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Here is you chance to explore more of Bluff Country's wonders on the bluff weekend bike ride.

Explore Southeast Minnesota on the 2nd Annual Bluff Weekend Bike Ride

Many enjoy the scenery along the Root River Bike Trail. Here is your chance to explore more of the Bluff Country’s wonders on the weekend bike ride this summer. Scheduled over July 7, 8 & 9th, the Bluff & Valley Bike Tour participants will discover many of the “driftless areas” mysteries.

First stopping at the historic Fremont General Store and meeting Martha, is always a treat.

First stopping at the historic Fremont General Store and meeting Martha, is always a treat.

This three-day weekend bike ride allows you to pedal your way up through weathered ravines, on roadways that take you to the top of limestone bluffs. Here you will have a chance to visit a general store from the 1800’s, still in operation. Then take a ride on the Amish Buggy Byway. These are just a few of the highlights of Bluff Country as you dip in and out of the picturesque Root River Valley. You can visit the eight Root River Trail Towns on the way.

Follow the weathered ravines through the limestone bluffs.

Follow the weathered ravines through the limestone bluffs.

The ride covers between 50 to 65 miles each day, (with short-cut options). Beginning in Peterson, the ride features overnight camping or lodging stops in Rushford and Preston. A repeat from the 2016 inaugural tour, the ride offers a whole new set of routes and scenery. Over the weekend participants will pedal on some of the most scenic back county roads and trails that roll through this picturesque region of the state.

The Bluff Weekend Bike Ride Starts in Peterson

On this years tour, the ride leaves from this Norwegian community to explore the many scenic roads that take you along the bluffs. The first stop on this years tour is the historic Fremont General Store. A store built in 1856 that reflects a time long gone by. Plus, meeting Martha is always a treat!

Now running the north faced ridge, discover Vinegar Hill Pass on your way down to Houston for lunch. On the far east side of the Root River Trail, you will find the National Owl Center. After lunch, check out the bike sculptures and head to Rushford for an overnight visit.

While enjoying some Norseland Leftse take a selfie with a friend as Ole and Lena.

While enjoying some Norseland Leftse, in Rushford, take a selfie with a friend as Ole and Lena.

Visit the historic Rushford Depot & Village Museum to learn about in the town’s milling culture. Then wander downtown to sample some locally produced lefse and other delicious dinner options. Afterwards, enjoy some of the local entertainment or take in the historic walking tour showcasing the architecture of this once vibrant milling community.

Saturday on the Bluff Weekend Bike Ride

After a hearty Bluff Country breakfast, the tour cruises through the rolling Amish countryside and down “Buggy Lane” on Minnesota’s Amish Byway. On this section of the route, you will see draft horses being used to work the field. Many farmsteads along the way offer fresh baked goods, honey, and crafts.

On you bike, cruise down the “Buggy Lane” on Minnesota's Amish Byway.

On you bike, cruise down the “Buggy Lane” on Minnesota’s Amish Byway.

Today’s lunch stop will be in Harmony, on the south end of the Root River Trail System. Learn more about the Amish culture while watching this busy farm community in action. Departing, the afternoon route circles to the northwest passing a couple ghost towns before coasting into Preston

An Evening of Fun and Games In Preston

Saturday night’s dinner and overnight stay will be in Preston, Minnesota’s Trout Capitol. The evening will be full of fun, music and games. If you’re interested in another historic walking tour, Preston has a very interesting itinerary and map.

Sunday on the Bluff Weekend Bike Ride

Leaving Preston after breakfast, the tour visits Fountain, the “Sinkhole Capitol of the World.” Here visit the Fillmore County History Center Museum. With several buildings full of captivating historical exhibits, you’ll want to plan another trip back here to take it all in. This is also a great place to find out more about the area’s ghost towns that you passed on Saturday. You will also learn more about the interesting facts about the sink holes here. Turns out, they supply the clean water to the areas springs that eventually flow back into the Root River. It’s amazing!

Stopping at the Museum in Fountain on the Root River Bike Ride is always interesting

Stopping at the Museum in Fountain on the Root River Bike Ride is always interesting

On the road again, take in the charm of Lanesboro, then on to Whalan for pie. Nationally known for their “Stand Still Parade,” the first thing you’ll notice in Whalan is its miniature golf course and a beautiful park area in the center of the small Irish community. Before leaving town, take a quick spin around the neighborhood and see Ernie’s 1917 filling station.

Ernie's Service Station is a prime feature of Whalan, Minnesota's Past.

Ernie’s Service Station is a prime feature of Whalan, Minnesota’s Past.

Back on the Root River Trail, it’s roughly nine miles to Peterson. Check out the fun possibilities there, before loading up and heading home. If you missed out on the pie earlier, or you want to do a taste test and compare, check out Burdey’s Cafe. Another well-known stop for sinfully delicious desserts and Sunday dinners along the Root River Trail.

More About the Bluff & Valley Bike Tour

Camping and other lodging options are available on this supported ride by the Root River Trail Towns. Get more information and registration here to guarantee your spot on the Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour. *Please note: the ride closes May 18th to allow time for jersey orders included in your registration .

The following miles each day are an estimate at this time as all routes are being reviewed by both county and state departments for any upcoming road construction that may change the route and mileage. Currently we are looking at:

  • 58 miles for Day 1 [48 miles using RR Trail short cut]
  • 62 miles for Day 2 [48 miles using RR Trail short cut]
  • 56 miles for Day 3 [40 miles using RR Trail short cut]

Peterson, the start of the ride, is located about 2 hours south of the Twin Cities. [Google Maps Location]

The ride benefits the Friends of the Root River Trail. All the the Trail Towns and HaveFunBiking.com look forward to you riding the tour. For a printed version of the Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Tour Package, click here.

Follow the weathered ravines through the limestone bluffs.

Root River Trail Towns Offer A Weekend Of Fun On Their Annual Ride

Join the fun as the nine Root River Trail Towns in Southeast Minnesota host the 2nd Annual Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour over the weekend of July 7-9, 2017. A repeat from the 2016 inaugural tour, this year’s three-day weekend ride offers a whole new set of routes and scenery. Starting in the Norwegian community of Peterson, participants will pedal on some of the most scenic back county roads and trails, rolling through the picturesque Bluff Country.

The Root River Bike Ride and fun starts in Peterson MN.

The Ride showcases many of the bike friendly attributes in the area, allowing ride participants many fun challenges

The Root River Bike Ride Starts in Peterson

On this year’s tour the ride leaves from Peterson, Friday morning to explore the many scenic roads that take you along the bluffs. Many of these roads parallel and overlook the Root River Valley and its popular trail system.

First stopping at the historic Fremont General Store and meeting Martha, is always a treat.

First on the tour is stopping at the historic Fremont General Store and meeting Martha, always a treat!

In Fremont, this historic store location was built in 1856 and is still in operation by owner Martha Johnson. Leaving the store, the tour starts a meandering downhill run to Rushford for a taste of some Scandinavian delights.

Now heading east for lunch, riders will discover Vinegar Hill Pass on the way down to Money Creek. Then heading south, passing an elk farm, it’s a slight downhill cruise to Houston. The far east trail head of the Root River system, visit the National Owl Center and bike sculptures at the Houston Nature Center at the Root River Trail head.

Every seams to have fun on the Root River Bike Ride

Everyone seems to have fun on the Root River Bike Ride with all the good food and tasty treats along the way,

After lunch the tour heads back west towards Rushford for an overnight visit and a chance to experience the town’s milling culture before a fun-filled evening.

Friday Night, the Tour Enjoys Rushford

After settling in ride participants will have a chance to visit the historic Rushford Depot & Village Museum. Then wander downtown to sample some locally produced lefse and other delicious treats.

While enjoying some Norseland Leftse take a selfie with a friend as Ole and Lena.

While enjoying some Norseland Leftse take a selfie with a biking friend, as Ole and Lena.

As evening approaches, riders will find several restaurants to replenish their energy for Saturday’s adventure. Then enjoy some of the local entertainment or check out the historic walking tour of the architecture of this once vibrant milling community.

Every seams to have fun on the Root River Bike Ride

The 3-day weekend Root River Bike Ride guarantees all riders will have fun and take home many fond memories.

On Saturday, after a hearty Bluff Country breakfast the tour pedals through the rolling Amish countryside finally cruising the “Buggy Lane” on Minnesota’s Amish Byway. Along this section of the route you will see draft horses still used to work the fields while many farmsteads along the way offer fresh baked goods, honey, and crafts. *Please note, if you stop and purchase any of the Amish item offered, our sweep support staff will stop and haul them for you.

For lunch today the tour visits Harmony, on the south end of the Root River Trail System. Here learn more about Amish culture while watching this busy farm community in action. While checking out the town you will find several statues throughout the community to take a selfie with. Departing, the afternoon route circles to the northwest passing a couple ghost towns before rolling into Preston.

An Evening of Fun and Games In Preston

Saturday night’s dinner and overnight stay will be in Preston. Located along the southern branch of the Root River it is also known as Minnesota’s Trout Capitol and home to the National Trout Center. In the evening enjoy the music and some fun games that are planned. If you’re interested in a self-guided walking tour, Preston has a very interesting itinerary and map.

Stopping at the Museum in Fountain on the Root River Bike Ride is always interesting

Stopping at the Fillmore County Museum in Fountain, on the Root River Bike Ride, is always interesting.

On Sunday, the tour heads north and rides the Root River Trail to Fountain, the “Sinkhole Capitol of the World.”  In Fountain the tour stops at the Fillmore County History Center Museum and Genealogy Library. Here you will get a sampling of the area’s past. With several buildings full of captivating historical exhibits, you’ll want to plan another trip here to take it all in. This is also a great place to learn more about the area’s ghost towns that you past through on Saturday. Plus, learn more on the facts of these  sink holes that supply clean water to the areas springs and eventually flow into the Root River, its amazing!

Take in the Charm of Lanesboro, then on to Whalan for Pie

On the road again, the tour circles out through Bucksnort Pass before coasting down into Lanesboro. Surrounded by bluffs, this Bed & Breakfast community here is rich in the arts and has some fabulous local diners and restaurants for lunch. Also, be sure to save room for pie. After visiting some of the shops in Lanesboro, the tour heads west to Whalan.

Ride with old and new friends om the Root River Bluff & Bluff Bike Tour.

On the Root River Bluff & Bluff Bike Tour you will have a chance to ride with old and new friends .

Nationally known for their “Stand Still Parade,” the first thing you’ll notice in Whalan is its miniature golf course and a beautiful park area in the center of this small Irish community. You will also find Whalan’s famous Aroma Pie Shoppe, which offers some sinfully delicious desserts to select from. Before leaving town take a quick spin around the neighborhood to see Ernie’s 1917 filling station.

Ernie's Service Station is a prime feature of Whalan, Minnesota's Past.

Ernie’s Service Station is a prime feature of Whalan’s, past, tucked under the bluffs on the bank of the Root River.

Now back on the Root River Trail, it’s roughly nine miles back to Peterson to check out the fun possibilities visiting this Norwegian community before loading up and heading home. If you missed out on the pie earlier, or you want to do a taste test and compare, check out Burdey’s Cafe. Another well-known stop for their desserts and Sunday dinners on the Root River Trail.

More About the Bluff & Valley Bike Tour

Camping and other lodging options are available on this supported ride hosted by the Root River Trail Towns and run by Have Fun Tours. Get more information and registration here to guarantee your spot on the Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour.

The following miles each day are an estimate at this time as all routes are being reviewed by both county and state departments for any upcoming road construction that may change the route and mileage. Currently we are looking at:

  • 58 miles for Day 1 [48 miles using RR Trail short cut]
  • 62 miles for Day 2 [48 miles using RR Trail short cut]
  • 56 miles for Day 3 [40 miles using RR Trail short cut]

Peterson, the start of the ride, is located about 2-hours south of the Twin Cities and about 45-minute west of LaCrosse Wi. [Google Maps Location]

The ride benefits the Friends of the Root River Trail. And all the the Trail Towns and HaveFunBiking.com look forward to you riding the tour. For a printed version of the Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Tour Package , click here.

Three-day bike tour explores Minnesota’s Bluff Country

If you have ridden your bike on the Root River Trail and wondered what it would be like to tour the scenic roads there, join the Root River Trail Towns as they host the Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour. This three-day bike ride, July 8-10, 2016, will allow you to experience a fun filled weekend full of memories while riding with many new friends. Check out the details and register today!

Here a group of cyclists enjoy exploring the scenic roads by bike, that circle and cross the Root River Trail, in Southeast Minnesota's Bluff Country. Ride and explore the areas trail and roads, July 9 -11, 2016 on the Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Tour.

Here a group of cyclists enjoy exploring the scenic roads by bike, that circle and cross the Root River Trail, in Southeast Minnesota’s Bluff Country. Ride and explore the areas trail and roads, July 8 -10, 2016 on this bike tour.

With only 150-spots available, the tour leaves Whalan, Friday morning stopping first in Lanesboro. Then its  on some quite county paved roads that showcase the Bluff Country, at its best. Along the way see eagles and hawks soar above as you pedal along the contoured farmlands along the way. At your first stop you’ll visit Fountain and then its on to Preston for lunch. After exploring the National Trout Center, the bike tour then circles to the west, passing by ‘sink holes’ that feed area springs, on route to Harmony.  After arriving, learn about the Amish culture and take a tour of the Niagara Cave’s before an evening of fun and music.

Bike Bluff Country roads that cross the Root River Trail make the Bluff and Valley Bike Tour a fun ride to consider.

Bike Bluff Country roads that cross the Root River Trail make the Bluff and Valley Bike Tour a fun ride to consider.

On Saturday, after a hearty Bluff Country breakfast the tour turns east through the Amish countryside on the “Buggy Byway.” Along this section of the route you will see draft horses used to work the fields while many farmsteads along the way offer fresh baked goods, honey, produce and crafts. For lunch today the tour visits a Norwegian community known for its locally produces cane sugar soda pop and Scandinavian art figures – that you will want to take a selfie or two with. The afternoon route then circles to the north through another beautiful valley and coasts down into Houston. Highlights here include visiting the Owl Center, selfies with all the local bike art, followed by dinner, music and fun in the evening.

Just in time for the holidays this couple stop in front of Norsland Lefse, for a quick photo before going inside to sample the tasty Scandinavian delicacies there.

This bike couple stop in front of Norsland Lefse, for a quick pic and going inside to taste some Scandinavian delicacies.

After another  Bluff Country breakfast, Sunday morning, the tour heads north and rides the ridge west on the Root River’s north faced bluff -to Rushford. Highlights for your visit here will include visiting the historic Rushford Depot & Village Museum, sampling some locally produced lefse and having a selfie of yourself – as Ole or Lena. On the road again to the last Trail Town on the tour, you will enjoy a long meandering three-plus mile cruise without a pedal stroke, down into Peterson. Here, along with the interesting Norwegian museum, sample some of the best deserts available along the Root River Trail.

Here in Peterson, MN, a great bike rest stop, a group of cyclist, last summer, enjoyed a ice cream smiles moment.

Here in Peterson, MN, a popular bike rest stop a group of cyclist, last summer, enjoyed an ice cream smiles moment.

With both camping and lodging options available on this supported ride hosted by the Root River Trail Towns, see more information and registration here to guarantee your slot on one of the 150 spots available on the Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour.

Bike Pic Jan. 29, ice cream smiles Friday!

As this photo here in Peterson, MN, shows, the town makes the perfect bike rest stop as a group of cyclists discovered last summer – enjoying a ice cream smile moment while riding the Root River Trail. See more on visiting the Root River Trail here.

#FindYourNextAdventure

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking (HFB). 

Now, rolling into our 10th 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 and present more fun photos worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted to help you find your next adventure. Then, while out there if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, next to the route you regularly commute on, or at an event you plan to attend with your bike, be prepared to smile. You never know where our camera’s will be and what we will post next!

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As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please reference our blog and the annual print and quarterly digital Bike/Hike Guide 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!