Tag Archives: Ramsey County Park

The New Brighton 10-mile bike loop ties history with nature

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

From its early years discover the historical connection to railroads and livestock this bike-friendly community. Today the New Brighton 10-mile bike loop offers cyclists a mixture of history, nature and many attractions as you ride here. Plus it is easy to add additional adventure with trail connections that will take you throughout the Twin Cities Gateway. With all the opportunities here you will find a picture-perfect destination for your next bike vacation here.

The New Brighton bike loop is fun for the whole family.

The New Brighton 10-mile bike loop

This bike loop travels clockwise and begins at the Homewood Suites by Hilton. Taking a left out of the parking lot onto Old Highway 8, you will find a trail on the west side as you pedal south. Soon after passing Lions Park the route enters a new development on Ring Road and catches the trail. Soon you are making a big sweep through the prairie grass as the trail crosses under the RR bridge near the freeway and takes you out on Beach Road. Lake. After crossing the south shore of Long Lake experience a mix of busy and calm. Now pedaling Manning Trail, along the freeway border wall, to your right enjoy nature along the south shore of Pike Lake. If you want to explore nature along the shoreline there is an optional short loop off the path.

A fun bike loop to explore with friends.

A stop for ice cream while biking to the Rice Creek Trail

Now pedaling to the northwest through the residential neighborhoods on the west side of Pike Lake the route ventures up to the Rice Creek North Regional Trail. On your way over to Central Avenue, if it is a hot day, consider stopping by Grandpa’s Ice Cream, at Moore Lake Road. Now riding north on a trail running parallel to Central, just before at 69th Avenue you are at the Rice Creek Trailhead. Here the 10-mile loop travels back east towards the headwaters of Rice Creeks. An option for future consideration is the Rice Creek Trail West. From Central Avenue, the trail follows the winding flowage to the Mississippi River and its well-known trail, the MRT.

The flavors here are worth stopping for.

The smells, sounds, and wilderness sightings along the trail

Back on the 10-mile route, pedaling east, this section is one of my favorite parts of the Rice Creek Trail. As the route winds back and forth along the waterway under a forested canopy I am amazed. Riding this section of the trail the forest air, noises, and wildlife sightings will encompass you. At the next trail Y, the bike loop pulls away from the creek and continues along a rail line that helped establish New Brighton. After crossing Rice Creek one more time on this bike loop you will be entering Long Lake Regional Park.

Biking along the rail line brings hits from the community’s past.

Stop by the New Brighton History Center, in the park

Here in the park, you will find numerous trails circling around between the east shore of Long Lake and the south shore of Rush Lake. Follow the turn-by-turn cue sheet of the route if you don’t want to miss a turn. There are a lot of intersections in the park. After crossing a final set of RR tracks you will pass the New Brighton History Center. Here you can stop and learn more about the areas past before returning back to the start.

A great place to stay on a bike vacation.

Returning back along Highway 8, it’s just a short distance back at the parking lot at Homewood Suites. After parking your bike check out a nearby eating establishment. Then plan another bike adventure in the Twin Cities Gateway Area.

Printable map and  Q (cue)-sheet)

For a printable bike map of New Brighton, click here

For a turn-by-turn, Q-sheet of New Brighton, click here

New Brighton’s annual Stockyards Days

If your vacation plans are centered around the second week in August, consider joining the fun at the community’s annual Stockyards Day’s.

The Shoreview 10-mile bike loop easily connects to a wildlife oasis

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

A community with an abundance of lakes, hence the name Shoreview, you will find an oasis for wildlife viewing opportunities along its trails. While visiting and riding the Shoreview 10-mile bike loop you will find many trail connections here for several adventures. Regardless of when you arrive, you will find bike trails around the eleven lakes here with many natural settings. One of nine communities of the Twin Cities Gateway, Shoreview is a perfect destination for a bike vacation.

Riding alone, or with friends, many wildlife viewing opportunities are waiting.

The Shoreview 10-mile bike loop

For this bike tour travel clockwise and beginning in the parking lots of the Best Western Plus and Hilton Garden Inn. Taking a right onto the bike lane along Gamsie Road, then Chatsworth as the route first travels north. At Snail Lake Road, you will find a trail running parallel on the south side as you pedal to the east. After crossing Victoria Street watch for Snail Lake Park Facilities on the north side of the road.

A broad of ducks sunning themselves along the trail.

The tunnel into Snail Lake Park

At the park entrance, the Shoreview 10-mile bike loop continues on the trail to the north. In Snail Lake Park, there are some nature trails near the lake shoreline and perfect for wildlife viewing. Back on the route the trail now heads to the northeast. So watch the turn-by-turn cue sheet link below to stay on course as you make your way up to the Highway 96 and the bike-ped trail. At the Hodgson Road crossing, for something cool, check out the Big Dipper Creamery on the northeast corner of this intersection.  A mile further, after crossing Rice Street, watch for the trail T, along the highway into Sucker Lake Park.

Enjoying the trail to Sucker Lake.

More wildlife viewing along the trail in Sucker Lake Park

Both the park and trail here are on the west shoreline of the lake and offers many activities and a hiking trail if a closer encounter with nature is of interest. If so, check out the 1.9-mile trail around the lake for a closer look as low land songbirds watch your every move. Leaving the park, the route continues south from the parking lot on Sucker Lake Road. At County Road F, turn east and use the trail on the north side. At Rice Street and then at the intersection of Hodgson/Rice/Gamsie crossing use the trail on the east side to the Grass Lake Nature Preserve a part of the Snail Lake Regional Park system.

Enjoying the trail to Grass Lake Nature Preserve.

Songbirds and wildflowers filled the Grass Lake Nature Preserve

This preserve allows cyclists and pedestrians alike a chance to view songbirds from the paved trail circling around the eastside of Grass Lake. An optional hiking trail takes you out in the wildflower-filled meadow on the west side of the lake. Back on the route the paved trail leaves the preserve and crosses the bike-ped bridge over I-694, onto County Road E. Now pedaling to the east again the 10-mile bike loop makes a sweep through one more park before returning to the starting point. After crossing Victoria Street, the trail enters Island Lake, County Park.

Songbirds and wildflowers fill the nature preserve with opportunities.

Surrounded by busy, the calm is the park in the heart of Shoreview

The park, on the east shoreline of Island Lake, is in the heart of Shoreview.  Along with the general park amenities, the walking trails here will make you feel like you are in a different area, not in the cities. The 10-mile bike loop uses the paved trails up through the park to the north end, then the park road around the upper end of the lake to the parking lot at the boat landing. Here pick up the trail again for one last look at nature in Shoreview.

Now it is over to the trail along Lexington Avenue and north for your return. Back at the parking lot, check out a nearby eating establishment and plan another bike adventure in the Twin Cities Gateway Area.

Bike Route options from Country Inn & Suites in Shoreview

Using the trail parallel to Rice Creek Parkway and then Park View Drive it is easy to get to the miles of paved trails in the Rice Creek North Regional trails system. The trail here to the east follows the Rice Creek up to its headwaters in the Rice Creek Park Preserves. From the chain of lakes here, south of Lino Lakes, both the Rice Creek and the trail corridor meanders to the west into the Mississippi River and the Mississippi River Trail (MRT). Along this trail corridor, you can connect to several other trail systems and parks through the Twin Cities Gateway.

Printable map and Q (cue)-sheet)

For a printable bike map of Anoka click here

For a turn-by-turn, Q-sheet of Anoka click here

Another fun summer day for a family ride! Here in this bike pic we captured this father/ daughter pair out pedaling on Summit Avenue, getting in shape for Minnesota's 24th Annual St Paul Bicycle Classic coming September 9th.

Bike Pic Aug 25, another fun Saturday to take the young ones out for a ride

Another fun summer day for a family ride! Here in this bike pic we captured this father/ daughter pair out pedaling on Summit Avenue, getting in shape for Minnesota’s 24th Annual St Paul Bicycle Classic coming September 9th.

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 ‘RAGBRAI’ 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 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!

Enjoying nature riding the Rice Creek Trail out of Mounds View.

Discover the Rice Creek Trails natural settings out of Mounds View

If you missed the annual ‘Festival in the Park‘ celebration, with bike races, last weekend in Mounds View, MN, this Twin Cities Gateway community is still worth checking out. Here, you will find a great mix of busy and calm. Where you can ride your bike along creekside trails to visit attractions amongst mother nature. Many who visit here enjoy following the natural settings along Rice Creek and the trail near it. Another option, are the bike friendly roads to expand your coverage for more adventure – And you can start, right from your Twin Cities Gateway hotel.

Rice Creek North Regional Trail

Riding over one of the wooden bridges crossing the Rice Creek Trail

Riding over one of the wooden bridges crossing the Rice Creek Trail

Mounds View is one of the many places that gives you access to the Rice Creek North Regional Trail with the Rice Creek North Regional Trail Corridor. The Rice Creek North Regional Trail is located in the Southeast quadrant of Anoka County [see map].

In the Meadows along the Rice Creek Trail see song birds amongst the wild flower.

In the meadows along the Rice Creek Trail see song birds amongst the wild flower.

 

The trail provides a connection between Anoka and Ramsey counties and connects the Cities of Blaine, Shoreview and Lino Lakes. A unique feature of the trail the 8-10 foot wide paved trail passing towering trees and the creek (bearing the same name) underneath crossing quaint wooden bridges along the way. Enjoying nature riding the Rice Creek Trail out of Mounds View.

There are also several different landscapes passing through wooded areas where trail users can occasionally see whitetail deer. Then wandering through open meadows the trail greets users with array of natural flower and songbirds. Further along, cyclist will circle several low land marshy areas where it is easy to view many species of waterfall gathering for the fall migration. On the north end of the trail, one can witness prairie restoration.

On the Rice Creek Trail, as fall approaches, view waterfowl as they gather for and prepare for migration.

On the Rice Creek Trail, as fall approaches, view waterfowl as they gather for and prepare for migration.

A part of Minnesota’s Community, located on the northside of the Twin Cities it is easy to find your next bike adventure with a mix of mother nature, near your lodging choice when visiting the area.

Good times riding in New Brighton

Bike the Long Lake Trail while visiting New Brighton’s Stockyard Days

by Andrew Ellis, HaveFunBiking.com

Riding the Long Lake Trails and taking in Stockyard Days, in New Brighton is a great example of what you will find visiting this area. Located on the north side of the Twin Cities, alongside the 35W Freeway in the Twin Cities Gateway Community, you will find many trails to explore. Along with many bike friendly roads the trail  around Long Lake Regional Park and connects to the Rice Creek Trail Circuit. If you have the kids along and want to take a break from exploring, consider Eagles Next Playground. Another opportunity when in the area the middle of August is Stockyard Days, a long standing New Brighton tradition.

Long Lake Regional Park in New Brighton

From your hotel it’s easy to hop on a trail with your bike to get to the park and its many amenities. Pedaling deeper into the park one of the first things you’ll come across is the New Brighton History Center.  Slightly larger than a one room school house, right outside the building is an old train on the tracks.

The recently refurbished depot was converted into the History Center with many railroad artifacts.

The recently refurbished depot was converted into the History Center with many railroad artifacts.

Move past and you will start seeing more places to stop. The beach, by the main parking lot, is a place to stop, relax and enjoy the cool water. Several play areas for kids are also sprinkled throughout the park. There’s also an all grass ball field, with a backstop, picnic tables, and more.

You’ll also notice that the area is full of paths for both riding and walking to take you anywhere in the park. There are even smaller natural surface walking paths that allow you to get a little close to the water. The paved paths are especially fun for bikers with steep climbs that result in exhilarating descend. It’ll quench that need for speed.

Long Lake Regional Park Map in New Brighton

Long Lake Regional Park Map in New Brighton offers many trails.

The trail left of the beach ends up near a parking lot with a very popular fishing pier. If you travel to the right of beach you have more options for exploring. There will be an area where you’ll see a bridge. If you go to the left of the bridge you’ll end up following train tracks along a paved path that’s part of the Rice Creek West Regional Trail.

If you decide to cross the bridge you’ll begin the lengthy journey on the Rice Creek North Regional Trail which takes you by trees, wetlands, and more. Also, pay close attention, because at some point you’ll have to turn onto a residential sidewalk and after that the trail isn’t very well marked. There’s also road construction that may be obstructing the next trail section. There’s also a gas station and McDonald’s close by if you need a break.

Eagles Nest Indoor Playground

A fun place for the whole family when not biking the trails.

A fun place for the whole family when not biking the trails.

Across the highway is the New Brighton Community Center which houses the massive Eagles Nest Playground. There are plenty of places to sit as your kids crawl in side the tunnels, use the slides or play in the ball pit. There are also a few vending machines for snacks and refreshments. It’s a great way to cool off and relax.

New Brighton’s Stockyard Days

If you’re visiting the area from August 5th to the 13th, come enjoy the city’s annual Stockyard Days celebration. The festivities include a golf tournament, Medallion Hunt, movie night, softball tournament, live music, Grande Parade, and more. Long Lake Park will also feature three days of food and crafts. You’ll also catch the finish of the 120-mile Antique Car Run. These cars were built in 1908 or earlier.

tockyard Days celebrates the communities past when stockyards, railroads, fashionable hotels and meatpacking plants flourished here. Days is full of fun

Stockyard Days celebrates the communities past when stockyards, railroads, fashionable hotels and meatpacking plants flourished here. Days is full of fun

The festival began in 1981 as a way to recall the early days of New Brighton as a center for the cattle industry including the stockyards, railroads, fashionable hotels and meatpacking plants.

Stockyard Days bike sprints will give you a taste of NASCAR Racing on two wheels.

Stockyard Days bike sprints will give you a taste of NASCAR Racing on two wheels.

Welcome New Brighton the beginning of your #NextBikeAdventure.