Bicycling

 

The midwest has many miles of bicycle trails. These are a few that we ride regularly. (opinions are those of the author).

Root River State Trail - SE Minnesota. One of our favorite trails. Blacktop trail runs 31 miles along the Root River Valley. Plenty of forest, rivers, rock outcrops. Trail is relatively level except the western end (we always start on the west end and ride downhill). Historic town of Lanesboro is located in the middle of the trail. Camping available in the area. For additional resources click here.

Saylorville-Big Creek-Des Moines River Trail - Central Iowa. A favorite trail since it is so close to home. Paved trail (23 miles) winds along Saylorville Lake and Big Creek Lake. The trail has many ups/downs in areas especially along Saylorville Lake. Several bridges constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Trail gets somewhat congested in the Big Creek area on weekend days. Camping available throughout the area. For additional resources click here.

Willard Munger State Trail - Carlton to West Duluth Segment - NE Minnesota. We had a very enjoyable visit to this area of Minnesota last summer. The trail ride was just one of the interesting activities in the area. We visited Duluth and various spots along the north coast of Lake Superior. Wonderful trip. Interstate 35 goes directly to Duluth (and stops) so it is a quick drive up from Iowa. The paved trail is about 15 miles in length and quite scenic. For more information on the Duluth area contact the Duluth Visitors Bureau at 1-800-4-DULUTH. For additional resources click here.

Elroy-Sparta State Trail - SW Wisconsin. Approximately 32 miles from Sparta to Elroy. The first rails-to-trail bike path, this path has the unique feature of three rather lengthy tunnels. A super trail with few level stretches. Tunnels range from a little over half mile to 3/4 mile in length. During our ride the longest tunnel had lots of dripping water - quite refreshing during the summer. Lots of campgrounds nearby. We had a super weekend. (I believe the tunnels close October 1st?). Trail is crushed limestone and was in excellent condition. For additional resources click here.

Wabash Trail - SW Iowa. Approximately 60 miles (???, sorry we rode it early in the summer and the specifics are slipping from my mind...). Trail is crushed limestone and relatively new. Even though the spring was quite wet in SW Iowa the trail was still in good shape. Trail links Council Bluffs and Shenandoah (spelling okay?). I only recall one major town along the trail (near the midpoint). The trail moves through rolling hills and the Loess area of western Iowa. We rode the southern half of the trail - very enjoyable. For additional resources click here.

Raccoon River Valley Trail - Central Iowa. 34 paved miles winding through the Raccoon River valley. Trail is level to gently rising uphill stretches. For more additional resources click here.



If you have information on these trails or want additional information on the trails listed above, feel free to e-mail me.

Our summer plans are to bike a trail near Brainerd, Minnesota this summer.  I believe the trail is called the Paul Bunyan Trail.  If you have any additional information on this trail please ship me an e-mail.

 

Ben and Sarah only wish they could go back to riding in the cart - give them a stash of food, portable stereo, and some books and they could "ride" for miles and miles...

 

ben and sarah in cart_a.JPG (121575 bytes)