Tag Archives: Train & Trail Tour

Twin Cities Gateway Train & Mississippi River Trail Tour

 

Have you ever considered riding your bike along the Mississippi River Trail (MRT)? Not sure if you have the time or ability to do a multi-day bike trip through Minnesota or a tour all the way to New Orleans? Consider trying this single day, self-guided Twin Cities Gateway Train & Trail Loop Tour.

Here cyclists depart the Northstar Train to pedal back to the Twin Cities Gateway on the Mississippi River Trail.

Here cyclists depart the Northstar Train to pedal back to the Twin Cities Gateway on the Mississippi River Trail.

This single day tour is a multi-modal adventure that will give you a chance to see if riding along the MRT is right for you. With three mileage options to consider, the ride can be a fun family outing or a chance to check out bicycle touring. Also, it is a great trip to enjoy with friends. There is plenty of time to go pedaling along the river and visit a few river towns along the way.

With your bike, board the Northstar Commuter Rail for a train ride to Big Lake. Leaving from Anoka by train, it is a 25-miles ride back. Board the train in Coon Rapid for a 27-mile bike ride back. For a 36-mile route, depart from the Fridley Station and ride your bike back further down the MRT.

Riding back to the Twin Cities Gateway on the Mississippi River Trail you will pass the landscaped grounds of the Dayton Mansion.

Riding back on the Mississippi River Trail you will pass the landscaped grounds of the Dayton Mansion.

As you pedal along the Mississippi river on the MRT, visit the river communities of Elk River. Visiting Dayton and Champlin are great opportunities for a rest stop and lunch. Approaching Dayton, both the river and the MRT enters into the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area for the next 60 miles. This area is managed by the National Park Service. Riding this stretch of the Mississippi River Trail offers cyclists several spectacular views as they bike the Great River Road.

To plan a MRT Loop Tour, check the schedule of the Northstar Commuter Rail Line here. Then, download and print this PDF sheet which is a Turn-by-Turn Direction Sheet for your next Twin Cities Gateway bicycle adventure.

For map options see MnDOT’s series of bike maps by county and have fun!

BikeMN 2016 Train & Trail Tour – Photo Gallery Recap

On Saturday, June 20th the skies were sunny and the raindrops promised to stay away for a fun-filled day on the 4th Annual BikeMN Train & Trail Tour. After checking in at the BikeMN (Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota) table, at the Minneapolis Parks and Rec Board headquarters, everyone pedaled to the train. At the Target Field Station train platform, over 100 bicyclists boarded the Northstar Train for the ride to Big Lake, MN. After a 45-mile train ride, they arrived in Big Lake, where tour participants rolled their bikes off the rail cars. They were ready to take off for the 42-mile journey back to Minneapolis.

Facebook Photo Gallery of  the 2016 Train & Trail Tour

Enjoy the pictures we took while following the riders that were having fun riding their bikes along the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) in the HaveFunBiking Facebook Photo Gallery. The MRT is a bicycle route that has been mapped by MnDOT (Minnesota Department of Transportation). In Minnesota, the full route of the MRT meanders roughly 620-miles paralleling the river. Starting from its source at Itasca State Park to the Iowa border – then on to New Orleans. Utilizing largely low-traffic roads, the MRT route also includes relatively long segments of scenic state and regional trails.

The Tour

In Downtown, the Elk River tour riders enjoyed a catered lunch in the town square. Located next to the fountain overlooking the confluence of the Elk and the Mississippi Rivers, it was a great location to see the rivers.

At the Highway 169 Bridge, in Champlain, the MRT trail allows riders to choose two routes into Minneapolis. Crossing the Mississippi River here, riders can tour the Twin Cities Gateway through the nine wonderful towns. These communities include Anoka, Coon Rapids, and Fridley, all paralleling the river on the East-MRT.

For the Train & Trail Tour, riders stayed on the Minneapolis Northwest 301 side, or West-MRT, heading south towards Minneapolis. After crossing the I-694 Freeway Bridge, riders found the shaded trails along this stretch a comfort from the hot sun. The afternoon heat on this day made things a bit sticky. Leaving the North Mississippi Regional Park, it’s approximately three-miles to the end. For Train & Trail participants it meant it was time for ice cream.

If you were not able to join BikeMN on one of these Train & Trail Tour adventures, then don’t worry. If you would like to experience this route on your own, it’s easy to plan. First, check Metro Transit’s Northstar Rail schedule and connection to get you and your bike up to Big Lake or all the way to St CloudThen, study MnDOT’s County Bike Maps for a desirable route that you would prefer to ride back.

HaveFunBiking – it’s a great multi-modal experience traveling by train and then biking back to your original destination.

Bike Pic June 27, fun on the 2016 Train & Trail Tour

Here, Ann Bodensteiner and John Escritt participated in the Bike Alliance of Minnesota’s Train & Trail Tour, this last Saturday. From downtown Minneapolis 120 participants boarded the NorthStar Commuter Rail up to Big Lake, MN. Then, mounting their bikes the group followed the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) through the Minneapolis Northwest community of Brooklyn Park, stopping at the Coon Rapids Dam, before returning back to Minneapolis.

MN Bike Guide

Find many more bike friendly places to ride and 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!

Bike Pic June 12, miles off smiles Sunday!

A Fun Multi-modal Bicycle Experience

Bike riders out having fun, getting ready for the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota’s (BikeMN) Train & Trail Tour, June 25th.  This is a multi-modal experience riding the Northstar Commuter Rail, with your bike, out to Big Lake, MN and then pedaling back to the Twin Cities on the Mississippi River Trail (MRT). BikeMN is also the beneficiary of the Saint Paul Classic, held the second Sunday each September, which also supports bicycle safety and promotion of biking in Minnesota.

Find many more bike events and friendly places to ride and 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!