MN Biking Guide 2013-2014 : Page 13

SPECIAL SPONSORED SECTION We are fortunate to live in a state with so much biking diversity in the metro area, from easygoing trails to wild off-road rides. Trails are managed by cities, counties, and other government jurisdictions. It would be nearly impossible to detail every trail in the metro area. Here is a sample of some of the longest—and most popular—bike trails in the Twin Cities area. TWIN CITIES AREA Cannon Valley Trail Find your “recreational treasure” just south of the Twin Cites. The Cannon Valley Trail, a 20 mile paved recreational trail, selected as “one of the Top Ten Rail Trails in the U.S.” -Rails to Trails Conservancy www.cannonvalleytrail.com Cannon Falls Area Chamber of Commerce 507-263-2289 Ext. 2 • www.cannonfalls.org Red Wing Visitors & Convention Bureau 800-498-3444 • www.redwing.org Cedar Lake Regional Trail Location: Between Hopkins and Minneapolis Distance: 9 paved miles Description: Enjoy the best of both worlds—urban skylines and suburban tranquility—on this popular, 10-foot wide trail linking the western suburbs to downtown Minneapolis, passing by Target Field (reportedly the most “biked-to” ballpark in the country). A downtown segment connects to the Mississippi River trails portion of the Grand Rounds bikeway. In Hopkins, the Cedar Trail connects to the limestone-surfaced Southwest Regional Trail. For more info: threeriversparkdistrict.org. BRAINERD MINNESOTA’S PLAYGROUND Paul Bunyan Trail Cuyuna Lakes Trail Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails Pillsbury Forest Mountain Bike Trails Scenic & low-traffi c routes www.visitbrainerd.com 800-450-7247 Gitchi-Gami State Trail april 2013 | mnmo.com | B -13

Twin Cities Area Trails

We are fortunate to live in a state with so much biking diversity in the metro area, from easygoing trails to wild off-road rides. Trails are managed by cities, counties, and other government jurisdictions. It would be nearly impossible to detail every trail in the metro area. Here is a sample of some of the longest—and most popular—bike trails in the Twin Cities area.<br /> <br /> Cedar Lake Regional Trail <br /> <br /> Location: Between Hopkins and Minneapolis <br /> <br /> Distance: 9 paved miles <br /> <br /> Description: Enjoy the best of both worlds—urban skylines and suburban tranquility—on this popular, 10-foot wide trail linking the western suburbs to downtown Minneapolis, passing by Target Field (reportedly the most “biked-to” ballpark in the country). A downtown segment connects to the Mississippi River trails portion of the Grand Rounds bikeway. In Hopkins, the Cedar Trail connects to the limestone-surfaced Southwest Regional Trail.<br /> <br /> For more info: threeriversparkdistrict.org.<br /> <br /> Dakota Rail Regional Trail <br /> <br /> Location: Between Wayzata and New Germany <br /> <br /> Distance: 26 paved miles <br /> <br /> Description: This trail meanders through beautiful suburban and rural areas on the west side of the Twin Cities area, with a variety of town and country views. It passes the two largest lakes in the metro, Minnetonka and Waconia, as well as Gale Woods Farm, operated by Three Rivers Park District. Cyclists can park at trailheads in Wayzata, St. Bonifacius, Mayer and New Germany.<br /> <br /> For more info: www.co.carver.mn.us/parks (western portion) threeriversparkdistrict.org (eastern portion).<br /> <br /> Elm Creek Park Reserve/ Rush Creek Regional Trail <br /> <br /> Location: Brooklyn Park, Corcoran, Dayton, Maple Grove <br /> <br /> Distance: 26 miles <br /> <br /> Description: There are 20 miles of paved biking/walking trails through the hilly terrain of Elm Creek Park Reserve. This trail network connects with the Rush Creek Regional Trail, a 6-mile trail that links Elm Creek to the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park on the Mississippi River.<br /> <br /> For more info: 763-694-7894 threeriversparkdistrict.org. <br /> <br /> Gateway State Trail <br /> <br /> Location: Between St. Paul and Pine Point Park, north of Stillwater <br /> <br /> Distance: 18 paved miles <br /> <br /> Description: Park on the south side of Hadley Avenue in Oakdale for a safe, scenic ride out of town, or park north of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul before traveling through Phalen-Keller Regional Park and several suburban landscapes for a longer ride from urban to suburban to rural countryside. Although the trail is relatively flat—with an excellent mix of parks, lakes, wetlands, and prairie along the way—there are some challenging hills in the Stillwater area.<br /> <br /> The trail is popular for biking, in-line skating, walking, and jogging, so if you prefer a quiet ride—go midweek.<br /> <br /> For more info: 651-259-5736 mndnr.gov/trails. Map online.<br /> <br /> Grand Rounds Bike Trails/ Midtown Greenway <br /> <br /> Location: Minneapolis <br /> <br /> Distance: Over 35 miles <br /> <br /> Description: Minneapolis is celebrated as one of the most cycling-friendly districts in the nation, evident through bike routes like the Grand Rounds, a national and scenic byway mostly separated from pedestrian walkways and roadways. Cycle past historic homes, Boom Island, Nicollet Island, St. Anthony Falls, the Stone Arch Bridge, Minnehaha Creek, Minnehaha Falls, the Weisman Art Museum, Theodore Wirth Park (stop to appreciate views of the Minneapolis skyline and a wildflower garden and bird sanctuary), and Victory Memorial Parkway, honoring the soldiers of World War I. The 5.5-mile Midtown Greenway is a mostly belowstreet grade trail corridor that travels crosstown and links to the Grand Rounds trails at each end, so that cyclists don’t have to cut through downtown.<br /> <br /> The southern loop, around lakes Nokomis, Harriet, and Calhoun, is a popular route. For a longer ride, the northern loop along the scenic (and often shaded) Mississippi River is the way to go.<br /> <br /> For more info: 612-230-6400 minneapolisparks.org. Map online and available at the Longfellow House in Minnehaha Park.<br /> <br /> Luce Line State Trail <br /> <br /> Location: Between Plymouth and Winsted, just west of Minneapolis.<br /> <br /> Distance: 30 miles of crushed limestone surface <br /> <br /> Description: On the eastern end, nine miles of paved trail leads from Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis to the trailhead of the original Luce Line State Trail in Plymouth. The state trail travels through suburban neighborhoods before passing the Wood-Rill Scientific and Natural Area (approximately 99. 9 percent of Minnesota’s “Big Woods” has been cut down; but in this area, 200-year-old trees tower over the scenic site).<br /> <br /> You can’t bike in the maple-basswood forest, so lock your bike at the trail and walk along the paths. As the trail heads west, it leaves the city and heads into farmlands. From Winsted to past Hutchinson, there is an additional 30-plus miles of gravel surface, suitable for mountain bikes.<br /> <br /> For more info: 651-296-6157 or mndnr.gov/trails and threeriversparkdistrict.org. Map online.<br /> <br /> Minnesota Valley State Trail <br /> <br /> Location: Shakopee to Chaska <br /> <br /> Distance: Approximately 6 paved miles <br /> <br /> Description: The paved segment of this trail runs on the north side of Shakopee from Memorial Park, off Highway 101, to the Minnesota River. The diverse landscapes include wetlands, floodplain forest and bluff top oak savanna.<br /> <br /> For more info: 952-492-6400; mndnr.gov/trails. Map online.<br /> <br /> Samuel H. Morgan Regional Trail <br /> <br /> Location: St. Paul <br /> <br /> Distance: 10 paved miles <br /> <br /> Description: Following the Mississippi River between Crosby Farm Regional Park and Battle Creek Regional Park, this trail features great river views. Passing the St. Paul skyline, it shows off the redeveloped downtown riverfront; this section has two trail options, one adjacent to Shepard Road and other closer to the river. East of downtown, there are trail connections to beautiful Indian Mounds Park, the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary and the Bruce Vento Regional Trail. At the east end of the Morgan trail, the Battle Creek Trail is across the road. There are three opportunities along the Morgan Trail to cross the Mississippi and connect to other trails. The Highway 5 and I-35E bridges each have a bike/pedestrian trail, providing a link to Dakota County’s 4-mile Big Rivers Trail. At downtown St. Paul, taking city streets to the Wabasha Bridge leads to Harriet Island Regional Park, with a trail to Lilydale Regional Park, linking to the Big Rivers Trail. Using these river crossings, cyclists can bike a loop route along both sides of the river.<br /> <br /> For more info: www.ci.stpaul.mn.us <br /> <br /> Sunrise Prairie Trail/ Hardwood Creek Trail <br /> <br /> Location: Between North Branch and Hugo, 20 miles north of the Twin Cities <br /> <br /> Distance: 25.5 paved miles <br /> <br /> Description: Between North Branch and Forest Lake, the Sunrise Prairie Trail passes alongside residential areas, farmlands, hardwood forests and wetlands also crossing the Sunrise River. Restrooms are provided at each city, portables at Wyoming and Stacy and modern facilities in a public restroom one block north of the parking area in North Branch. For those interested in geocaching there are several cache sites along the trail.<br /> <br /> In Washington County near Forest Lake, the trail becomes the Hardwood Creek Trail; this section parallels Highway 61 south to Hugo. Views alternate between urban and rural. A trailhead building, with restrooms, drinking water, concessions, and parking is located at the Forest Lake Transit Center, south of Forest Lake.<br /> <br /> Parking is located at: 6311 Maple St. North Branch; Stacy Trail, Stacy; and 26854 Forest Blvd., Wyoming. <br /> <br /> For more info: 651-674-2345; www.co.chisago.mn.us/recreation (Chisago County) or at 651-430-8368; www.co.washington.mn.us/parks (Washington County)

Cannon Valley Trail

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