and with things opening up from COVID-19, I have a big decision to make. Where should I go for my first out-of-town weekend bike getaway?

For me, one favorite is Albert Lea, Minnesota with its beautiful bike routes around Fountain Lake and the Blazing Star State Trail. Another option is to follow one of the routes from the annual bike ride called Rock n’ Roll the Lakes. Normally scheduled in June, the events bike routes can offer cyclists a whole lot of fun scenic Southern Minnesota touring options for that #NextBikeAdventure.

Bike-friendly Albert Lea

Less than a 2-hour drive down Interstate 35 from Minneapolis, after passing the I-90 crossroad pull into Albert Lea and prepare for a weekend of outdoor fun. Known as the Land Between the Lakes, the city sits between Fountain Lake and Albert Lea Lake, Both prime destinations for soaking in the rays while biking or paddling. Getting around on your bike from your choice of lodging options is easy with the city’s low traffic bike lanes and trails. After checking in at one of the hotels its exciting to ride around this southern Minnesota community.

Touring around Albert Lea Lake

The homes along the lake route are very picturesque.

The homes along the Fountain Lake route are very picturesque.

In town, touring around Fountain Lake traveling clockwise is recommended. The experience of this route is reminiscent of riding around Lake of the Isles, in Minneapolis. With beautifully landscaped lawns along the fingering shoreline, a ride around the lake is very picturesque. This popular route is about eight and a half miles around using a combination of trails and quiet residential streets.

After returning to the downtown area of Albert Lea, you will find many options for lunch. Then its time to ride on the paved Blazing Star State Trail out to Myre-Big Island State Park.

Myre-Big Island State Park and the Blazing Star State Trail

The Blazing Star State Trail is over six miles from Albert Lea to the State Park.

The Blazing Star State Trail offers over six miles riding from Albert Lea out through the State Park.

Here in the park, you will find both a mountain bike and a paved trail system for cyclists of all skill levels to enjoy. For mountain bikers, the park offers about seven miles of wide grass trails in a sequence of three separate loops, strung together alongside the State trail. The Blazing Star State Trail is paved and runs from Albert Lea Lake in town out through Myre-Big Island State Park, approximately six miles.

Throughout the park, both trail systems meander through the open prairie meadows with some young woodland near Lake Albert Lea. Nice rolling hills make for a surprisingly good workout and the park is also known as an excellent birding spot.

Road Biking Opportunities

Exploring the area on a bike is easy, too. You can use the roads to navigate both around town and rural routes throughout southern Minnesota. There’s even a dedicated bike lane to safely get you in and out of town. From past Rock n’ Roll the Lakes events, here are the printable maps for both the 10-mile loop option and the 30/50 mile loop option for your enjoyment.

More about Albert Lea 

The bike route around Albert Lea Lake id reminiscent of the Lake of the Isles.

The bike route around Albert Lea Lake is reminiscent of the Lake of the Isles.

 

When you need a break from the outdoors there’s plenty to keep your exciting adventure going. There are locally-owned shops, one-of-a-kind restaurants, and the area history will top off your bike adventure. Check out more here.

The best part about spending time here in Albert Lea, it’s easy to get around by bike, while keeping your social distance from others, for a memorable adventure.

Bike pic Aug 03, riding into the Monday morning sun

Today’s bike pic, we look at the fun everyone is having now that summer is in full swing, In this photo, we captured these bikers enjoying the ‘Rock N’ Roll the Lakes‘ ride last summer in Albert Lea, MN.

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 ‘Monday’ Bike Pic  

Now, rolling into our 15th 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 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!

One of the newest bike rides in Minnesota may add to your summer fun

Southern Minnesota’s newest bike ride ‘Rock-N-Roll the Lakes’

If you like a beat to your pedal stroke, one of the newest bike rides in Minnesota may add to your summer fun. This year, on July 14th, Albert Lea, MN will host ARock n’ Roll Fountain Lake. Families and friends, of all ages, will enjoy this fun bike tour around the scenic lakes with food and music along the way!

ON THIS BIKE RIDE THE HOMES ALONG THE LAKE ROUTE ARE VERY PICTURESQUE.

ON THIS BIKE RIDE THE HOMES ALONG THE LAKE ROUTE ARE VERY PICTURESQUE.

The hometown of rock-n-roll icon, Eddie Cochran and Marian Ross (also known as Mrs. C from Happy Days), Albert Lea knows how to rock! Riders can choose from the 10, 25, or 50 miles SAG-supported routes. All three courses hug picturesque lake shores and offer a variety of beautiful southern Minnesota scenery. Along the routes, there is a great chance you will spot some of natures magnificent creatures. See eagles, pelicans and countless other birds and wildlife that live in the area and love the local lakes.

The ride starts on the north side of Downtown Albert Lea

The tour starts and ends right across the street from Fountain Lake Park, just north of Downtown Albert Lea. Check-in and day of registration opens at 8 and closes at 10 a.m. If you plan to ride the 50-mile route, please start no later than 9 a.m. The three courses designed offer the most scenic and pleasant routes around Albert Lea. Along the way on each loop you will find food and refreshment stops offering a great music lined up for all ages to enjoy. Protect your melon, helmets are required!

Bike-friendly Albert Lea

THE BLAZING STAR STATE TRAIL OFFERS OVER SIX MILES RIDING FROM ALBERT LEA OUT THROUGH THE STATE PARK.

THE BLAZING STAR STATE TRAIL OFFERS OVER SIX MILES RIDING FROM ALBERT LEA OUT THROUGH THE STATE PARK.

Less than two-hours down Interstate 35W from the Twin Cities, pull into Albert Lea and prepare for a weekend of outdoor fun. The town is also known by another name: The Land Between the Lakes. That’s because the city sits between Fountain Lake and Albert Lea Lake and both are prime destinations for soaking in the rays. Getting around on your bike in Albert Lea is easy with city’s low traffic bike lanes and trails. Especially with the Blazing Star State Trail that takes you out to Myre-Big Island State Park.
After checking in at one of the hotels its exciting to ride around this southern Minnesota community.

The ‘Rock-n-Roll the Lakes’ is a fundraiser for the Albert Lea Area Cyclists and the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota. So come for a fun time riding and a rockin’ good time!

When you need a break from the outdoors there’s plenty to keep your exciting visit to Albert Lea going. There’s locally owned shops, one-of-a-kind restaurants and the area history will top of your bike adventure here. Check out more here.

Hayward waits for bridge to complete Blazing Star Trail

The Hayward, MN trail’s new east end trail head dedication was held Sunday, July 17th with country fan-fare. At the celebration of the Blazing Star Trail was Joel Wagar (from MN DNR) and Peggy Bennett (MN Representative). Hayward Mayor, Mike Hansen, was also present to cut the ribbon. Now the communities of Albert Lea and Hayward wait patiently for the bridge over Albert Lea Lake to connect the two section of the trail. Everyone was optimistic that funding for the bridge will come in the next legislative session, so the trail could be completed by 2018.

The Hayward/Blazing Star Trail Head Celebration

The east end of the Blazing Star Trail has about a mile and a half of pavement.

The east end of the Blazing Star Trail has about a mile and a half of pavement.

The dedication and fun was held at the Hayward City Park, located about four miles east of Albert Lea. After the ribbon cutting, kid’s from four to ninety enjoyed the events planned. Throughout the afternoon, people enjoyed games, bike/walk events, lemonade (at the west end of the trail), root beer floats, and prizes.

Blazing Star to the Mississippi River

Resident and visitors rode their bikes on the new section of the Blazing Star Trail, enjoying lemonade and cookies at the end before returning back to Hayward.

Resident and visitors rode their bikes on the new section of the Blazing Star Trail, enjoying lemonade and cookies at the end before returning back to Hayward.

While waiting for the bridge over Albert Lea Lake, the DNR is planning on scheduled meetings. The meetings will discuss possible options to eventually extend the trail. This would be from Hayward to Austin. Once the bridge over Albert Lea Lake is completed, adjacent to a Canadian Pacific Railroad bridge, the they hope to connect it to the Shooting Star Trail in Austin.

The Blazing Star trail head, in Hayward, has a new rest room facilitates, bike racks and a fix-it-station in the park there.

The Blazing Star trail head, in Hayward, has a new rest room facilitates, bike racks and a fix-it-station in the park there.

Once the trail reaches Austin, it would be about 20 miles long. With long term goals set, someday bicyclists will have the ability to ride from Albert Lea to Austin.

Biking around Albert Lea

Known as the “Land Between the Lakes,” Albert Lea is nestled between Albert Lea Lake and Fountain Lake. Geographically located at the crossroads of Interstate I-90 and Interstate 35W, in southern Minnesota, this charming community offers many bike touring options. Today you will find a relaxing setting to bike with family and friends. You can do this while enjoying some of southern Minnesota’s hospitality. Along with the blazing Star Trail, we found that the roads around Fountain Lake are reminiscent of Lake of the Isles, in Minneapolis.

For more information contact the Albert Lea Tourism Center.