MN Biking Guide 2013-2014 : Page 5

Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail SOUTHERN MINNESOTA Blazing Star State Trail Location: Albert Lea Distance: 6 miles Description: Enjoy views of rural landscapes along the Blazing Star State Trail, linking Albert Lea to Myre-Big Island State Park. Pass Albert Lea Lake and experience a diversity of natural environments including oak savanna, several wetlands, old growth hardwood forest, and prairie landscape. For more info: 507-285-7176; mndnr.gov/trails. Map online. Cannon Valley Trail Location: Between Cannon Falls and Red Wing Distance: 19.7 paved miles Description: Paralleling the Cannon River, the Cannon Valley Trail offers glimpses and panoramic views of the winding river as it passes by wooded hillsides, cliffs, farm fields, and rolling pastures. Built on a former railroad line, there are numerous rest stops along the mostly flat trail to appreciate the scenic views. (The grade is never very steep, the trail is mostly shaded, and there are very few crossings.) Start your ride from Cannon Falls, Red Wing, or the parking lot and picnic area near the small village of Welch, midway along the trail. Visit the Cannon Valley Winery or the bakery in downtown Cannon Falls, and grab a sandwich or some ice cream at the Trout Scream Cafe in Welch -just a short hop off the trail. The historic Mississippi River town of Red Wing is home to antique shops, gift stores, charming eateries, the popular Red Wing Shoes and Red Wing Pottery stores, and hotels, inns, and B&Bs. Trail fee: $4 daily Wheel Pass for 18 and over; $25 for a season Wheel Pass. For more info: 507-263-0508 or cannonvalleytrail.com. Map online. Casey Jones State Trail Location: Currie and Pipestone Distance: Three main unconnected sections; 13 miles between Pipestone and Woodstock (5 paved miles), a 1.5 mile naturally-surfaced segment into the city of Lake Wilson, and a 6-mile paved loop into the city of Currie. Description: Named for famed railroad engineer Casey Jones, this trail passes tall-grass prairie and scenic countryside as it links scenic Lake Shetek State Park with the village of Currie, home to the End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum. In Pipestone, the Pipestone National Monument is a site of interest. Riders can hook up with the Lake Wilson segment at County Highway 26, east of Woodstock. For more info: 651-296-6157; mndnr.gov/trails. Map online. Douglas State Trail Location: Between Rochester and Pine Island Distance: 13 paved miles Description: Shaded by a canopy of trees, this trail travels past rolling farmland and rural scenery. Several bridges cross the Zumbro River, the northernmost crossing providing entry into Pine Island park (complete with a playground and picnic shelter) and connecting to Main Street, where many downtown buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. The southern end of the trail links to the extensive bikeways system in Rochester, home of the world-renowned Mayo Clinic. One of the Rochester bikeways follows the Zumbro River and circles Silver Lake. For more info: 651-296-6157; mndnr.gov/trails. Map online. april 2013 | mnmo.com | B -5

Bike Trails

Southern Minnesota Trails

Blazing Star State Trail <br /> <br /> Location: Albert <br /> <br /> Lea Distance: 6 miles <br /> <br /> Description: Enjoy views of rural landscapes along the Blazing Star State Trail, linking Albert Lea to Myre-Big Island State Park. Pass Albert Lea Lake and experience a diversity of natural environments including oak savanna, several wetlands, old growth hardwood forest, and prairie landscape.<br /> <br /> For more info: 507-285-7176; mndnr.gov/trails. Map online.<br /> <br /> Cannon Valley Trail <br /> <br /> Location: Between Cannon Falls and Red Wing <br /> <br /> Distance: 19.7 paved miles <br /> <br /> Description: Paralleling the Cannon River, the Cannon Valley Trail offers glimpses and panoramic views of the winding river as it passes by wooded hillsides, cliffs, farm fields, and rolling pastures. Built on a former railroad line, there are numerous rest stops along the mostly flat trail to appreciate the scenic views. (The grade is never very steep, the trail is mostly shaded, and there are very few crossings.)<br /> <br /> Start your ride from Cannon Falls, Red Wing, or the parking lot and picnic area near the small village of Welch, midway along the trail. Visit the Cannon Valley Winery or the bakery in downtown Cannon Falls, and grab a sandwich or some ice cream at the Trout Scream Cafe in Welch - just a short hop off the trail.<br /> <br /> The historic Mississippi River town of Red Wing is home to antique shops, gift stores, charming eateries, the popular Red Wing Shoes and Red Wing Pottery stores, and hotels, inns, and B&Bs.<br /> <br /> Trail fee: $4 daily Wheel Pass for 18 and over; $25 for a season Wheel Pass.<br /> <br /> For more info: 507-263-0508 or cannonvalleytrail.com. Map online.<br /> <br /> Casey Jones State Trail <br /> <br /> Location: Currie and Pipestone <br /> <br /> Distance: Three main unconnected sections; 13 miles between Pipestone and Woodstock (5 paved miles), a 1.5 mile naturallysurfaced segment into the city of Lake Wilson, and a 6-mile paved loop into the city of Currie.<br /> <br /> Description: Named for famed railroad engineer Casey Jones, this trail passes tall-grass prairie and scenic countryside as it links scenic Lake Shetek State Park with the village of Currie, home to the End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum. In Pipestone, the Pipestone National Monument is a site of interest. Riders can hook up with the Lake Wilson segment at County Highway 26, east of Woodstock.<br /> <br /> For more info: 651-296-6157; mndnr.gov/trails. Map online.<br /> <br /> Douglas State Trail <br /> <br /> Location: Between Rochester and Pine Island <br /> <br /> Distance: 13 paved miles Description: Shaded by a canopy of trees, this trail travels past rolling farmland and rural scenery. Several bridges cross the Zumbro River, the northernmost crossing providing entry into Pine Island park (complete with a playground and picnic shelter) and connecting to Main Street, where many downtown buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. The southern end of the trail links to the extensive bikeways system in Rochester, home of the world-renowned Mayo Clinic. One of the Rochester bikeways follows the Zumbro River and circles Silver Lake.<br /> <br /> For more info: 651-296-6157; mndnr.gov/trails. Map online.

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