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.
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 river’s 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.
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.
For 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 is 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 hand-held device, for guaranteed fun.