by Andrew Ellis, HaveFunBiking.com
You’re outside your hotel, maybe the new WoodSpring Suites, and ready to ride your bike around Fridley. It’s got a great balance of big chain stores and the beauty of the natural world. With the area’s bike friendly attributes, you’ll be able to travel to a place where you have the chance to be up close with various birds, get a great taste of history, and view art all in the same place. You could ride the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) or try out your go-cart skills down the road. Don’t forget 49er Days this coming weekend. It’ll be an adventure you’ll never forget.
Fridley’s Springbrooke Nature Center
There are two parts to Springbrooke. The inside contains information about the center, and interactive section in the back. You can learn about the different kinds of trees, see live snakes, frogs, turtles, wild turkey, and more. It’s a great place to prepare for a hike on the Nature Trail.
Once you get outside there are a couple access points to the trail – and this is where the real adventure begins. Everywhere you go you will be surrounded by nature. You’ve got trees of different kinds everywhere, small and large bridges that will take you across all kinds of creeks and wetlands. There’s even a large walkway that takes you across a semi-large pond were you’ll have the best chance to catch some bird sighting.
Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts
This former Inn for soldiers and traders on the Red River Trail is now a place for developing and established artists. It’s an old house, in a calm and peaceful setting. Inside you will find wooden flooring that creeks every now and then. Paintings from the different exhibits line the walls, with studios and an art library upstairs. You will find special events here, like a reading at 7 p.m. on the second Friday of each month. By the parking lot there is sculpture named Homegrown, made entirely out of litter found in Minnesota’s public water, since 1929.
The center is also right by Mahnoman County Park and has a paved trail that ventures further into the park. Just down the road is a Park and Ride, for the North Star Commuter Rail Line. This trail also connects to the MRT for more exploring.
Fridley’s MB2 Go-Cart Racing
Those downhill trails connecting to the MRT can give you a great rush on you bike, but what about trying out some four-wheel fun at the recently-opened MB2 Raceway. This is an indoor go-cart racing facility for all skill levels. It’s the perfect break from biking, and is sure bring out some friendly competition. There are different packages to choose from and it also hosts parties as well.
Fridley’s Annual 49er Days
If you’re in town on July 17th then steer your bike on over to Commons Park for 49er Days. There’s a parade along with games, food, a martial arts demonstration, live music, and more.