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In this bike pic, ice cream smiles were prevalent as this biker chick displayed while enjoying a cool treat at a rest stop in Anoka.
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.
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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.
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Have a great day with a safe and memorable year ahead!
The trails here in Shoreview can be your playground for you and your bike – there’s nowhere 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 to 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 22-24.
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 Shoreview Commons
Shoreview’s Concerts in the Commons is the perfect way to get a pedal dancing rhythm for your #NextBikeAdventure.
This summer offers free entertainment outdoors at the Shoreview Community Center concerts. Each Wednesday, starting in June, the Center features an outside concert with a different band, each week 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.
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, these trails offer many opportunities to take wildlife pictures and discover 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 trail crosses over the creek and you may want to consider some fishing.
If you want to take a short bike ride over to nearby Spring Lake Park, you can also enjoy the Shoreview 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 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 play 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 an adults-only whirlpool and patio area.
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 complemented 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 amenities of Shoreview.
And don’t forget Slice of Shoreview Days
Consider biking to the Slice of Shoreview for a weekend of fun.
If you’re exploring the area in July, from the 22nd to the 24th, then you will be in time for the annual Slice of Shoreview Days. This celebration. 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.
Named for the turbulent Mississippi River waters at the confluence of Coon Creek, the city of Coon Rapids is a fun place to explore on a bicycle. One of the nine communities in the Twin Cities Gateway, it’s a perfect destination for a bike vacation using the Coon Rapids 10-mile bike loop. Here you will find many connections to hundreds of miles of trails. The Coon Creek Trail and the Mississippi River Trail are two greenway systems here that allow you to pedal safely throughout the area. So, if you enjoy biking along rivers and creeks, we have some ideas for you, starting with the Coon Rapids 10-mile loop.
The 10-mile bike loop is fun for all levels of riders.
The Coon Rapids 10-mile bike loop
Leaving from the outer parking lot of the Muddy Cow Restaurant or a nearby hotel, the route travels in a clockwise direction. Pulling out onto Springbrook Drive, this tour safely crosses Coon Rapids Boulevard. Once across, we suggest using the paved trail that runs parallel to the street due to heavy traffic. After crossing 85th Avenue, about two miles into the loop, consider stopping at the Springbrook Nature Center.
Many roads here offer trails that parallel for added comfort and fun.
Now pedaling along the south side of 85th Avenue, at East River Road, cross the street at the stoplight and use the sidewalk on the west side, up to 85th Lane. Here enjoy the quiet neighborhood streets that connect you to the Mississippi River Trail (MRT). At 86th Avenue, continue straight ahead on the MRT between two residences, and the real fun begins. Then, as the trail drops into the forested vegetation along the bank of the Mississippi River, it’s a whole new experience.
The visitors center here makes a great rest stop.
Following the trail along the river to the Coon Rapids Dam, you will pass several trail T’s in the park, offering more loop options. One loop in the park circles Cenaiko Lake where you will find many people fishing for trout.
The Coon Rapids Dam and Visitors Center
At the visitor’s center at the Coon Rapids Dam, you will find more information on the area and its history. The dam is another popular fishing location and a crossing point for cyclists riding the Three Rivers Trails throughout the Twin Cities Metro.
Riding across the Coon Rapids dam always offers a refreshing mist of cool air.
Turning north to Coon Creek
Riding up Egret Boulevard, you can ride in the bike lane or use the parallel pedestrian path.
Now at the Dam, the 10-mile Loop leaves the MRT and heads north out of the park on Egret Boulevard. You can ride the designated bike lane or use the pedestrian path paralleling the street on a bike-friendly road. Continuing north after crossing Coon Rapids Boulevard, at Robinson Drive, you will find the Coon Creek Trailhead. On the trail and after crossing the creek, the 10-mile loop takes a right at the trail T. If you want to add a few miles to your ride, here is another option. To your left, the trail will take you up through the Erlandson Nature Center and, further along, connects to Bunker Hills Regional Park.
The smells, sounds, and views of nature as you pedal
Now pedaling south alongside Coon Creek, enjoy the smells, sounds, and views of nature. This stretch of the trail is a tranquil wilderness setting as you pedal along the stream through the forested canopy. After crossing over a creek bridge one more time, pass under the railroad tracks for another option. Stop for a round of bumper boats, go-karts, or miniature golf at Lilli Putt before heading east and completing the 10-mile Loop.
Enjoy the smells, sounds, and views of nature along the trail.
With spring here, we wanted to share another bike/birding hotspot we have enjoyed over the years. Check out several bike trails in the north suburbs of the Twin Cities Gateway this spring and summer. While ground-truthing the maps in the latest MN Bike/Hike Guide, we noticed many birding haunts in the community of Shoreview, MN. And a fun bike-friendly destination that you may want to add to your True North list of places to explore.
An area once inhabited by Dakota and Ojibwe tribes, today the Shoreview community has many parks along its lakes with bike trails. These parks provide both residents and visitors a place to enjoy bird watching. Areas you can spot an impressive list of songbirds, hawks, and waterfowl.
Looking for some new birding spots to explore? The Twin Cities Gateway has you covered, starting with a local apple orchard. From there, we have identified several additional birding hotspots worth checking out.
A Birding Hotspot – Victoria Valley Orchard
A birding hotspot to see hawks is at the Victoria Valley Orchard in Shoreview.
As warmer weather will soon be upon us, many bird nesting sites can be found in the Victoria Valley Orchard’s apple trees. This is a good place to spot many seasonal birds and hawks. Like many groves around the country, orchards are rich in nesting habitat as the birds 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 for apples, they are only open from early September through mid-November if you would like to buy some of the 19 varieties they grow there. 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.
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 is at the grassy area just off the trail. With a few potholes and a line of trees partially blocking the view of the lake, you may spot several varieties of warblers. 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 next two 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. Here, the forest area 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 are 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 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 deepwater cattail marsh with floating mats, on both the east and west shorelines of the lake, patches of oak can be found. There is a mixture of swamp shrubs and grasslands that are prevalent on the north side of the park. 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, and many sparrow species stopover here during their return 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. The 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 both the Shoreview Bike Map and the 12.5-mile Turn-by-Turn Routeto begin your bird-watching journey by bike to see some of Shoreview’s birding hotspots.
With spring around the corner, for those that love disc golf or are eager to learn, you will find your next fun-filled game at one of the many courses in the Twin Cities Gateway. All are easy to access from the bike-friendly roads and trails in the area. Throughout the nine cities of the Gateway, there are many different options to find a disc golf course for you to enjoy. So, grab your disk bag and bike over to one of these electrifying courses for a fun round or two.
Disc Golf Fun at Lochness Park
Here in Lochness Park, the course will test your skill level on the east side of Blaine, MN.
Lochness Park, on the east side of Blaine, MN (map location), is praised as the longest nine-hole course in the region and meets the challenge for all that play it. Trees surround several holes here to give it a countryside feel. The course provides three different tee-offs for professional, intermediate, and beginning-level players. So, whether you are a serious player or play just for leisure, this park is perfect for you.
Silver View disc golf course here in Mounds View (map location) is in excellent condition and runs parallel along the Mississippi River Trail (MRT). Another popular place to play in the Twin Cities Gateway. The course provides a variety of holes that range from wide open to hilly, with a couple tucked into the woods with walking paths that lead to them. Next time you’re out biking along the MRT, add some disc golf into your adventure.
Ham Lake Disc Golf Course
When up in the Ham Lake Area, the disc golf park is the perfect stop for you. As one of the very few 18 hole courses in the area, the layout creates a fun and exciting flow. The distances of the holes vary, keeping you on your toes to ensure every throw is a strategic one. It has to be if you want to keep your count down. And, with the Tee Pads here, it is easy to follow, and you can focus more on your game.
For a wildlife-rich summer, experience not soon forgotten, pedal, then paddle, the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes up in the Twin Cities Gateway Area. With an abundance of bike trails and roads to get there, you will find several options at Wargo Nature Center once arriving. Head out with a paddle, hike, or bike the trails that meander around the chain of lakes shoreline in this mammoth park reserve in the Twin City Area.
Paddling the Twin Cities Gateway’s Rice Creek Chain of Lakes is a wildlife-rich experience to remember.
You will find the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes near the community of Lino Lakes, on the south side of Interstate 35W. Once there, Nature Center can fix you up with canoe and kayak rentals to paddle Rice Creek Chain of Lakes. It is a bit of heaven in the north metro area. Being able to paddle out from the Nature Center on George Watch Lake is a tranquil experience.
What You Will See Paddling the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes
Through the summer and into the fall, you can paddle out from the dock at the Nature Center and connect to one lake after the next. Along the way, you are sure to see occasional Leopard frogs hopping off a Lilly pad. Then, perhaps you’ll ever see a Blue Heron and Snowy White Egrets lift off as you pass by.
Hawks are familiar spectators watching as you paddle along the water trail or the bike trail in the Reserve.
The creek and lakes on this water trail offer excellent bird-watching opportunities. And this is the perfect place for the novice paddler. Adventurers will see plenty of raptors such as egrets and herons perching in nearby trees or forage along the shoreline. Along the way, you may see a sandpiper scampered across a sandbar.
Egrets and Blue Heron are common to see as you paddle.
Maybe you’ll see a soft-shell turtle sliding off the bank. Or perhaps an eagle, osprey, or Turkey Vulture swooping down to grab its meal as a fish jumps. It’s scenic and wild at its best, right here in the Twin Cities Gateway!
About the Rice Creek Chain
The nearly 5,300-acre Rice Creek Chain is one of two regional parks in the Twin Cities Area that offer multiple-lake paddling. According to many who paddle this north metro chain, the mix of lake and forest vegetation makes it feel like a mini-Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The other Reserve in the south metro is Lebanon Hills Park. Lebanon Hills Park is a 2,000-acre multi-lake area with only portage paths between them.
Generally, on the Rice Creek Chain, portaging is not necessary. The only exception is the occasional downed tree to circumvent, which usually happens in the spring. This rustic North Metro reserve has a water trail wandering through several lakes before reaching Rice Creek. Rice Creek is a more challenging, less-traveled stretch that flows south to Long Lake. From there, it heads to the Mississippi River.
Paddlers who want a more extended trip can follow Rice Creek out the northwest corner of Long Lake in New Brighton. The creek flows to the Mississippi River at Manomin Park in Fridley. The complete paddle from the Lake Peltier boat ramp in the Rice Creek Reserve to the Mississippi River is about 22 miles.
Rice Creek Reserve rents equipment
Wargo Nature Center is the place for canoe, kayak, and life jacket rentals. Located on George Watch Lake, rentals can also be used on Peltier, Marshan, Rice, and Reshanau Lakes. Paddle craft rentals are available May through September, during regular hours. Here is their website for rental prices and times: https://www.anokacounty.us/874/Recreational-Rental-Equipment. Call 651-429-8007 to check watercraft availability, lake temperatures, and water levels.
For those who want to use their canoes or kayaks in the Reserve, paddling access points include Rice Creek crossings near: Hodgson Road, Lexington Avenue, County Road I, and County Road J.
In the winter, the Wargo Nature Center rents snowshoes for those who want to explore the park in a colder season.
At the confluence of the Rum and Mississippi Rivers, discover Anoka, with fun at every turn along its scenic bike loop. With its river city charm and designated the ‘Halloween Capital of the World’ this bicycle-friendly community in Minnesota is a place to explore. Riding your bike on the scenic bike loop you will discover several river-front parks and historic neighborhoods. A part of the nine Twin Cities Gateway communities, in the north suburbs of the Twin Cities. You will find over 250-miles of connecting trails to enjoy. The perfect destination to visit with your bike.
The Anoka 10-mile bike loop is an adventure for all skill levels of riders.
The scenic Anoka bike loop
For this bike ride, we will start at the Gathering Place Bandshell along the river. It’s located on the east bank of the Rum River, a block west of Ticknor Hill Bed & Breakfastin Akin Riverside Park.
It’s fun riding parts of the Mississippi River Trail while in Anoka.
Traveling clockwise, the route begins by crossing over the river on the pedestrian bridge, then across Ferry Street. Now pedaling along Benton Street, you will find a picturesque lane in the Historic Whiskey Flats neighborhood, The street here is a part of the Mississippi River Trail (MRT). Soon you are on the actual trail pedaling into Mississippi River Community Park, at Kings Island.
Kings Island and park amenities
Signage along the trail as you enter Kings Island.
Arriving in the park you will find restroom facilities, a playground, and some extra trails and observation decks along the river to view nature’s settings here. On the east bank of Mighty Mississippi, the Kings Island section of the park incorporates the natural beauty of a wooded flood plain. Add to your fun by exploring the nature trails here. Along the walking paths that circles the island, view an occasional mix of wildflowers amongst riverside flora and fauna.
Up to River Bend Park on the Rum
Leaving the MRT, the Anoka 10-mile loop utilizes the trail along its northern route up through Anoka’s industrial area. After crossing Highway 10, notice the Regency Inn Hotel to your left. And those who prefer to shorten the loop to 6-mile should turn right and head east on Vista Way (see the printable Anoka Map for more details).
Back on the 10-mile loop pedaling north up to Bunker Lake Boulevard, and turn east. At the intersection of Saint Francis Boulevard (Hwy 47), you will find several rest stop options. Then, before crossing the Rum River check out River Bend Park. If you picked up a sandwich at the rest stop, this is a perfect place to stop and view the river while enjoying your lunch.
After crossing the bridge over the Rum River, another option is to stop at the Rum River Library or the Anoka Nature Preserve. Looking east, notice the trail that crosses Bunker Lake Boulevard? That trail will safely get you up in the area of the library and nature preserve.
The Anoka Nature Preserve is a 200-acre passive recreational area with low maintenance, hard-packed roads, perfect for 2-lane off-road cycling, and hiking. At the trailhead here, north of the library, you will find a playground and a restroom option. The trails in the Preserve are perfect for off-road family riding. At the riverbank to the Rum, several paths lead to wildlife observation decks.
Following the flow of the Rum River back to Anoka
Now heading south along the east bank of the Rum River, the trail offers wildlife viewing opportunities at every turn. As you get closer to the inner city of Anoka the trail merges over to the bike lane on 4th Avenue and through the historic Cutterville and Wet Flats neighborhoods. Here the 6-mile loop joins from the west and the trail route resumes along the river.
The Anoka 10-mile bike loop is fun for all ages!
The historic downtown district of Anoka
As you approach four metal grain bins along the trail you are entering the north side of the historic downtown area of Anoka. Here you will find several delicious dining establishments and many historic points of interest. Also known as the Halloween Capital of the World, the city of Anoka becomes alive with festivities each fall. Now, before taking the river trail, under Main Street and back to the band Shell, check out the observation deck at the Rum River Dam.
Downtown, don’t forget to stop at Two Scoops for ice cream.
Named after the creek that meanders through the area and flows into the Mississippi River, just below the dam, Coon Rapids offers a great mix of wildlife viewing spots here. Two of my favorite trail systems, especially in the spring and fall, are the Coon Creek Reginal Trail and the Mississippi River Trail below the dam. Both trail systems, when the foliage is minimal, offer some spectacular birding and wildlife viewing. In the winter months, the trails are great for fat bike riding, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing to view birds of prey and other wildlife along the waterways. Look for signs of the abundant wildlife that live in or visit the areas described below (mink, beaver, hawks, osprey, deer, turtles, and river otters, to name a few).
Riding the trails and roads of Coon Rapids
Fun on the MRT, viewing nature, east of the Coon Rapids Dam
Herewith a great mix of paved trails and bike corridors with wide shoulders, You can navigate the city on your bike pretty easily. Just use this handy Coon Rapids bike map and take a tour of the area. It’s easy to connect from your hotel to Bunker Hills Regional Park or the Coon Rapids Dam through the Coon Creek Trail.
The Sand and Coon Creek Trails
A north/south paved nature corridor and waterway offer many viewing spots along the way. The Sand Creek/Coon Creek Trail System stretches over 15-miles from Bunker Hills Regional Park down to the Coon Rapids Dam. In Bunker Hills, you’ll find another trail system winding through beautiful prairie areas with patches of Oak Savanna forests.
You will find miles of paved trails running through the Bunker Hills Regional Park.
The lower portion of the Coon Creek Trail takes you through Erlandson Nature Center and Robinson Park before reaching the Coon Rapids Dam and the Mississippi River Trail.
The Mississippi River Trail (MRT southern loop)
The Coon Rapids Dam Visitors Center is a picturesque place to stop and gather more information.
Below the Coon Rapids Dam and Park Area is another favorite of mine. Using the paved trail (MRT), you are surrounded by a mix of nature. Forests running into both prairie and wetland environments, only minutes away from the main road. The trail here is very well marked with MRT signage, so getting lost won’t be an issue. At the south end of the park, along the trail between the Dam and the riverfront neighborhoods, is a favorite haunt.
Where to eat, stay and play when visiting Coon Rapids
After exploring the trails, the next adventure is finding the perfect dining option in the Twin Cities Gateway.
The options are endless when spending time visiting Coon Rapids and the other eight neighboring Twin Cities Gateway communities in the north suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Similar to the early 1800s, when Coon Rapids was a stopping point on the Oxen Trail from the Red River Valley to St. Paul, hospitality is still key, along with its wildlife corridors, though the trails have changed. Check out their website here, and enjoy!
Named for an early settler along the east bank of the Mississippi River. Today bike-friendly Fridley, with its 10-mile bike loop, lets visitors discover art, nature, and beautiful flower gardens along the way. Here, with many cycling paths connecting to both the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) and the Rice Creek Trail, it’s easy to get around. One of the nine communities of the Twin Cities Gateway, the city of Fridley is located just north of Minneapolis and a fun place to explore. So, if you enjoy biking along the trails that Red River oxen carts once used, we have some options to explore while enjoying the Fridley 10-mile bike loop.
Fun on the Fridley 10-mile bike loop.
The Fridley 10-mile bike loop
Starting from the outer parking lot of the LivINN Hotel, (southeast corner od I-694 and Central Avenue) the Fridley route heads out in a clockwise direction. After crossing the intersection at Central Ave. drive your bike using the bike lane on 53rd Avenue for the next two miles. Now turning to the north on Main Street, once over Interstate I-694, you will pass Woodsprings Hotel. Those who would like to begin the 10-mile bike loop from this point continue north up to 61st Avenue. Here on your left, you are at the Fridley train station.
Passing through Edgewater Garden Park on the MRT.
Taking the tunnel under the RR tracks
On the east side of the Northstar-Line Fridley Station, use the elevator. Taking your bike with you down to the lower level and walk through the tunnel to the west side of the train tracks. On the main level, on the west side, the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) is right outside the door and ready for you to venture north again. An option for another day, consider boarding the Northstar Train with your bike and ride it up the Anoka, Elk River, or Big Lake, then pedal back to Fridley on the MRT. See the multi-modal train-to-trail cue sheet here.
Many roads in Fridley offer trails that parallel for added comfort.
More adventure awaits at the Locke Lake trail T
Flower gardens invite you into the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts.
Back on the 10-mile bike loop, continue pedaling north on the MRT as the trail passes through Edgewater Garden Park. A little further on, before turning into Locke Lake Park at the trail T, you have a couple more options. If you don’t mind adding some additional miles out and back, continue on the MRT to the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts. With rotating art exhibits, the art center is next to Manomin County Park. Another mile further, you will find the Springbrook Nature Center. These three community highlights can add more memorable moments to any bike ride.
Manomin County Park is on the same grounds as the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts.
Back on the 10-mile bike loop, the trail connects to the Rice Creek Trail in Locke Lake Park. Use caution as you ride your bike through this area. You will need to apply both your front and rear brakes (or walk your bike) as you descend along Locke Lake on the trail. If you are riding with others, allow extra space between each, as a few sharp turns are passing under the RR tracks next to Rice Creek as it flows into the lake. Finally, at the next T, the Rice Creek Trail runs through Fridley Community Park.
Now riding east along the Rice Creek Trail.
After crossing University Avenue, at the stoplight, resume riding east on the Rice Creek Trail. In this section between University and Highway 65, the Rice Lake Trail offers an upper and lower trail segment. The 10-mile loop uses the upper trail, as it’s a bit shorter and takes you past restroom facilities in the park before reaching the tunnel under Highway 65. After the tunnel, resume the route by taking a left at the trail T to Central Ave. If you are staying at Budget Host Hotel or desire to start the 10-mile loop from here, at this trail T take a right and head south a block to the hotel.
Turning south, ice cream may soon be an option.
The trail route now, heading south, runs parallel to Central Avenue. If you have a sweet tooth and desire a delicious Ice cream treat, turn right on Moore Lake Road into Grandpa’s Ice Cream.
The flavors here are worth stopping for.
Continuing along Central Ave, as you reach Hillcrest Drive, you have one more option to cool off. If it’s a hot day, half-mile further south is Moore Lake Park, where you will find a beach for a refreshing swim. Otherwise, take a left on Hillcrest, and the route jogs through several neighborhood streets down to Matterhorn Drive. After crossing over Interstate 694, turn right on Skywood Lane and follow the freeway border wall around to the start.
Here it can feel like you are smack dab in the middle of northern Minnesota, especially while enjoying bike loops along the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes. A perfect place for your next bike vacation the Lino Lakes 10-bike loop and the many trail connections here are worth considering. One of nine Twin Cities Gateway communities, the Lino Lakes area supports a large Blue Heron rookery and hosts the annual Blue Heron Days Festival held in the middle of August. Regardless of when you visit, you are sure to see several species of wildlife to enhance your Minnesota experience while pedaling while biking here.
A true north experience!
The Lino Lakes bike loop is a true north experience
For the Lino Lakes 10-bike loop, the route travels clockwise and begins at the parking lot of the Hampton Inn. After pulling out from the hotel you will find a bike trail running parallel on the east side of Lake Drive. From there It’s a short distance before you are riding in the stunning Rice Creek Park Preserves. One of the largest preserves in the Twin Cities Area the Rice Creek Chain offers both paved and water trails. On the bike route, you are sure to see some of the most significant native wildlife habitat and water resources in the metro area.
The Lino Lakes Area is a family fun location.
Entering the trail system next to the Lino Lakes YMCA the trail circles the shoreline around Marshan Lake, before crossing over the Rice Creek, as it flows out of George Watch Lake. At the next trail T, the route takes a sharp left and runs parallel to the golf course road. After a sharp right curve and before the clubhouse a service road helps trail riders get over to the north shoreline of Reshanan Lake.
From a cottage community to the park it is an enjoyable ride
Passing the Reshanan Lake cottage community, soon Shadow Lake Drive disappears and trail riders are meandering past marshy areas with occasional patches of a forest while making their way to Centerville Lake. Now on E Street, at the boat landing, it’s a short distance along the service road here up to the beach area where you will find restrooms and a visitor center. Leaving the park take the trial to the entrance on Main Street. The Lino Lakes 10-bike loop heads north, but there is an option if you don’t mind adding a couple more miles. Consider taking the trails south along Main Street and visiting the charming little community of Centerville.
A few more options as the Lino Lakes 10-bike loop heads north
Wildlife viewing along the roads and trails here offers many opportunities.
Pedaling north on the trail parallel to Main Street you will cross Rice Creek again as it flows from Peltier Lake across the road to George Watch Lake. Here from the road look up to the northeast end of Lake Peltier and you can make out the Blue Heron Rookery. Soon you are passing the entrance to Wargo Nature Center. A place devoted to increasing the awareness and appreciation of natural and cultural resources. The center is located on a peninsula surrounded by George Watch Lake and offers activities, labs and equipment rental. For another outing, check out the available rental canoes and kayaks to experience the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes water trail.
Back in Lino Lakes for a cool beverage and fun
After a ride, many enjoy stopping in Lino Lakes for a cool beverage.
After crossing over 35W, on the wide shoulder, you are rolling back into Lino Lakes. As you turn onto Lake Drive consider stopping in at the Hammerhead Brewery before returning to the Hampton Inn. Back at the parking lot, check out the nearby eating establishments and plan another fun adventure in the Twin Cities Gateway Area.