Tag Archives: Root River Trail Towns

Each September, over three consecutive Saturday's, the nine towns host the Taste of the Trail here in the Root River valley, in Bluff Country.

Bike Pic Sept 8, savor the Taste of the Trail along the Root River

If you have been to Southeast Minnesota you have probably visited or heard of the Root River trail system. It’s in Bluff County and each September, over three consecutive Saturday’s the nine towns there host the “Taste of the Trail.” If you haven’t experienced the Root River take in one or all three of the free weekend events September 9, 16 or the 23rd. Visiting now will allow you plenty of delicious foods samplings giving you a taste of what is available here throughout the year.

In Preston this cyclists enjoys a sample of the Branding Iron's barbecue ribs.

In Preston this cyclists enjoys a sample of the Branding Iron’s barbecue ribs.

Three Root River Taste of the Trail opportunities

Bring your bike and choose a weekend or come back for all three. Working together each town will showcase their favorite foods, beverages and entertainment. This year’s event kicks off in the town’s of Lanesboro, Peterson and Whalan, on Saturday, September 9th.  Here in the center section of the trail system enjoy the complimentary sampling from local growers, producers and restaurants. Plus, live music will be offered throughout the day at each town. (see map).

 

Vegetarian spread samples from a local farm operation in the Root River Valley

Vegetarian spread samples from a local farm operation in the Root River Valley

Lanesboro, presents “Voices of Lanesboro,” a celebration of local music and rich history, theater and more.

The town of Peterson presents “A Celebration of Farm Life. While the Cat in the Fiddle will be playing at the restored Peterson Bandstand. Plus local businesses and service organizations will have plenty of tasty food and goodies available.

In Whalan, the ‘little town that could’ invites visitors to taste test many ethnic foods. With a strong Norwegian influence, it’s only natural to find samples of Lefse, Rommergrot, and Blood Klub. And don’t forget to visit Ernie’s Restored 1917 Gas Station and the museum.

The following Saturday, September 16th,

The towns of Fountain, Harmony and Preston are planning to show you what the west end of the Root River Trail system communities has to offer.

Here cyclist are sampling Rommergrot, a Norwegian delicacy.

Here cyclist are sampling Rommergrot, a Norwegian delicacy.

In Fountain, enjoy Tom Schramm’s Music in the Park while sampling foods and the latest beer from the new brewery in town. Hope you have a couple extra hours to spare and visit the Fillmore County History Center & Museum?

At the far of the “Trail” in Harmony, enjoy the music of the Root River Jam Band. Then savor some of the food and beverage samples provided by the local businesses there.

Enjoy some samples of pie in Harmony

Enjoy some samples of pie in Harmony

“Hooked on Preston” enjoy the area music by Tom Schramm, while munching on some of the tasty samples offered by the local merchants. And don’t forget to visit the National Trout Center. Maybe taking in a fly fishing course?

And there is more fun on September 23rd!

Here the towns of Houston, Rushford and Rushford Village will cap off this year’s “Taste of the Trail.” Working together these communities will show you what the East end of the Root River Trail system has to offer.

These lucky biker chicks found some desert samples at this table on the Root River Trail.

These lucky biker chicks found some desert samples at this table on the Root River Trail.

In Houston, fun continues at the Trailhead Park where you’ll find samples of local food, arts, and activities that you can enjoy and take home. Learn to make your own balloon animals and see the Parade of Owls. Don’t forget to pick up your “passport” with a list of participating businesses offering more samples and a chance to win a major prize!

Arriving in Rushford, make your first stop at the Historic Depot. the community’s trailhead on the Root River State Bike Trail. After sampling some of the garden treats of Rushford Village, pick up a map of the local businesses here offering other samples, like lefse and local cheeses.

All Taste of the Trail activities are sponsored by Root River Trail Towns. Founded in 1988, the organization is a 501(c)3, dedicated to the continued betterment and well-being of the Root River State Trail System and its communities.

This Friday would be a great time to get registered for the 2017 Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Tour.

Bike Pic Feb 10, Today’s A Great Day To Get Registered for the Bluff County Ride

This Friday seems like a great time to get registered for the 2017 Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour. Where else can you enjoy 3-days (July 6-9) of beautiful bluff country scenery, with eagles soaring above as you ride the quite county roads and trails with amazing company?

Starting in Peterson, MN, this years bike tour has overnight stops in the Root River Trail Town’s of Preston and Rushford!

Planning your #NextBikeAdventure take a look at the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Thanks for viewing Today’s get Registered for the Root River Bike Ride Pic

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more place to have fun we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy.

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: [email protected]. 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 do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our picks with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with one of our camera’s ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. We may capture you in one of our next Pic of the Day posts.

Have a great day!

It's Sunday again which means, Ice Cream Smiles Sunday is back at it again this week!

Bike Pic Jan 22, Ice Cream Smiles Sunday Out On Our Root River Trail

It’s Sunday again which means, Ice Cream Smiles Sunday is back at it again this week! We take a look back from our Inaugural Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour  we stopped and enjoyed some Ice Cream at this little shop in Lanesboro. We’re looking forward to stopping again this year, will you be joining us?

Planning your #NextBikeAdventure? View the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide and remember to register for the

Thanks for viewing Today’s Ice Cream Smiles Sunday Bike Pic

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more place to have fun we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy.

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: [email protected]. 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 do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our picks with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with one of our camera’s ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. We may capture you in one of our next Pic of the Day posts.

Have a great day!

Are you registered for our second annual Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour? If not you won't want to miss out on this amazing 3-day weekend bike adventure, July 7th - 9th. We will be exploring what the Root River Trails have to offer!

Bike Pic Jan 12, Root River Trail Thursday, Register Today

Are you registered for our second annual Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour? If not, you won’t want to miss out on this amazing 3-day weekend bike adventure taking place July 7th – 9th. We will be exploring what the Root River Trails have to offer!

Planning your #NextBikeAdventure? View the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Thanks for viewing Today’s Root River Trails Pic

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more place to have fun we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy.

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: [email protected]. 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 do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our picks with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with one of our camera’s ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. We may capture you in one of our next Pic of the Day posts.

Have a great day!

While touring the Root River on the Bluff & Valley Ride visiting the museum in Fountain MN was one of the highlights to the trip.

Root River Bicycle Tour Pedals through Minnesota History

by Andrew Ellis, HaveFunBiking

The inaugural Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour, last July, explored the small towns along the trail system in Southeast Minnesota. Riding the scenic roads and the popular trail was an experience Twin Cities-based biker Mike Rogers won’t soon forget. He had spent the past few years pedaling around trails tucked away in his Minneapolis neighborhood. Now, he wanted to get away from all the noise and inconveniences city bikers have to deal with.

Passing the old rail road crossing sign with mile markers was helpful when the tour occasionally used the Root Rive Trail.

Passing the old rail road crossing sign with mile markers was helpful when the tour occasionally used the Root River Trail.

Pedaling the Root River Bluff & Valley Tour was a Moving Experience

Scouring the Internet for something outside the city limits, he came across the Root River Trail website in southeast Minnesota. It was far away from the busy big city streets so he could focus on biking and enjoying the surroundings. He was only nervous about hitting the new trails on his own, because none of his friends ride. Then he stumbled across the perfect solution.

He found the perfect three-day weekend solution. A bicycle tour that took place right after the fourth of July, and where a bunch of people get together for a three-day trek. With this organized ride, not only would he not have to fear getting lost, he would meet some new friends. “It seemed like a win-win,” he said.

The Inaugural Bicycle Tour Took Place in Bluff Country

The tour he found was the inaugural Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour that took place in Bluff Country. In 2016, the ride started in Whalan, about two hours south of the Twin Cities in Southeastern part of Minnesota. Each day covered between 50 to 68 miles on paved roads and trails offering participants a few endurance-testing hills.

Some of the new friends John met on the Root River Bluff & Valley Tour

Some of the new friends John met on the Root River Bluff & Valley Tour

“There were definitely a few hills that made me question how I was going to make it,” he says. “But those challenges made me a better biker as a result.”

Bike tours like the Bluff & Valley Tour aren’t just about pedaling to the next destination; it’s what you see along the way. Visiting several historic attractions as the route meandered to its next overnight destination was one of the trip’s highlights. One of those high points was stopping at the Fremont General Store. This historic location was built in 1856 and is still in operation. The tour also experienced the milling culture of Rushford and the Amish farmlands, still cultivated by horses as you make your way to Harmony. The tour allowed Mike a chance to experience a part of Minnesota that he knew nothing about.

The Bluff & Valley Ride Was The Perfect Bicycle Tour

Mike also discovered many of the small towns along the Root River trail system are largely unchanged from when they were officially founded. So that friendly small town hospitality vibe is still going strong today. With the absence of big chain stores, longtime locally-owned businesses heighten each town’s unique vibe.

Here while touring on the Bluff & Valley Ride these riders discovered one of the many unique Root River Trail Town hot spots available.

Here while touring on the Bluff & Valley Ride these riders discovered one of the many unique Root River Trail Town hot spots available.

Mike said, “There was so much history on this tour. As I pedaled along, I would occasionally reflect  back to other towns I’ve visited. Many of them were so unique that I might want to go back and spend some more time revisiting those areas. One in particular was in Fountain where the Fillmore County History Center Museum and Genealogy Library are located.”

Then there’s the bicyclists he rode and shared all those experiences with. While the Bluff & Valley ride was only three days the group he rode with struck up a close connection. It wasn’t that hard as mostly everyone camped or lodged at the same places overnight and ate together.

“People from Washington State, Iowa, Winnipeg, Kansas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin were on this tour so you got to meet a lot of interesting people, and hear their stories,” he says.

Most riders camped out but there were a few hotel options for those who preferred making their own lodging reservations. The makeshift campsites were in local parks and schools, and Rogers says he loved camping outside under the stars, just like the pioneers.

Here while touring on the Bluff & Valley Ride this rider had a chance to try out another set of wheels.

Here while touring on the Bluff & Valley Ride this rider had a chance to try out another set of wheels.

“There something so calm about sitting under the stars at night, it was a great way to settle down after a long day of pedaling,” he says. “It actually made me make a point to find more tours like this.”

2017 Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour Registration is Open

He’s actually kept in touch with a few of the bikers he befriended during the tour. They’ve ridden together a couple times on the weekends, and have already registered for next year’s Bluff & Valley Bike Tour. And for those who may scoff at the $295 price tag he say it’s well worth it.

“I don’t believe I thought about the price the entire time I was there, because I was too busy having a great experience with great people,” he says.

Not only did Mike sign for the 2017 Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour, but he was able to get some friends to join him. “I can’t wait for round two in Bluff Country, I know we’ll have a blast,” he says.

For more information and to sign up for the 2017 Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour, click here.

Flashback Friday to our inaugural Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour this past July! It was so much fun, we had over 50 bikers join us.

Bike Pic Jan 6, Flashback To Inaugural Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Tour

Flashback Friday to our inaugural Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour this past July! It was so much fun and such a success that we are bringing it back again this year! Get registered today and invite your friends! You won’t want to miss out on this amazing 3-day weekend bike adventure, July 7th – 9th, in Southeast Minnesota’s Bluff Country!

Then, see all the other places to explore in 2017 by downloading the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Thanks for viewing Today’s Flashback to Root River Bike Pic

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more place to have fun we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy.

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: [email protected]. 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 do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our picks with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with one of our camera’s ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. We may capture you in one of our next Pic of the Day posts.

Have a great day!

Stopping at Doc's, in Spring Grove, for some ice cream before riding further on the the Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Tour.

Ice Cream Smiles Friday on the Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Tour

It’s Ice Cream Smiles Friday and today we found a picture from the Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Tour that happened this summer. Next year’s  Bluff & Valley Tour will take place July 7, 8 & 9, starting in Peterson, MN. Watch for more information on this ride and other 2017 bike tours in December.

See many more bike friendly places to explore in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide

Thanks for viewing the Ice Cream Smiles Pic of the Day. 

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While showcasing all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more place to have fun we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy.

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: [email protected]. 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 do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Also, don’t forget to smile while you are riding and having fun. After all, we may capture you in one of our next photos that we post daily.

Have a great day!

Bike Pic Sept 17, Tour of Fillmore Offers Hard Gravel Miles

The 77 mile Tour of Fillmore is the hardest and most rewarding miles of gravel in southern Minnesota. Located near the Root River Trail Town of Lanesboro, in Fillmore County, registration is open until the 10 a.m. when the ride starts. A heads up, if you are going it is appreciated to Drew: [email protected].

A final update for the Tour of Fillmore will be posted on their FaceBook page after he rides the course, so check back. To date, Drew reports, “The roads are in great condition with less loose gravel than last year (but still with plenty). Plus the course is hard!”

“Checkpoint will be stocked with water and some snacks by us. We will also take dropbags or potluck style items to the checkpoint if you drop them at the start. Please Bring some meat or whatever you want to grille for the finish, or maybe some chips/snacks. I’ll cart my grille to the finish and hang out in the park for a while, Should be fun if everyone joins in!”

See many more bike friendly places to explore in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide

Thanks for viewing the Tour of Fillmore Bike Pic of the Day. 

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While showcasing all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more place to have fun we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy.

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: [email protected]. 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 do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. And don’t forget to smile, while you are riding and having fun. We may capture you in one of our next photos that we post daily.

Have a great day!

Bike Pic August 6, is that a bird nest in the bike trail?

This bike rider, on the Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Tour last month stopped to point out a flaw in the pavement in between Root River Trail Towns while riding along the scenic river valley.

Find many more bike friendly places to explore in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

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

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle tourism media source, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As HFB searches and presents more fun cycling related photos, worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted that may 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, be prepared to smile. You never know where our cameras will be and what we will post next!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us post? If so, please send it our way and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to: [email protected] with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know?) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 800 pixels wide or larger for us to consider using them. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please reference our blog and the annual print and quarterly digital Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide to Find Your Next Adventure. We are proud of the updated  At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for at the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of information, now available for mobile devices.

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!

MnDOT makes 125 county level bicycle maps available

County level bicycle maps are now available in Minnesota. As the second most bicycle friendly state in the United States, according to the League of America Bicyclists, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has recently announced the first of a series of bicycle maps. These are county by county level bicycle maps for the state. In the link below, you’ll find 125 maps with some counties split into more than one sheet. All at this one link location, click on any County Bicycle Map and see trails, road conditions, and more.

Selecting One of the County Level Bicycle Maps

Once you have selected a map, you can print out any of the maps by county (on 8.5×11 or 11×17 paper) to take along to help navigate your bike adventure. Please note, there are no printed versions of these county bike maps available, so you will need to print you own.

Additional Minnesota Maps to Cross Reference

For major metro areas in Minnesota you should also consider referencing local bicycle maps. Local bike maps may have more current local roadway data and trails. Click the following links for these Minnesota cities with bike maps: Albert Lea, Anoka County (TwinCities Gateway) Brainerd, BemidjiCuyuna AreaDuluth, Grand Rapids, Hastings, Hibbing/Virginia, Hutchinson, Lakeville, Little FallsMankatoMinneapolis NorthwestMinneapolis (Hennepin Co.) Park Rapids, Prairie Waters Area (Western MN)Rochester, Root River Trail Towns, StillwaterSt. CloudSt. PaulWalker, Willmar and Winona.

According to MnDOT, “because this is the first effort to show data at the county scale there are some gaps and we will continue to work with the counties to improve the data and layout of these maps with future versions.” They also welcome your comments on how to improve the maps. Submit feedback or changes by emailing [email protected].