Tag Archives: Stockyard Days

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.

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.

Biking to Good Times – Stockyard Days

Emily Stocker, HaveFunBiking.com

The Twin Cities Gateway is known for having nine wonderful communities. In typical Minnesota hometown fashion, they each have a festival. This weekend kicks off nine days of fun in New Brighton. Stockyard Days, in their 35th year, will be fun for the entire family, taking place in Long Lake Regional Park. Ride your bike or come by car to this celebration. You won’t want to skip it.

Sunday at Stockyard Days

Sunday, August 7th starts off the events with a golf tournament at Brightwood Hills Golf Course. Gather a team of four to play and vie for one of many prizes, including best team name. There will also be prizes for men and women for closest to the pin, longest drive, and longest putt. The tournament starts at 8 a.m. so join in the fun or come watch some great golf.

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.

Sunday is also the date of the first annual Bike Sprints. The racing starts at 10 a.m. and is an event you will want to attend. The high energy surrounding the event with cyclists whizzing by as fast as they can, fills everyone attending with excitement.


Monday, August 8th, at 5 p.m. opens the Medallion Hunt. Clues are posted at City Hall each day and participants search the 12 city parks and the community center to find the Medallion. The winner is presented with $125, but here’s a tip. If you plan on participating, buy a button by August 7th to double the prize.

Wednesday is Kids Day

If you and the kids can only make it to Stockyard Days one day, make it Wednesday. That night is when the kiddie parade takes place, ending in the park. Kids get to dress up in costumes and decorate their bikes to ride through the parade route. Prizes go to best costume and best bike decoration. That night BikeMN will be putting on a bike rodeo for kids. Here they will learn more about safety while biking and practice the new skills they learned. The fun continues in the park with a screening of Disney’s movie “Zootopia”.


Mark your calendar for Thursday at 6 p.m. since this is the day that The Stockyard Days parade rolls through town. See businesses, politicians, clowns, bands, and visiting royalty. The parade makes for a great Thursday night and a good way to snag some candy.


Friday night kicks off the street dances. Live music in the park by Bad Girlfriends will have you singing and dancing along to a variety of music. From the bands Journey to Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Maroon 5 to Dixie Chicks, and everything in between, it promises to be a great night.


Saturday really packed in the events. Starting with the 5K, 10K, Kid’s run in the morning. Then, the New London to New Brighton Car Run will take place. Check out classic cars as they drive through town. In the park from 3 to 6 p.m. is a fantastic one man band, Wayne and the Boys, with a great taste in music. Fireworks will be at dusk to “oo” and “ah” the crowd. Finally, Ladies of the 80’s band will wrap up the night from 7 to 11 p.m. with a great tribute to music legends across the decades.


Wave and cheer on the Stockyard Days Parade Royalty.

Wave and cheer on the New Brighton Ambassadors at the parade.

Sunday, August 14th starts with a car show and swap meet in the park. At noon, head over to the semi-finals of the talent show. The final round begins at 3 p.m., to find the winner of New Brighton Idol. The festival ends with the crowning of the 2017 New Brighton Ambassadors.

Bike over to the Twin Cities Gateway for a week filled with fun, food, and music.