Tag Archives: #twincitiesgateway

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.

 

Finding a birding spot in the Twin Cities Gateway is always easy along the many trails.

Explore Twin Cities Gateway in Six Different Ways or More

Fun for Everyone in the Twin Cities Gateway: Six Activities to Keep You and Your Group Busy While Making Memories to Last a Lifetime

by Jess Leong, HaveFunBiking.com

With nine communities and the Nation Sports Center located in the Twin Cities Gateway Area you will find many fun events and activities suited for visitors and their families. While visiting there are many ways to enjoy your stay in this north Twin City Metro Area of Minnesota. There are many options that will create memories to cherish years down the road. And staying in this Twin City location doesn’t have to be just about taking in a sporting events and the theater, it can also include biking and other fun outdoors activities.

Here are six fun ways you can plan some more great memories to last a lifetime – the ones you never want to forget.

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 the Gateway.

Way 1: Bird Watching – Spotting Your Favorite Feathered Friends  

Grab your best pair of binoculars and head on out on your bike – or take your car – to see the many birds in the Twin Cities Gateway Area. While robins and finches are pretty fine, we’re talking about catching sight of Blue Herons, hawk and eagles here. Scout the area and maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of those great raptors and more!

By bike or car Twin Cities Trout Fishing at Cenaiko Lake is worth checking out.

By bike or car Twin Cities Trout Fishing at Cenaiko Lake is worth checking out.

Way 2: Fishing – Throwing in a Line and Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Explore the great area lakes where you can get away from the hustle and bustle and fish in a tranquil atmosphere that is great for the whole family. Even if fishing in the Twin Cities Gateway isn’t your thing, the beautiful landscape makes a gorgeous backdrop for picnics and outdoor events.

Looking for disc golf fun? Here in the Twin Cities Gateway Area find several scenic and challenging disc golf parks, all easy to access from the bike friendly roads and trails there.

Looking for disc golf fun? Here in the Twin Cities Gateway Area find several scenic and challenging disc golf parks, all easy to access from the bike friendly roads and trails there.

Way 3: Disc Golf – Challenge Yourself and Give it Your Best Throw

Get out there with your best buds or your family to try your hand at the many Twin Cities Gateway disc golf courses in the area. Some of the courses will definitely give you challenge that even the experienced player will have a run for his money. Whether you’ve done it before or not, try it out – it’s fun no matter what age you are!

Riders on the Train & Trail Tour arrive in Big Lake, MN for their journey back to Minneapolis.

Riders on the Train & Trail Tour arrive in Big Lake, MN for their journey back to the Twin City Gateway.

Way 4: Train-Mississippi River Trail Tour – A Multi-Modal Adventure

Making the ideal adventure, one that can fit your needs, can be difficult. But, here with the Twin Cities Gateway Train and Trail Tour offering with a mix of train and adjustable bike routes, it’s easy and just plain fun! Plus, let’s not forget the scenic route you’ll take while on the Mississippi River Trail. A fun experience anytime, its especially breath taking in the fall when the autumn colors take hold.

Have yoom in your bike bag to stop at one of the many farmers market in the Twin Cities Gateway.

Have yoom in your bike bag to stop at one of the many farmers market in the Twin Cities Gateway.

Way 5: Explore the Farmer’s Market – Discover Local Produce and Goods

Peruse what the local farms and businesses have to offer and you may stumble upon fun surprises and foods that you might not have known existed. You thought that yellow watermelon was photoshopped? Or root beer honey was a joke? Think again! You never know what you might find there in the Twin Cities Gateway farmers markets scheduled throughout the week.

A fairytale come true at any age, with superb entrees and desserts, in the Twin Cities Gateway.

A fairytale come true at any age, with superb entrees and desserts, in the Twin Cities Gateway.

Way 6: More Must See Local Events and Fanfare Throughout the Year

So pick some activities to try in the Twin City Gateway and have some fun!

Jess Leong is a writer for HaveFunBiking.com.

Bike Pic Sept 9, Acrossing the Coon Rapids Dam on the MRT

Bike Pic Sept 9, Crossing the Coon Rapids Dam on the MRT

Biking across the Coon Rapids Dam on the Minnesota MRT (Mississippi River Trail) loop ride that starts in the Twin Cities Gateway. Here, in this photo, riders from the Hiawatha Bicycling Club rode a 32-mile loop passing through the towns of Anoka, Blaine, Fridley, and Ham Lake in the gateway communities.

See many more bike friendly places to explore, in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide

Thanks for viewing the Coon Rapids Dam Bike Pic of the Day. 

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While showcasing all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more place to have fun we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. And don’t forget to smile, while you are riding and having fun. We may capture you in one of our next photos that we post daily.

Have a great day!