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Here in this bike pic, Tuesday reports are coming in that colors are beginning to peak up in the northwestern corner of Minnesota, along the Canadian Border, near Roseau. What better way to continue your summer fun and your #NextBikeAdventure see our latest article on destinations and peak color links.
Get into the zone when continuing your time outdoors 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. And now, check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.
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Now rolling through our 18th year as a bike tourism media, enjoy! As we pedal forward, we aim to encourage more people to bike and have fun while highlighting all the unforgettable places you can 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 we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to [email protected]. Please Include a brief caption to the image, who shot it, and where. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. You will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram if we use your photo.
As we continue encouraging 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 our 13th year of producing this handy 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 appearance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.
Have a great day with a safe and memorable year ahead!
If you are like me, I like to carry a few energy boost jell packs while enjoying nature in the wild. On my latest adventure, before the snow covered the Northwoods landscape, I found Trail Butter. Trying them I found they were delicious and provided a level of energy that lasted longer. Plus, having several flavors added to the experience and fun of mountain biking in the true north.
Trail Butter flavors in the 1.15 oz. packets for an energy boost.
A natural energy boost source while off-road biking in the true north
Wanting to get one more bike adventure in before snowfall in the upper Midwest, I spent four days exploring the Beltrami Island State Forest, near Roseau, MN. A mammoth forest covering more than 700,000 acres it’s about 30 miles south of the Canadian border. With Roseau several miles away I wanted to maximize my time and the weight of what I carried along. Using a couple of primitive campsites along the 140-miles of logging roads and trail loops the Trail Butter packets fit my needs well. Each day,
The 4.5oz size was my choice on my recent Northwoods trip.
I averaged about 30-miles of mountain biking from the established base camp for that section of the State Forest. Every five or six miles I stopped and enjoyed a single-size serving size of the Trail Butter. Stopping periodically for an energy boost of this nut butter made it easy to complete the planned route in plenty of time before dark.
With Trail Butter no gooey aftertaste
As I have found with some of the other energy products on the market, with Nut Butter there was no pasty after taste. I also found the company’s claim on its website description, as “slow-burning” and this was also true. The almond component of the nut butter mix offers a ready source of fat that burns slowly, perfect for any outdoor activity. Not like some of the other energy products I have tried, full of high fructose corn syrup or other sugar that doesn’t sustain you for very long.
Offered in four flavors and three different sizes
A 16oz jar of Trail Butter works well back to base camp or at home.
The Trail Butter packaging comes in three different styles and to date come in four flavors, with their Spiced Chai Seasonal Nut Butter Blend. Their regular flavors include the Original Nut Butter Blend; Maple & Sea Salt Blend; and the Dark Chocolate & Coffee Nut Butter Blend. Like the Original flavor, which is an almond nut base with chocolate and cranberries, you will find 680 calories to turn into energy in every single serving. Sizes include:
The single-serving 1.15oz packets that are easy to open and resemble the packaging of a typical gel. This size works well when disposing of the packaging isn’t an issue.
The 4.5oz size was my choice on my recent trip. It gave me several servings in one reseal-able, easy to eat out of the pouch. I just had to decide which flavor I wanted to carry each day.
Also available in 16oz jars. This size works well for those who are able to make it back to base camp or at home to prepare a sandwich.
Made in the U.S., Trail Butter is manufactured by a small company out of Portland, OR. and sells for a reasonable price. So check out their website and give Trail Butter a try for your next adventure!
When mountain biking or hiking, it’s nice to find the right gear that can help cut down on carrying extra weight, like water. On a recent backcountry field trip into Minnesota’s north woods, I had the opportunity to use the Aqua Research H2gO Purifier. This purifier was the perfect device to provide safe drinking water without adding additional weight to the gear I packed. No regrets choosing the H2gO Purifier for this Bold North trip was easy to use and safe. This compact purifier will be a mainstay accessory in my luggage when water is questionable on future trips.
Converting natures surface water was easy with the H2gO Purifier
I planned to spend four days exploring the mammoth Beltrami Island State Forest, near Roseau, MN. Even though there were a couple of well water locations in this forest covering over 700,000 acres, five rivers with headwaters here aloud for more convenient water options. With primitive campsites along the 140-miles of logging roads and trail, I wanted to maximize my time on my off-road bike exploring the area. Using the purifier to disinfect water along the trail allowed me room to pack several other luxury items of comfort.
Stopping alongside a stream it was easy to process safe drinking water.
The H2gO Purifier is small and easy to pack and works well eliminating any harmful organisms from the lakes and streams I stopped at for water. The coffee I brewed after processing this True North water was enjoyable too. Only one time did I wish I had a filtering device along? There were some specs of sediment in the water, but a sock from an extra clean pair I had worked.
How the H2gO Purifier works
This handheld purifier works by converting table salt and water into a disinfectant through an electrolytic process. Easy to perform in the field, first I mixed the salt and water in a small applicator bottle. Once the salt dissolved, I then added the solution into the reaction trough on the front side of the H2gO Purifier. Next, I selected the amount of water I wanted to purify (1, 2, 3, 5, or 10 liters). Then holding the button for two seconds, the reaction starts. It takes approximately 15 seconds per liter to create a disinfectant concentration. Then ready, I poured the disinfectant from the purifier into the water I planned to consume. Finishing by shaking or stirring and then after 30 minutes, depending on how clear the water is, it is ready to drink killing all pathogens.
This purifier is certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) meeting their classification for Household Water Treatment Systems. A single dose from the H2gO Purifier meets WHO treatment standards for viruses and bacteria. While in-house testing shows multiple doses of in-activate protozoan cysts like Giardia and Cryptosporidium.
The purifier also has a built-in solar panel for alternative charging and an LED flashlight for added functionality. The unit can also run off your cell phone battery for charging.
The H2gO Purifier comes complete with a detailed instruction manual, salt mixing bottle, safety indicator strips, a micro USB cable with a wall charger, and a mesh carrying bag to keep everything together.
In my experience using the H2gO Water Purifier is an ideal device when the water you want to drink is questionable. This purifier creates a disinfectant to kill organisms in your drinking water. Be aware of your surroundings (mine pits, old wells, etc.) as this purifier will not remove heavy metals or sediment. In comparison to other chemical purifiers, this is far superior as the taste is better, works faster and is much easier to transport, not to mention safer.
If you have three days or more open and looking for a true north biking experience in Minnesota, consider Roseau. A few miles from the Canadian border on a recent visit I found this area full of fun offering many off-road bicycling opportunities.
An outdoor bicycle paradise
Perfect for the whole family, the city of Roseau offers a paved bike trail, along with a number of quite street routes. Making it easily get around, to and from your hotel, by bike.
The quiet city streets make it easy and safe to connect to the trail, to go downtown.
On the eastern edge of the city, I found Mount Roseau. Here, with no forest vegetation on the hill, it made it easy to see the countryside as I rode up, down and around the trails of this mountain bike park. At the top, the view was worth a few moments. But, what was really exciting was learning about the areas remote logging roads and trails in Beltrami Island State Forest. For the fat, gravel, and mountain bike fans this is a haven to check out if you are craving a true north experience.
Roseau a true north biking experience
Minnesota’s North Star City, the community is located in an environmental transition area of the state where the forest gives way to the prairies of the Red River Valley. Located only 13-miles south of the Canadian Border and 27-mile to Lake of the Woods, by auto, Roseau is a six-hour drive from the Twin Cities. In this friendly Scandinavian community, visitors will find many recreational opportunities in the town’s parks and nearby state forests parks.
As a result of this unique location, wildlife enthusiasts traveling by auto, bike or on foot can appreciate the outdoor paradise the area offers. Nearly forty percent of Roseau County is accessible by state or county parks, and wildlife areas. Surrounding Roseau there are tamarack bogs to the north, prairie grasslands to the west and sandy pine forests to the east. All areas provide ample opportunity for a gravel road ride or wilderness fat and mountain biking adventures. Along the way take in several wildlife viewing stations, pick blueberries or just go for a hike and explore. Plus, the Pine to Prairie Birding Trail, near Roseau, is on Minnesota’s premier bird-watching list.
Parks to explore in the area
Four of the most visited Roseau outdoor recreation areas are the Roseau City Park, Sprague Creek Natural Area, Hayes Lake State Park, and Beltrami State Forest.
Roseau City Park
The mountain bike trail on Mount Roseau.
The City Park here is located on 40 wooded acres, along the Roseau River. The park provides a variety of activities including paved trail and mountain biking on Mount Roseau. The single-track trail system offering over 6.5 miles of fun twists and turns for all skill levels. The park also offers various playground equipment, sand volleyball, a fishing pier, and Frisbee golf activities.
Accessible by bike, Hayes Lake State Park is located 18 miles southeast of Roseau, on County Road 4. Located on the edge of Beltrami Island State Forest, this quiet true north park consists of 3,000 acres of pines, the lake, and wildlife to observe. The park also features a day-use area with fishing pier, swimming beach, and campsites. The lake is a non-motorized recreational area where canoeing and kayaking are popular. While here, also enjoy the opportunity to view rare birds such as bald eagles, great grey owls, Sandhill cranes and a variety of warblers. Wildlife sightings found in the area include elk, moose, bear, and wolves.
Beltrami State Forest
From this forest road, many primitive logging roads and trails intersect and are ready to explore by bike.
Further east from the State Park and as I mentioned earlier, what really excites me about this area for a true north biking experience is Beltrami Island State Forest. The second largest of Minnesota’s 60 state forests, there are five rivers that have their headwaters here. Also containing scientific and natural areas, riding the forest here is unique.
A family enjoying a true north bike experience in the forest.
In this huge forest, there are more than 138 miles of logging roads and trail to explore on your bike. Make sure you have a compass or GPS device along when exploring the trails. Pedaling around low flatland’s, peat bogs and ridges covered in pines, it’s easy to get lost. Along the forest roads, you might find evidence of a former homestead foundation or village. As s you explore, you will for sure want to stop and enjoy some blueberries when you hit a patch.
When not biking
From wheels to snow track the Thrill Team helped to promote snowmobiling with this stunt track.
Being the birthplace of snowmobiling and Polaris Industries, in between daily outings take in a plant tour and the museum. At the Experience Center see artifacts from the earliest snowmobiles to Polaris’s movement into All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). History buffs will enjoy the Roseau Pioneer Farm and Village, as well as the Roseau County Museum.
Another Roseau summer tradition is the 100-year old Roseau County Fair. Held in the middle of July, this annual event can add to your biking adventure if you visit at that time. Other activities around town include the community pool, paddling the Roseau River, the local theatre, a bowling alley, and arcade. In the downtown area, you will find many antique shops to browse and reminisce about the past.
Places to stay for a true north biking experience
On my last visit, while exploring this true north destination I headquartered at the AmericInn. Roseau also offers a couple more hotels to fit your needs. Camping (RV and tent sites with water and electric) in the city park is also an option.
Roseau has something for every interest. Check your calendar and plan your next true north biking experience to Roseau, today.