Tag Archives: Twin Cities Gateway

With the second Largest rookery in the state, bike over to Lino Lakes Blue Heron Days. The event starts on August 17th and will keep you and your family entertained for the whole weekend!

Ride your bike to and from Blue Heron Days for a good time

Emily Stocker, HaveFunBiking.

When you’re in Lino Lakes it can feel like you’re smack dab in the middle of northern Minnesota, especially when you bike to Blue Heron Days. One of eight Twin Cities Gateway communities, Lino Lakes has the second largest Blue Heron rookery in the state. While visiting you can pedal along many wide open roads and trails that take you by lakes and scenery that can meet you with the horizon. A place where roads, with no shoulder, offer trails or sidewalks that parallel the street to connect you to the vast Twin Cities Gateway trail system. Along the way enjoy the many options including the Blue Heron Celebration, August 17-19, when visiting Lino Lakes.

Bike to Blue Heron Days

Start the weekend with a free yoga session, perfect for yogis or newbies alike. After a relaxing workout, head over to Sunrise Park and catch some softball. There, the American Legion and Lino Lakes Police Department tournament will be taking place and is sure to be a great game. Afterwards, take the kids over to Lino Park with some blankets to watch Disney’s Inside Out. Finish the Friday by dancing the night away at the street dance featuring the band, A Girl’s Journey.

Saturday’s Event

The Lino Lakes Blue Heron Days Festival parade has many floats and marching bands.

The Lino Lakes Blue Heron Days Festival parade has many floats and marching bands.

Saturday, August 20th is packed full of events, making it one day you don’t want to miss. Bright and early, at 8 a.m., the day begins with Police Officer Shawn Silvera Memorial Run. Bring the kids to the YMCA at 9 a.m. for a Kids’ Fun Run and then head over to the parade at 11a.m. to enjoy music and floats. After catching and eating all that candy at the parade, jump off all of the sugar on the inflatables in Lino Park. Sit for a caricature drawing or a henna tattoo from 1 to 4 p.m. nearby. Also, take in the Business Expo, the Art Fair from noon to 4 p.m., a petting zoo, kiddie carnival, and live music by Authorities, all in Lino Park.  Saturday afternoon will keep you busy. Afterwards, another street dance closes the night with the band 8 Foot 4 jamming out for your entertainment.

Sunday’s Event

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. take a tour of Waldoch Farm’s Garden. Come on an empty stomach because they will also have a corn feed. Close out the weekend by supporting the royalty program. At 4:30 p.m. in Centennial Middle School, watch the crowning of the new Lino Lakes Ambassadors.

Get ready for a great weekend and bike over to Blue Heron Festival that runs from August 17th to the 19th.

More info for planning a trip to the Twin Cities Gateway

For bike friendly maps of the to get around the Lino Lakes and the rest of the Twin Cities Gateway click here. For lodging opportunities when visiting click here.

Mounds View is a great mix of busy and calm where you can ride your bike along creek side trails to visit festivals like the town’s 60th Annual Festival in the Park. This two-day jam-packed festival is a great way to start the end of summer vacation. 

Bike races are a big draw to the Festival in the Park, in Mounds View

Emily Stocker, HaveFunBiking.com

Mounds View is a great mix of busy and calm where you can ride your bike along creek side trails to visit festivals like the town’s 60th Annual Festival in the Park. This two-day jam-packed festival is a great way to start the end of summer vacation. Watch the fastest bike racers in the Midwest roar around Mounds View. Or give it a try yourself in the events beginner race.

It all starts on Friday, August 18th, in Twin Cities Gateway community of Mounds View, MN. where one can find such an adventure. The festival begins Friday evening with a dance and leads into Saturday with bike races, games, a parade and more music to add to your summer memories. Whether you and your family come by bike, or by car, be prepared for an exciting day.

A Fun Filled Day at the Festival in the Park

Here safety mascot’s ride in the communities fire truck bucket Festival in the Park parade.

Start your morning off on a run, literally. The Festival in the Park’s 5K race kicks off at the community center starting at 8:30 in the morning. After dashing through town, head over to the North Ball Field and see some snazzy cars. The car show is celebrating its tenth year at the festival and will be going on until 3:30 p.m. – with awards to see if your favorite car wins at 2 in the afternoon. At 10 a.m. get ready to catch some candy at the parade. Afterward, take the kids over to the Front Parking Lot to have some fun with the Fire Department activities. At 1 p.m. there will be a K9 demo in the West Ball Field.

Foot Stomping Music at the Festival

It’s your time to show off your inner star. You have about a week or so to pick your favorite hit song and warm up your vocal chords. Karaoke is on stage from 2:30 to 5 p.m. and usually has some surprises and great singers to please your ears. This year’s band is Big Toe and the Jam, which starts playing at 5:30 p.m. to entertain the masses. Apart from having a fantastic name, Big Toe and the Jam will have you stomping your feet and singing along. From “Party Rock” to “Jesse’s Girl”, you don’t want to miss this eclectic set-list everyone will love. The night ends with a bang – fireworks over City Hall Park.

Bike Rodeo and Sprint

Watch as the USA Cycling racers stir the air as they sprint by at Festival in the Park.

Watch as the USA Cycling racers sprint by the spectators, stirring the air as they dart by at the Festival in the Park.

The Mounds View Festival in the Park Sprint Races starts at Noon with the last race starting at 6:05 in the evening. The course is a rectangle with the total distance of 1.1 miles. If you are feeling extra adventurous on this particular day, as this is a USA Cycling Race, there are one-day licenses available at registration. Otherwise, it is just as fun watching the cyclists as they dart by, pedaling as fast they can. Competing or not, the race will be an adrenaline filled phenomenon.

So make plans today to head over to Mounds View on August 17 and 18th.

Plus the perfect trail to ride when in the area

Many who visit here also enjoy pedaling their bikes on the trail along the natural settings of Rice Creek.

Shoreview offer miles of paved trail to enjoy

Shoreview’s music will have you dancing on your pedals to natures beat

by Andrew Ellis

The trails here, can be your playground for you and your bike in Shoreview  – there’s no where you can’t go. This Twin Cities Gateway community here offers friendly road routes, trails and sidewalks so you can take another bike journey wherever you wish. The city also offers some off road paved trails to get closer with nature and all the beauty the community has to offer. You may even find some smaller paths worth exploring. It’s your adventure and it all starts as soon as you leave your hotel in the Twin Cities Gateway. And don’t forget Slice of Shoreview Days July 27-29.

A perfect vacation headquarters, the Twin Cities Gateway is a cooperative of nine communities including Shoreview and just a few bike friendly miles north of Minneapolis. Here you can enjoy:

Concerts in the Commons

Shoreview's Concerts in the Commons is the perfect way to get a pedal dancing rhythm for your #NextBikeAdventure.

Shoreview’s Concerts in the Commons is the perfect way to get a pedal dancing rhythm for your #NextBikeAdventure.

This summer features free entertainment outdoors at the Shoreview Community Center concerts, starts in June. Each Wednesday the Center features an outside concert with a different band, starting at 7 pm. It’s free, so steer your bike over and get ready to tap your feet.

Rice Creek North Regional Trail

Get close to nature on all the paved trails winding through Shoreview.

Get close to nature on all the paved trails winding through Shoreview.

With more than 50 miles of paved trail (see map) there’s plenty of riding for several visits. Although it is hard to see some trail markings, especially when connecting from a road route to get to the next section, these trails offer many opportunities to take wildlife pictures, discovering the area’s diverse landscape while catching scents of wildflowers. As you ride you will also see and hear plenty of birds of different kinds chirping away. Every once and a while the the trail crosses over the creek and you may want to consider some fishing.

Other Activities

If you want to take a short bike ride over to nearby Spring Lake Park, you can also enjoy the Shorview Sweetroll Skate Park. The SweetRoll is a tier-one skating facility on the north side of the Community Center. The park here includes a wedge, a spine, a fun box, a quarter pipe, grind rails, and a mini ramp..

If you’re looking for a fun way to cool off, you can bike on over to the Shoreview Community Center for their tropical-themed water park in the Twin Cities Gateway. This three-story water slide equipped park features a one-of-a-kind jukebox with over 100 songs ready to played along with a light show that sliders can enjoy as they twist and turn down to the bottom. At the main pool you can also play volleyball and there is even a adults-only whirlpool and patio area.

Disc golf opportunities are always a highlight in the many parks of the Twin Cities Gateway.

Disc golf opportunities are always a highlight in the many parks of the Twin Cities Gateway.

For those wanting a round of disc golf all you have to do is ride over to Hansen Park in New Brighton. With 12 holes, this disc golf course is complimented by stands mature trees amongst open spaces to skillfully connect with the baskets. It’s a great way to take a break from biking while still enjoying the the amenities of Shoreview.

And don’t forget Slice of Shoreview Days

Consider biking to the Slice of Shoreview for a weekend of fun.

Consider biking to the Slice of Shoreview for a weekend of fun.

If you’re exploring the area in July, from the 27th to the 29th, then you will be in time for the communities annual celebration. Slice of Shoreview Days is packed with fun for the whole family. There is live music, local arts, chalk drawing, a petting zoo, pony rides, a carnival, fireworks, and more.

Visiting shoreview with your bike can be a memorable weekend you won’t soon forget.

In Minnesota, at the confluence of the Rum entering the Mississippi River you will find many beautiful turn-of-the-century homes and gardens to tour.

Anoka’s Heritage Home and Garden Tour is enjoyable by bike

At the confluence of the Rum entering the Mississippi River, you will find many beautiful turn-of-the-century homes and gardens to tour. This coming Sunday, July 15th, by bike, car or on foot explore 13 historic neighborhoods on the Anoka Heritage Home and Garden Tour.

The Big White House is century old home on the garden to tour.

The Big White House is century old home on the garden to tour.

A part of the Twin Cities Gateway communities, Anoka happens to be a very bike friendly town. Biking is the perfect way to travel from one historic home to the next on this tour. The locations are far enough away from each other that you may not want to walk? On the other hand, they are close enough that driving is cumbersome. Biking is an excellent way to justify stopping at one of the many establishments downtown and grabbing a delicious treat after the tour.

The Heritage Home and Garden Tour

This year there are around 18 stops along the tour, showcasing the community’s past while flower gardens are in bloom. Also featured this year is the Federal Cartridge Clubhouse. Along with a special pop-up tornado exhibit and marketplace at the Anoka Armory, that had been destroyed in the 1939 disaster.

The Mad Hatter Restaurant & Tea Room, in the Woodbury House, is another home worth seeing.

The Mad Hatter Restaurant & Tea Room, in the Woodbury House, is another home worth seeing.

As you tour this river community admire some of Minnesota’s most beautiful homes and gardens up close. From the historic neighborhood of Slabtown to Christian Hill, discover how they got their names. Hear the stories of the first occupants who lived there.

One of the homes featured on tour is the Ticknor Hill Bed and Breakfast, built in 1867 and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. . Another home The Mad Hatter Restaurant & Tea House, located in the Woodbury House with great gardens, is also listed on the National Registry Historic Places. These are just two of the many homes on this tour that you will enjoy seeing.

All participants receive a tour booklet, which contains a map and addresses for you to easily  find the charming homes and gardens on the tour. Once you have purchase your tour book, with map, look at these locations on the city’s bike map showing connectors trails.

For more bicycle opportunities in the Twin Cities Gateway check out these maps.

The Fridley Historic Home & Garden Tour coming July 22

Downriver from Anoka, enjoy a new tradition with the Fridley Historic Home & Garden Tour. This tour, on Sunday, July 22nd  will ramble back in time  to this community’s most famous era, the 60’s! Enjoy scenic homes and gardens by bike as Fridley is another bike friendly community in the Twin Cities Gateway.

Watch the Fridley Historic Home and Garden tour video on YouTube. (Link opens in new tab) 

See the Fridley Historic Home and Garden Tour Event Tickets site for more information and to purchase tickets!

If you are in the Twin Cities Gateway, north of Minneapolis this summer and near Blaine, here are a couple events you may want to consider jumping on your bike and riding too. The Blaine Festival is family fun!

The Blaine festival and farmers market are two fun events to bike too

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

If you are in the Twin Cities Gateway, north of Minneapolis and looking for fun this summer? Blaine offers several events that includes a festival, this weekend, that you may want to consider jumping on your bike and riding too.

The Blaine Festival is family fun!

You will find the parade and a whole lot more to bike too.

You will find the parade and a whole lot more to bike too.

Fun for the whole family, the 2018 Blaine Festival (June 22 -23) is a community event now celebrating its 49th year. The fun kicks off on Friday at Noon, with a medallion hunt and

Stack the Oreo cookies always gets grins, young and old.

Stack the Oreo cookies always gets grins, young and old.

festivities that runs through Sunday, at 6 p.m. for a weekend of fun.

Pig races and a “Not So” ugly contest are just a few of the fun events

Events throughout the three-days includes: carnival rides, crafter/business fair, civic tent, petting zoo, magician, recreational activities, food and live bands. Along with the traditional parade scheduled at Noon on Saturday event other highlights include: pig races, a pedal tractor pull, an Oreo stacking contest and the “Not So” Ugly do contest!

Join the fun, the festival is located in Blaine at Aquatore Park (northwest of Highway 65 & 10). With free admission and parking there is a wide variety of entertainment with something for everyone.

The Blaine Farmers Market

The Blaine Farmers Market is easy to get to by bike.

The Blaine Farmers Market is easy to get to by bike.

One of the many joys of summer is to savor the fresh fruits and vegetables from the garden. However, not all of us have the time and space to raise our favorite produce. That’s where farmers’ markets come into play and the Twin Cities Gateway (TCG)has you covered. Along with the Blaine Market, TCG offers six other farmers’ markets, on different days and locations to choose from.  A great place to pick up the couple things you want for a healthy snack on that next bike outing.

In Blaine, each Wednesday in the city hall parking lot stop in at the farmers’ market, throughout the summer.

Visit the Blaine Market, from 3 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday’s at: 10801 Town Square Drive NE, Blaine, MN 55449

Don’t forget two-wheel racing in Blaine

Every Thursday and some weekend offers you the option to participate or watch racing at the National Sports Center Velodrome in Blaine  – see more here!

Need lodging for your visit to Blaine?

You can find a complete listing of lodging opportunities in Blaine and neighboring communities Twin Cities Gateway communities here.

Have Fun!

Pedaling along the Mississippi River Trail, north of Minneapolis, takes cyclists through the remarkable art community of Fridley. With the annual '49er Days, live theatre and a stunning gallery everyone will be inspired biking or hiking in Fridley.

The art of biking and festivals in friendly Fridley Minnesota

Pedaling along the Mississippi River Trail (MRT), north of Minneapolis, takes cyclists through the remarkable art community of Fridley, with the annual ’49er Days,  June 14 -16. One of the nine communities in the Twin Cities Gateway the city offers a one of a kind experience for art and bike lovers alike. From live theatre, a stunning gallery and a festival with many craft artist, everyone visiting will feel inspired after taking a look at the creative scene in bike-friendly Fridley.

Craft art is one of the highlights at the ’49er Days Festival

Come for the 49er Parade, stay for all the fun activities and food scheduled throughout the day.

Come for the 49er Parade, stay for all the fun activities and food scheduled throughout the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fridley Lions Club, ’49er Festival starts with a parade on Thursday, June 14.
Then throughout the weekend the festival hosts many fun activities. In a family-friendly community tradition celebrating the year Fridley was incorporated as a city!

Banfill-Locke Center for Art

ENJOY THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN AS YOU ENTER THE BANFILL-LOCKE CENTER FOR THE ART IN FRIDLEY.

ENJOY THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN AS YOU ENTER THE BANFILL-LOCKE CENTER FOR THE ART IN FRIDLEY.

Just off of the MRT the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts makes a great rest stop on your bike ride. Stop in to cool off and admire the works in the gallery. Maybe pick up a gift for another art lover in their gift shop. If seeing all the collections that inspires you, consider making the trip to Banfill-Locke regularly and sign up for a class. You can find a class that would best fit your schedule, from a single lesson to an eight week workshop. The Banfill-Locke Center offers classes in literary, visual, and self-discovery arts. The center also allows brings in local poets for poetry enthusiasts to appreciate.

On Thursday, June 21 from 5 – 8 p.m. the Banfill-Locke Center celebrates the impact the arts have on the Fridley community during our Summer Solstice Soiree.

Fridley Community Theatre

Along with wonderful art, Fridley also has a renowned community theatre. With three productions a year, the community theatre works hard to bring wonderful live theatrical performances to its audiences. For this year’s summer production “Sister Act” is the feel-good musical comedy smash based on the hit 1992 film that had audiences jumping to their feet!

There is still time to get your ticket, the show opens in July with performances on July 20, 21, 26 at 7 p.m. and a matinee performance, July 28 at 2 p.m.

Also playing is the Fridley Community Youth Theatre Production the Lion King, June 29 through July 1, check it out!

Natural art can be found at the Springbrooke Nature Center

After walking through Springbrooke's Interpretative Center take a stroll down one of the many trails there.

After walking through Springbrooke’s Interpretative Center take a stroll down one of the many trails there.

There are two parts to Springbrooke. The inside contains information about the center and interactive section in the back. You can learn about the different kinds of trees, see live snakes, frogs, turtles, wild turkey, and more. It’s a great place to prepare for a hike on the Nature Trail.

Once you get outside there are a couple access points to the trail – and this is where the real adventure begins. Everywhere you go you will be surrounded by nature. You’ve got trees of different kinds everywhere, small and large bridges that will take you across all kinds of creeks and wetlands. There’s even a large walkway that takes you across a semi-large pond were you’ll have the best chance to catch some bird sighting.

So bike on over to Fridley to get your fill of all things art.

A safe and fun adrenaline sport this may be the last year, for a while, to try or watch track cycle racing in Minnesota. Track or velodrome racing has been called “NASCAR on Two Wheels”. Blazing speed, gravity-defying turns and spectacular crashes make Velodrome racing one of the most awe-inspiring spectator sports around.

Last chance to experience track cycle racing in Minnesota, for a while

An exciting and fun sport this may be the last year, for a while, to try or watch track cycle racing in Minnesota. Track or velodrome racing at the National Sports Center (NSC) has been called “NASCAR on Two Wheels.” At blazing speeds, gravity-defying turns and spectacular crashes makes Velodrome racing one of the most awe-inspiring spectator sports around. One of the few wooden tracks still left in the United States, the track at the National Sports Center has now been repaired for another season of memorable fun.

At first glance, track cycle racing is a chaotic, confusing sport. After you have seen a race, the uniqueness of the sport creates a memorable impression that is only amplified by the simplicity of the competition. And, with only one gear and no brakes, the track bikes used are the epitome of simplicity.

The track in Blaine is near its end

Built to host the 1990 Olympic Festival track racing events and National Championships, the NSC Velodrome is one of the most unique tracks in the world. It is the only outdoor wood-plank velodrome in the Western Hemisphere and is slated for demolition in 2019. So, this may be your last chance to experience the excitement of the track at the National Sports Center. Through the 2018 season (May to September) you can still come out and test out your skills and speed at the velodrome. Like many of the Twin Cities Gateway attractions in the area, each Thursday evening, ladies can come out and have some fun in between several men’s races. Take a look at the schedule here for several open sessions to try bicycle racing, even for kids.

Test your Olympian skills in Blaine on Minnesota's only Velodrome track.

Test your Olympian skills in Blaine on Minnesota’s only Velodrome track.

Learn to ride program

Check out their Learn to Ride Program offering riders as young as 12 years of age the opportunity to ride one of the finest velodromes in the country.

The schedule has several open sessions to try bicycle racing, even for kids.

The schedule has several open sessions to try bicycle racing, even for kids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ride or watch, here is the skinny on velodrome racing

Learn all about track cycle racing.  Find the specifics about velodromes, the details about track bicycles. This is the place to learn about the fastest sport on two wheels and to the different type of races held on the track.

Track cycle racing could come to an end in 2019

Without the support of the cycling community, the existing velodrome track could come to an end in 2019.  The NSC Velodrome in Blaine is one of only 26 cycle tracks in the United States. With tly, plans are for the track to be demolished after the 2019 racing season. That will end one of the most storied eras in Minnesota cycling history. However, the Minnesota cycling community is working on a replacement if the Blaine velodrome is demolished.

The next generation of Minnesota’s sports leadership has developed a vision for a multi-purpose community bicycle facility. A non-profit organization the MN Cycling Center is working to build this important cycling venue. A place where training and racing can be provided year round. One thing that that all cyclists can help with immediately, is writing their legislators and asking for their support in this upcoming legislative session.

30 years of Minnesota track cycling history 

Since the 1990’s the NSC Velodrome has hosted hundreds of events. Attracting thousands of racers from around the world and teaching them to ride a track bike.  It has produced Olympic medalists and dozens of elite national and world champions. Some like multiple Olympic Silver Medalist Kelly Catlin, of Arden Hills, who learned to ride the track here.  She notes, “It is an incredibly rare asset to have a velodrome, much less a international-standard track. It makes Minneapolis one of only a handful of cities in North America that can host international caliber events, it would be a despicable waste to lose such a treasure.”

More to see in the Twin Cities Gateway when visiting the track

When in the area you will find many more activities to enjoy. From curling, disc golf, to miles of bike trails and road routes, you will find many opportunities for fun in the Twin Cities Gateway.

Finding a birding hotspot to check in Shoreview is easy with all the park and trails.

Bike/Birding hot spots in the Twin Cities Gateway to enjoy

With summer soon upon us, we wanted to share a bike/birding hotspot we discovered to add to your list of Minnesota places to explore. Checking out several bike trails in the north suburbs of the Twin Cities this summer. Ground truthing the maps in the MN Bike/Hike Guide our interests were piqued by several birding haunts that we noticed in the community of Shoreview. An area once inhabited by Dakota and Ojibwe tribes, today this community has many parks along its lakes. These parks provide both residents and visitors places to enjoy bird watching. Why here? From these areas alone you are able to spot an impressive list of songbirds, hawks, and waterfowl. Looking for some new birding spots to explore? We’ve got you covered starting with a local apple orchard. From there, we have identified several additional birding hotspots in the Twin Cities Gateway that is worth checking out.

A Birding Hotspot – Victoria Valley Orchard

Another birding hotspot to see hawks is the victoia Valley Orchard, in Shoreview.

A birding hotspot to see hawks is at the Victoria Valley Orchard in Shoreview.

As September will soon be upon us, many of the nesting sites in the apple trees at the Victoria Valley Orchard have fulfilled their use. One task finished, they are now a good place to spot many seasonal birds and hawks. Like many of the groves around the country, the orchard here is a rich habitat for nesting birds as they forage nearby. Here are a few of the birds that have been observed here: the Baltimore Oriole, Blue-Winged Warbler, Chimney Swift, Osprey, Red-Shouldered Hawk, several species of sparrows, and the Scarlet Tanager.

Location: The Victoria Valley Orchard is located at: 4304 North Victoria Street, in Shoreview, MN. You are welcome to wander the orchard throughout the year to spot the different birds that live or pass through here. Commercially they are only open from early September through mid-November if you would like to buy some of the 19 varieties of apples that they grow. For more information please visit their website at: http://www.victoriavalleyorchard.com/.

A Birding Hotspot – Snail Lake

A birding hotspot can be found along most of the paved bike trails that meander through the parks in Shoreview.

A birding hotspot can be found along most of the paved bike trails that meander through the parks in Shoreview.

Another birding hotspot on our tour in Shoreview is the trail along Highway 96. This trail borders the north side of Snail Lake. One of two areas to observe the birding activity here is at the grassy area just off the trail. With a few potholes and a line of trees partially blocking the lakes view, you may spot several varieties of warblers, if they haven’t left. Plus, if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of the Red-Shouldered Hawks. A variety of other marsh birds that use this area can also be seen here.

Location: The trail location is on Highway 96 and across from the Shoreview Public Library. There is a public park at the south end of the lake for another viewing location.

Birding Hotspot – Sucker and Vadnais Lakes

Now heading further east along Highway 96, our tour of birding hotspots takes us first to Sucker Lake. Then, across County Road F, the trail takes you into Vadnais Lake’s park area. Both these lakes and the park areas are a part of the Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park and are reservoirs for the St. Paul Regional Water Authority. These lakes are fairly deep and the wetlands are composed of extensive tamarack and shrub swamps with large marshy areas. The forest area here is mainly mature pine plantations with some oak woods for nesting Pine Warblers and Red-Shouldered Hawks. A variety of marsh birds use the shoreline here. Along with the fall migratory waterfowl activity of both lakes, this area is also good for migratory warblers and Red-Breasted Nuthatches.

Location: Just south of Highway 96, take the Rice St. exit from I-694 and go north. The north access and parking is east of Rice St. on Sucker Lake Road. The south entrance is east from Rice St. on County Road F, then north on Sucker Lake Road.

Another birding hotspot is in some of the open meadows that paved bike paths pass through the par

Another birding hotspot is in Grass Lake where paved bike paths pass through some of the open meadows.

Birding Hotspot – Grass Lake

Another birding hotspot in Shoreview is Grass Lake, which is also a part of the Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park system. The main vegetation here is the deep water cattail marsh with floating mats. On both the east and west sides of the lake, Oak woodlands can be found. On the north side of the park there are a mixture of swamp shrubs and grasslands that are prevalent. Here at Grass Lake is where Marsh Wrens, Osprey, and Red-Shouldered Hawks commonly nest. Common Loons are often seen in the spring and summer along with many sparrow species that stopover during their migration.

Location: Grass Lake is reached by turf and paved trails from the parking area off of Gramsie Road. The parking lot can be reached by taking the Victoria St. exit from I-694 and going north to Gramsie Rd., then east to the MacKubin Rd. intersection. Entrance is on your right.

For more information on these birding hotspots and others, contact Ramsey County Parks and Recreation Department at (651) 748-2500 or www.co.ramsey.mn.us/parks for more information.

A 12.5-mile Bike Loop to Shoreview’s Birding Hotspots

For those interested in riding their bicycle to the above parks described, we have identified an easy path to take to have optimal bird watching capabilities. Please download the 12.5-mile Turn-by-Turn Route to begin your bird watching journey by bike to see some of Shoreview’s birding hotspots.

More map options can be found at the Ramsey County Maps.

 

AA great destination for a bike adventure riding the trails and bike friendly roads in the Twin Cities Gateway.

An endless bike adventure in the Twin Cities Gateway of Minnesota

by Andrew Ellis

Take a deep breath as you grip your handlebars and prepare for a bike adventure in the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities. You will feel as if you’re deep in the country. As this north metro community area borders the Mississippi River Trail it can be your personal playground while visiting.

When in the area you can: stop and fish; play a round of disc golf; go birding; travel through a chain of lakes by bike or canoe; or explore one of the many parks. You can even satisfy your inner sports fan by visiting the National Sports Center, with a velodrome track.

Stop along the trail in the Twin Cities Gateway for a some fishing.

Stop along the trail in the Twin Cities Gateway if wetting a line and catching some fish are a part of  your agenda.

The Twin Cities Gateway is made up of nine different bike-friendly communities: Anoka; Blaine;, Coon Rapids; Fridley; Ham Lake; Lino Lakes; Mounds View; New Brighton; and Shoreview. All unique in their own way they all offering relaxed small town-type atmospheres with plenty to do, perfect for anyone looking to get away and only minutes from the big city.

A friendly bike adventure get-away

The Twin Cities Gateway is just a short drive, or an easy commute by bike from Minneapolis or St Paul. Another major feature is the Mississippi River Trail  (MRT) following the rivers edge in three of the nine Getaway communities: Anoka; Coon Rapids; and Fridley. Plus the other six Gateway Cities have bike friendly roads and trails that lead to the MRT for a bike adventure.

After riding the trails and bike friendly roads in the Twin Cities Gateway enjoying a cold beverage with friends is a great way to seal the ride.

After riding the trails and bike friendly roads enjoy a cold beverage with friends at the Hammer Heart Brewery, it’s a great way to seal the ride.

 Mississippi River Trail (MRT)

The MRT starts at the headwaters of  Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and passes through the Twin Cities Gateway before flowing into the Gulf, at the mouth of the river in Venice, Louisiana. While riding along the river in the Gateway communities you’ll pass many opportunities for site-seeing, so make sure your camera is fully charged.

Other Off-Road Trails and Parks

You can take the Rum River Regional Trail down to where it meets the MRT, maybe stopping in historic downtown Anoka along the way? There is also the scenic trails in Bunker Hills Regional Park offering heavily wooded and prairie flower landscapes. Or, take the thrilling Coon Creek Regional Trail that connects to the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park and the MRT.

Stop along the trail in the Twin Cities Gateway for a round of disc golf.

Stop along the trail, in several of the parks in the Twin Cities Gateway for a round of disc golf.

For a more extensive rides you can also explore the trails along the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve. Or, take the Rice Creek West Regional Trail back to the Mississippi River. This trail passes through Long Lake Park which has several trails that take you by the park’s namesake and Rush Lake. Another option are the trails in the Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park which is filled to the brim and full of beautiful scenery as you switch from one trail to the next.

National Sports Center

If you’re tired of riding trails and want more of a challenge, check out the velodrome at the National Sports Center, in Blaine. The wooden track is open to the public every Thursday for single speed fun. The season begins in late spring and through the summer. Check out their website for more details.

For more info take a look at the At-A-Glance TC Gateway article

Now that you are considering an adventure to the Twin Cities Gateway, also check out our HaveFunBiking  At-A-Glance Twin Cities Gateway Article. Here you will find more details on where to stay, play, and explore this nine city area. Great for planning and to link to your your hand-held devise, for guaranteed fun.

Along with a new fat tire race, the 12th Annual Ham Lake Snowbowl  takes place February 10th offering fun things to see and do for the whole family.  Ham Lake is located in the Twin Cities Gateway Area on the north side of Minneapolis and St Paul

The first annual Snow Bowl Fat Bike Race conquers Ham Lake!

Along with a new fat tire race, the 12th Annual Ham Lake Snowbowl  takes place February 10th offering fun things to see and do for the whole family.  Ham Lake is located in the Twin Cities Gateway Area on the north side of Minneapolis and St Paul and looks forward to your visit.

They are teaming up with the racing crew at the the National Sports Center Velodrome, in Blaine, to create a this fat bike race as part of the Ham Lake SnowBowl festivities.

The Ham Lake Snow Bowl and Fat Tire Race promises a lot of fun for the whole family

The Ham Lake Snow Bowl and Fat Tire Race promises a lot of fun for the whole family

The course will wind through Ham Lake Park, on trails, through scenic woods areas and on the open lake area (If frozen of course). There will be elevation changes and some obstacles easily negotiable by all racers.

Categories

–  Juniors to 29 Age Class, Men and Women
– 30 to 39 Age Class, Men and Women
– 40-49 Age Class, Men and Women
– 50+ Age Class, Men and Women
– All classes will ride together but will be scored separately.

Medals will be awarded to the Top 3 in each age and gender class.

The Ham Lake Snow Bowl is Family Fun Time

Ham Lake’s premier winter event is fun for the whole family, there is something for everyone. Along with the Fat Tire Race—brand new in 2018 and in partnership with Pioneer Cycle, you will find:
-Ice Fishing Contest on Ham Lake—sponsored by the Three Rivers District Order of the Arrow.
-Snow Sculpture Contest—featuring sculptors from all over the country, and even the world!   Vote for your favorite.
-Broomball Tournament—bringing local teams together as well as those from surrounding states.
-Guess the Snow Sculpture Break-Through Date & Time and win cash!
-Follow clues to find the Snowbowl Medallion and win cash!
-Dog pull…Business Expo…Craft Extravaganza…Sledding Hill…Silent Auction…Pull Tabs…Food and more!

Bring your fat bike, or rent one and come to the Annual Ham Lake Snow Bowl on February 10, 2018

Bring your fat bike, or rent one and come to the Annual Ham Lake Snow Bowl

So winter or summer, come and discovering the amenities in Ham Lake for your #nextbikeadventure in the Twin Cities Gateway.