Minnesota Trails Spring 2017

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Lookout Mountain Trail • Lake Bronson Adventure • MN Raptor Center


TRAILS T h e P a r k s & Tr a i l s J o u r n a l

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Top Bike Rides

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www.MnTrails.com Minnesota Trails Staff Jan Lasar Editor/Publisher Dave Simpkins Past Editor/Publisher Joyce Frericks Accounting Brian Dingmann Page Layout & Design Pat Turner Graphics Manager Tara Pitschka Amanda Thooft Graphic Artists

Editorial Board

Brett Feldman Executive Director Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota

Vol. 22, No. 1 March 2017 Minnesota Trails magazine is a continuation of Minnesota Bike Trails & Rides, published quarterly in cooperation with the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota, a nonprofit organization that acquires, protects and enhances critical lands for public enjoyment. Your $35 membership subscription supports this work. Minnesota Trails is not responsible for the return of unsolicited materials and reserves the right to reject unsuitable advertising. Information in this publication is as accurate as possible. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not of Minnesota Trails.

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2 Spring 2017

Minnesota Trails

Index Features





Minnesota Miles



Letter from the Executive Director

13 Mountain Bike Guide

MNMB Series Gary Sjoquist

10 Three Generations of Mountain Biking Jan Lasar

26 Lake Bronson Adventure Race Jan Lasar

28 Minnesota's Waterfall Wonderland Tom Watson

30 Minnesota's Raptor Center

Jan Lasar

Brett Feldman

Parks & Trails Council Linda Picone

Minnesota Mountain Bike Trails

18 Bike Ride Guide Bike Rides April-October

Cover photo:

Emma Catlin practices turns with her fat bike at Cuyuna Lakes State Recreation Area while instructor Tara Reddinger-Adams watches. Jan Lasar photo

37 MN Trails Map The State at a Glance

Index photo:

Kingsbury Creek at the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth, MN. Brian Dingmann photo

Tom Watson

32 Bluestem Prairie Dancers Rudi Hargesheimer

34 Lookout Mountain Luther Kemp

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Spring 2017 3



Maybe Southwest hen Punxsutawney Phil Minnesota Miles Sallie, resident bison at was pulled from his cozy Blue Mounds State Park, stump on a crisp, prewill come galloping up dawn morning Feb. 2, he had to you and whisper in some choice words: “Six more your ear that six is a weeks of winter.â€? This has been ridiculously low guess for his prediction 103 times since the number of waterfalls 1887 and he has been right only 39 to see in Minnesota. percent of the time. Just don’t try to kiss her Here in Minnesota, we’ve had like they do with the a February for the record books: Jan Lasar Trails Editor/Publisher groundhog. above average temperatures and In the northwestern below average snowfalls with a zero score on the Winter Misery Index, part of the state there’s one go-to guy: and it seems to be a trend now. Since the Northwest Ned. Prairie chicken by day, aging rodent’s predictions contradict male dancer in the early morning, he’ll reality more than ever, I propose we tell you there are at least six places in his Minnesotans start consulting our own neighborhood where you can get a good show for not a lot of money. animals for advice. Suppose you’re adventurous Sure, Arrowhead Al, the goodnatured moose, may be too Minnesota- enough to consult Southeast Sam, the nice to make any upsetting weather timber rattlesnake, he’d have good predictions, but he’ll tell you that there advice for you, too: “You should ride at are six times more mountain bike trails least six of Minnesota’s many organized in our state than you could ever dream bike tours this year.â€? But, he’s kind of a RI ULGLQJ 7KDW¡V LI \RX FDQ Ă€QG KLP recluse and doesn’t react well to crisp winter air.

4 Spring 2017

As always, the pages of this issue of Minnesota Trails Magazine are full of suggestions on what to do outdoors in Minnesota. Whether you go waterfall hunting like Lisa Crayford, mountain biking like the three generations of the Catlin family, watch the dance of the prairie chickens at Bluestem Prairie Preserve, or drop ping pong balls from the water tower at Lake Bronson State Park, Minnesota’s parks and trails are your playground this spring. I almost forgot one more of our advice animals: Minnesota Mabel, the bald eagle. She has made quite a comeback here in recent years and can see into every corner of the state when she soars high above us. If you asked her QLFHO\ VKH¡G Ă \ GRZQ DQG WHOO \RX WKDW you have about six months of abovefreezing temperatures and “Seriously, what are you waiting for?â€? Sources: Wikipedia, groundhog.org and this spring issue

Minnesota Trails

people eoo saving special places


Letter from the executive director By Brett Feldman

Dear citizen, Do you hear the alarm bell?

As I write to you today I can’t help but feel I’ve become a broken record. Yes, you’ve heard it before: Citizens play a critical role in shaping government policy. But my hope is that you don’t hear me as a broken record, but rather as an alarm bell ringing in the ears of all parks and trails loving Minnesotans. The irony is not lost on me. In our attempt to preserve the peace and solitude of our state’s most beloved outdoor treasures, we cannot afford to be silent. We need you to talk to your legislators so they understand and protect parks and trails when they are making decisions at the Capitol. They need to hear from you, and they need to hear from you now before it is too late. I am 100 percent serious. The stakes are high. Legislators are abuzz with talk of cutting the budget for Minnesota State Parks and Trails. These cuts would be tragic as they are just now recovering from deep cuts suffered in the late 2000s and early 2010s. And on top of this, motorized sports activists are pushing legislators to open up state parks to off-highway vehicles (OHVs) such as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), dirt bikes and jeeps. This flies in the face of the Minnesota

Outdoor Recreation Act, which and Trails. prohibits such activity and it goes Fully funding these special against the desire of state park places requires $31 million annuvisitors, who are overwhelmingly ally; just a pittance of the state’s opposed to the idea. general fund (less than 0.15% to be So why are the people who made precise). Currently a mere $5 of the 9.4 million visits to state parks and average Minnesotan’s taxes that go 1.8 million visits to state trails—in into the General Fund are allocated 2016 alone—being drowned out by to maintaining state parks and a small group trails. Allocating just In our attempt to of motorized $1 more from that recreation activpreserve the peace pot would fully fund ists who already these special places. and solitude...we have access to Your simple call, 18 times more cannot afford to letter or email, when public land? And multiplied by our be silent. why does an many other supportinfluential group ers, could be the difof lawmakers believe our parks and ference between a pristine outdoor trails are more of a public burden recreation system that we proudly than they are a public good? It’s a pass on to the next generation and great question. I can only answer it one relegated to the “who cares” colwith a call to action. umn in legislator’s policy priorities. Pick up your phone. Write a letFor more information on how to ter. Send an email. Your legislators take action, please visit the advocacy need to hear from you. Tell them section of our website at how much parks and trails mean www.parksandtrails.org. Make your to you, your community and your voice heard now so you don’t feel health. Tell them OHVs do not sorry later. belong in state parks. Tell them to fully fund Minnesota State Parks

We’re the parks and trails people. Join Today! www.ParksAndTrails.org

Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota would like to thank the following sponsor Minnesota Trails


Spring 2017 5

people saving special places


Trail Builder Highlight: Rep. Alice Hausman

Representing a bright future for parks and trails By Linda Picone, Parks & Trails Council volunteer Minnesota’s parks and trails are ments, including the establishment not simply attractive “extras” that we of Lake Vermilion State Park. In can enjoy on our days off, says Min2014, despite facing stiff pressure to nesota Rep. Alice Hausman of St. cut projects from a bonding bill, she Paul. They can be engines of ecohelped secure $34 million for state nomic development for Minnesota parks and trails. communities and they are important to the physical health of the state’s It’s people in the community residents. who work their hearts out that But in times of budget tightening and hard are my inspiration. choices—which often seems to be all the time— Hausman makes the case for parks and trails with her fellow As she’s visited communities legislators. “There are people who throughout the state as a legislator, would describe something like trails Hausman has seen the difference as wants, not needs,” Hausman says. that parks and trails make for com“That is an uphill battle.” munities—and the efforts that local people put in to support and someSince her election to the Mintimes initiate establishment of parks nesota House of Representatives in and, especially, trails. “Trails come 1989, Hausman has been a chamright out of the community,” she pion for parks and trails. As chair of says. “It’s people in the community the Capital Investment Committee, who work their hearts out that are she was lead author of the two largest investment packages that Minne- my inspiration.” sota’s state parks and trails received She likes working with communiin a generation. In 2008, her work ty groups. “It’s a partnership; we each secured $57 million worth of invest- kind of need each other.” She also

Rep. Alice Hausman received a Legislator of Distinction award from P&TC in 2016

6 SSpr Sp Spring prriin p ing ng n g 2017 20 2 017 17 6 Spring 2017

Minnesota Min Mi M innes in ne n esso e otta ota ta Trails TTrra raai ailiills Minnesota Trails

people saving special places

appreciates the role the Parks & Trails Council plays in supporting Friends Groups and in securing land for parks and trails. She says she has learned from her travels around the state that the towns that are going to make it are those that figure out what our new assets are and build on them. Those assets may include arts and culture and parks and trails. She points to Lanesboro as a good example, where the arts helped spur economic development, and the establishment of the Root River Trail has built upon that and help make Lanesboro a real destination for tourists from Minnesota and elsewhere. Parks and trails get people outdoors to walk, bike, ski, swim and more, and that helps them get healthier, Hausman says. “I do this work because of my love of the outdoors,” she says, “but also for the health benefits.” She said some people have come up to her after she did a presentation on funding for parks and trails and told her that their doctors now prescribe exercise—including outdoor exercise—for their patients. In Appleton, Minnesota, Hausman said, some people in the community were not interested in a trail because they felt that no one was going to use it. “But once it’s built, everybody uses it,” she

Minnesota Trails


says. “People in Appleton realized that if you have a trail, you have a safer, more pleasant place to walk and there are health benefits to that. Hausman didn’t grow up doing what today we think of as outdoor recreation. “I’m a farm girl from Kansas,” she says. “If you’re a farm girl, you spend all of your time outside.” She also was a reader, but she combined her love for books with the outdoors by sitting on a branch on a tree in the pasture and reading whenever she could. But Hausman and her family—husband, Robert, and two sons, now grown, have spent lots of time hiking, biking and canoeing, mostly in Minnesota. “There is a lot of beauty in Minnesota.” She has done a little cross-country skiing “and I tried downhill skiing, but that didn’t work for me.” She canoes everywhere from the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis to the Boundary Waters. One of her sons has a cabin near the Canadian border and a close friend has a cabin near the Temperance River on the North Shore, both giving her the opportunity to hike, bike and canoe.. “One summer, we thought we would bike every trail in the state,” she said. “Now we couldn’t do that; there are so many trails.”

2017 Reuel Harmon Award goes to Rep. Alice Hausman The Reuel Harmon Award is an annual recognition of exemplary service and outstanding achievements on behalf of Minnesota’s parks and trails. Reuel Harmon was a founding member of the Minnesota Council of State Parks in 1954, and through its next 30 years of growth and transformation into the Parks& Trails Council of Minnesota, he was a powerful advocate for Minnesota’s parks and trails. Award Recipients 2017 Rep. Alice Hausman 2016 Dave Lais 2015 Peggy Prowe 2014 David Minge 2013 Mary Lee Dayton 2012 Mark and Joan Strobel 2011 Peter Seed 2010 Terry McGaughey 2009 Eleanor Winston 2008 Sen. David Durenberger 2007 Henry N. Somsen 2006 Michael Prichard 2005 Bob Dunn 2004 Don Davison & Bill Morrissey 2003 Rollis Bishop 2001 Alden Lind 2000 Howard E. Olson 1999 Nadine Blacklock 1998 Rep. Willard Munger en 1997 Gov. Elmer L. Andersen 1996 Martin N. Kellogg 1995 Samuel H. Morgan

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0É QɆHÉ‹RÉŒD 0ɇXɆWČšLɆ %É NČ˝ 6Č˝UÉ HÉ‹ Gary Sjoquist Series Director

Todd Bauer photo


he 2016 Minnesota Mountain Bike Series (MNMBS) season was victimized by poor weather, unfortunately, so we’re looking for a better 2017 season. Additionally, the Series will be racing on Sundays with two exceptions; the Big Wood Classic, hosted by the Three Rivers Parks District, will be on Saturday, July 15. Laddie’s Loppet, at the Maplelag Resort, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 2. All other races are on Sundays. The 2017 season begins Sunday, May 7 at the Woolly in St. Croix Falls, Wis. Traditionally our largest event, the 2016 Woolly featured 550 racers. May will also see us racing at Detroit Mountain Recreation Area on the 21st. We have three races in June, heading to Mankato’s Mt. Kato on June 4. A week later, we’ll head to Red Wing IRU WKH 5HG :LQJ &ODVVLF DQG ÀQLVK XS in St. Cloud on the 25 for the Single Track Escape. -XO\ ÀQGV RXU 6HULHV UDFHUV KHDGLQJ to Lake Rebecca, just west of the Metro area. On July 30, the MNMBS heads to Rochester’s Gamehaven facility IRU WKH ÀUVW WLPH :LWK VRPH FRRO new singletrack cut late in 2016, the Gamehaven race will be the only new race for Series racers in 2017. We’ll head to Duluth for the Great Hawk Chase at Spirit Mountain on Aug. 13, which for Series racers will be the ÀUVW WLPH RQ WKH EHDXWLIXOO\ VZRRSLQJ à RZ WUDLOV ÀQLVKHG ODWH LQ 7KH ÀQDO UDFH LQ $XJXVW EULQJV WKH 6HULHV racers to Cuyuna’s demanding rocky

Minnesota Trails

singletrack for the aptly-named Crusher. 2XU VHDVRQ ZLOO ÀQLVK RYHU the Labor Day weekend as we visit Maplelag in Western Minnesota for Laddie’s Loppet. Laddie’s is an old favorite, with gnarly old-school tight, rooty singletrack and a surprising amount of climbing. Online registration for the 11-race MNMBS season will open March 24 at www.mnmtbseries.com. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase a Superpass that will provide them with a permanent number plate, points tracking throughout the season, and the ability to race in 11 races but only pay for nine at a special reduced rate. Racers can also race in MNMBS events individually by simply registering

MNMB Series Minnesota Mountain Bike Series 2017 Schedule Date 5/7 5/ 21 6/4 6/11 6/25 7/9 7/15 (Sat) 7/ 30 8/13 8/ 20 9/2 - 3

11 Races St. Croix Woolly Detroit Mountain Bluff Riders Charge Red Wing Classic Single Track Escape Border Crossing Big Woods Classic Gamehaven Great Hawk Chase Cuyuna Crusher Laddie's Loppet

More information at www.mnmtbseries.com for each race online (must happen before 8 p.m. on the Thursday preceding the race), or pay a slightly higher fee to register at each venue on race day. In order for points to be tracked and listed in the standings, racers must pay the series registration fee by the published due date. As always, check the MNMBS website for more information about all the races, classes, fees, etc.

Spring 2017 9

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Jan Lasar Trails Editor


he two young girls threw all of their weight against the burly man who appeared to be doing pushups in the parking lot by the lake. They shoved. He resisted, but struggled to stay upright. Finally, his arms buckled and he fell onto his side on the tar. The girls giggled. “And that is why the wider you grip your handlebars, the more stable you are on the bike”, said Byron Adams, co-owner and mountain bike instructor at North Star Mountain Bike Guides. He and his partner, Tara-ReddingerAdams, had come up from Minneapolis for the day to teach a private beginner mountain bike class at the Cuyuna Lakes State Recreation Area. Sam Catlin, the burly man, brushed himself off. He had brought almost the whole family: his wife Ashley, his parents Tim and Gretchen, and ten-year-old Emma and friends Claire and Marjory. They were ready to learn some basic mountain biking skills on an overcast and cool October day. The lessons started at the Portsmouth Mine Lake Parking Lot with a safety check and parking lot drills, but the kids

Parking lot turned classroom at Pennington Mine Lake. Jan Lasar photo

10 Spring 2017

Byron Adams leads the way on Haul Road. Jan Lasar photo

were eager to get to the part where they got to ride the trails. The goal of the clinic was to

learn body position, braking and basic bike handling with coaches Tara and Byron observing, encouraging and giving feedback. The Catlins have been a mountain biking family for about two years. After Sam bought his ϐ ǡ Emma started riding, too. Then, grandparents Tim and Gretchen Catlin joined in. Now, between May and October they ride once a week, matching T-shirts and all. “A lot of people have a positive reaction to seeing the kids on their mountain bikes,” he said. Sam decided to take lessons with the family after he and Emma participated in the DNR’s I Can Ride program. “We thought we’d take more lessons to Minnesota Trails

time outside with everyone.” ϐ coaches Tara and Byron had worked with an entire family, but Tara says she’s seen an increase in women and baby boomers picking up mountain biking. “I think people are looking for more ways to stay active as they age and riding is a great way to do that. It’s also something parents and grandparents can do with their kids and grandkids, just like the Catlin family,” she said. “Women’s Demonstrating the clinics started importance of a wide grip. really popping Jan Lasar photo up in the past ten years and have been highly successful. Women see other women riding, coaching, and encouraging one another and it is a very empowering experience,” she said. When it comes to mountain biking with kids, Sam and Ashley have learned lessons beyond bike handling and climbing hills. “We had to understand the difference between riding by ourselves and riding with the family,” Sam said and pointed out that you’ll need lots of patience when the kids are along. “Our goal is not to ride fast, improve our skills and make it just to be outside with the kids more enjoyable,” he said. and have fun,” he said. “It’s better The group rides have helped to have them follow you so they family dynamics. “It gives us a can observe what you’re doing. hobby to do together outside, When you ride in the back and versus sitting at home and coming try to coach them from behind, it up with things to do. The kids ride together a lot, too. We don’t have to prod them, they take the initiative,” he said. Grandparents Tim and Gretchen Catlin enjoy the time outdoors with the whole family because, as they put it, there aren’t many activities everyone can to do together. “A lot of our friends are surprised we do this,” said Gretchen, “and some of them even think there’s a lot of risk involved, but we do it because we enjoy the

puts too much pressure on them and they get discouraged,” he said. With a tilt of the head he adds “And snacks are very important on the trail.” The Catlins have a full calendar in 2017. Not only do they want to continue their weekly family rides, but they also plan to take more trips out to Cuyuna Country and the mountain bike trails in the Duluth area. Emma and Sam want to compete in the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series: Emma in the Kids Comp and Sam in the Citizen division. Ashley Catlin may try the Salsa Oremageddon race in Ironton this October, but she’s not sure, yet. “I think if I get her signed up, she’ll have to go,” Sam said and laughed.

Ten-year-old Marjory takes on Cuyuna’s singletrack. Jan Lasar photo

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Spring 2017 11



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Northeastern Minnesota has the Sawtooth Mountains along the North Shore of Lake Superior, ski hills at Spirit Mountain and Giants Ridge, the deep forests of the Superior and Chippewa National Forests, the 135-mile Arrowhead State Trail, and the pristine beauty of some of the state’s most beautiful state parks. Arrowhead State Trail | Tower to International Falls 135 miles: Approximately 70 miles of the trail are suitable for mountain biking in the summer. Big Aspen Trail | Virginia 20 miles: Many loop opportunities and beautiful scenic vistas. Eliason Tower Loop | Grand Marais 12 miles: A 12-mile loop along back forest and county roads. Fenske Lake Area | Ely Trails cross over rolling hills and pass through spruce forests. Fernberg Tower Area | Ely The route includes both gravel and natural surface trails. Forest History Center Trails | Grand Rapids 5 miles: Explore the Forest History Center by bike. Beginner trail through 1900s logging camp and virgin timber forest. Giants Ridge | Biwabik 25 miles: Maintained mountainside trails in a resort setting. Hidden Valley Trails | Ely 12 miles: This area offers twelve miles of hilly, wooded loop trails on the outskirts of Ely. Jay Cooke State Park | Carlton 13 miles: Trail is a mixture of grass, dirt and pavement with spectacular views. Legion Trails | Grand Rapids 6 miles: Hand-built singletrack trail ranging from fast and flowing to tight, twisty and technical. Near Grand Rapids High School. Lookout Mountain | Virginia 10 miles: The trail system has dedicated mountain bike singletrack with berms, bridges, and rock gardens in the Chippewa National Forest. McCarthy Beach State Park | Side Lake 17 miles: A choice of nice rides is available on the park trails and the roads inside the park. Nickel Lake Area | Ely This area provides rolling wooded hills, grassy bogs and beaver dams. Savanna Portage State Park | McGregor 10 miles: Mixture of grass and dirt doubletrack. Split Rock Lighthouse State Park | Two Harbors 3 miles: Easy trail with a mix of dirt and grass shared with hikers. Stunning views of the Split Rock Lighthouse along Lake Superior. Can be combined with a return on the paved Gitchi Gami Trail for a 6 mile loop. The park grooms this loop and an additional 3 miles for fat biking in the winter. Sugar Hills | Grand Rapids 20 miles: Enjoy the solitude of this mixture of singletrack and fire roads. Intermediate to expert trail on hilly terrain through hardwood forest. Thunder Peak provides panoramic views. Taconite State Trail | Grand Rapids - Ely 165 miles: Popular multipurpose trail that stretches from Grand Rapids to Ely.

mountain bike trails

Cook County Mountain Bike Routes

Cook County has fantastic singletrack and gravel routes ranging from family-friendly to expert backcountry trails. Britton Peak Trail | Tofte 5.5 miles: Trail goes through the Superior National Forest and is mainly singletrack. Central Gunflint Trails 60+ miles: Very remote hilly terrain with little to no road traffic near the BWCAW. Devil Track Loop and Bally Creek Area Trails | Grand Marais 25 miles: Remote trail is perfect for adventurous mountain bikers. Fire Box Loop 16.7 miles: Scenic, hilly terrain that is very remote with little to no vehicle traffic on gravel. Grand Portage Trails Several trails are available in the Grand Portage area. Heartbreak Hill Loop 18 miles: This scenic loop crosses the Temperance River multiple times. Lima Grade 26.2 miles (out and back trail): A great family ride on gravel road with minimal traffic. Elevation climbs very gradually over rivers. Old Gunflint Trail 9 miles round trip (out and back trail): Gravel road with minimal traffic. Onion River Road | 7 miles round trip: Easy, family-friendly ride with several fun side-trip opportunities. Pancore Lake Loop | Tofte 17-19 miles: Ride near the Poplar and Temperance Rivers through the Superior National Forest Pike Lake Loop 22 miles: Excellent wildlife viewing. Gravel and primitive minimum maintenance road. Pincushion Mountain | Grand Marais 16 miles: Singletrack mountain bike trails starting from the trailhead at Pincushion Mountain. Pine Mountain Road 16 miles round trip (out and back trail): Gravel forest road with little traffic. Moose habitat. Sugarbush Trail | Tofte 5.5 miles: Singletrack for all skill levels through the Superior National Forest.



Duluth has been named Gold Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), one of six such destinations in the world. Lester Park 5.5 miles: Intermediate. Beautiful views of the river valley and smooth, flowing singletrack. Mission Creek | 12 miles: Beginner to intermediate. Fast and flowing singletrack with many bridges, berms and rollers. Mont du Lac | Superior, WI 4 miles: Intermediate. Singletrack and advanced level downhill trails. Piedmont Trails | 9 miles: Intermediate to advanced. Challenging trails with bridges and features. Significant elevation changes with rocky bluffs. Pokegama Trail | 7 miles: A purpose-built mountain bike trail for a technical ride. Spirit Mountain Bike Park Outstanding views of Lake Superior are the norm at Spirit Mountain. The terrain is demanding, but is sure to reward with amazing vistas. Sources: MNDNR, COGGS, GRIMBA, MORC, IROC, Cook County Visitors Bureau

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The many communities that make up the Metropolitan Area of the Twin Cities provide an extensive network of rugged singletrack and easy to moderate mountain bike trails. Regional and city parks maintain trails and state parks provide something for everyone. Battle Creek Regional Park | East St. Paul 7 miles: Intermediate to advanced. Battle Creek features a wide selection of trails within its boundaries. Buck Hill | Burnsville 6 miles: Beginner to intermediate, includes two downhill flow trails. Skills park featuring a bermed course with drops, rock garden, skinnies and a dragon tail. Carver Lake Park | Woodbury 5.5 miles: Series of interconnected loops and switchbacks on the south side of Carver Lake. Elm Creek Park Preserve | Maple Grove 13 miles: Interconnected singletrack loop trails. Built to accommodate all skill levels of riders, but mostly intermediate with short sections of easy and advanced trails. Fort Snelling State Park | St. Paul 10 miles: Beginner: Enjoyable ride along the Dakota County side of the river. Generally flat trail, but scenic. Starts as a wide doubletrack, then narrows to singletrack. Trails are multi-use. Lake Elmo Park Reserve | Lake Elmo 8 miles: Beginner to intermediate: Beautiful park with a pleasant view of Eagle Point Lake. This is a multi-use trail, including horseback riding. Some hard-packed singletrack, some grassy trail. Fat bikes are allowed on Big Bluestem Trail in the winter.

Lake Rebecca Park Reserve | Rockford 13.5 miles: Easy to advanced singletrack loops through wooded landscape with wetlands. Start at the Hilltop picnic area. Lebanon Hills Regional Park | Eagan 11 miles: Mostly intermediate: This course is a favorite for many. Mixture of rolling hills and technical singletrack. Woods provide secluded feel in suburban area. Minnesota River Trail | Bloomington 11 miles: Intermediate: Nicknamed Minnesota River Bottoms. Mostly singletrack winds through wooded area near river. Challenging trail that can be muddy after rain. Plenty of jumps and some obstacles. Murphy-Hanrehan Park | Savage 10 miles: This trails features glacial ridges, hilly terrain and an extensive, lush forest. This is a challenging trail and a favorite for mountain bikers. Salem Hills | Inver Grove Heights 4 miles: Gently rolling hills consisting of three loops: Harmon Park, Sawmill and Foul Pond Loop. Terrace Oaks | Burnsville 2.3 miles: Intermediate. Technical trail with lots of climbs and amazing descents. Theodore Wirth Park | Minneapolis 8 miles: Intermediate to advanced: Singletrack has twists and turns with many technical features. Challenging course and a great trail system consisting of five separate loops: North, South, Southwest, Brownie and Glenwood Loop. Just minutes from downtown Minneapolis. Sources: MNDNR, MORC


Steep drop at Kiwanis Park in Mankato. Clayton Haglund photo

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Stunning bluff country, meandering rivers and open prairies give Southern Minnesota a wide variety of natural terrain for mountain bikers to enjoy. Most of the popular locations are within an hour’s drive of the metro areas yet some of the best-kept mountain biking secrets can be found farther away. Camden State Park | Lynd 5.25 miles: Beginner to advanced: Mixture of fire roads and singletrack rolls through hardwood forests and prairie with a 1-mile section of rake-and-ride trail on top of the river valley. Caron Park | Faribault 3 miles: Intermediate singletrack trail with a dirt surface through a completely wooded area. Runs by Prairie Creek and features a natural waterfall. Trail is bi-directional. Eastwood Park| Rochester 5 miles: Three easy and two intermediate trails by Eastwood Golf Course. Trail is mostly wooded with many tight twists and turns along the Zumbro River. Ft. LeHillier Skills Trail | Mankato 1.5 miles: A short skills building area south of Mankato on the Blue Earth River with rollers and berms winding through the wooded riverbottom contours. This is a perfect trail to get new riders acquainted with their bike. Trails are bi-directional. Gamehaven Park| Rochester 12 miles: Five easy and two intermediate singletrack loops with scenic overlooks on Gamehaven Lake. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter. Henderson Trails | Henderson 1.5 miles: This system is new as of 2016, located in the Ney Nature Center near Henderson and has two single-direction trails: One is rated intermediate and the other difficult with berms, drops and a rock garden. Holzinger Lodge Trail | Winona 12 miles: Advanced. Some fire road, mostly singletrack. Steep periodically. Comparable to Colorado trails with less altitude. Kaplan's Woods | Owatonna 6 miles: Moderately difficult. Singletrack through woods. Some log jumps add challenges. Kiwanis Mountain Bike Trail | Mankato 7 miles: Two single-direction loops on the Minnesota River: A 5.7-mile intermediate loop and a 1.1-mile beginner loop. The short loop consists of rolling, berm-filled singletrack in the riverbottom land with no obstacles or challenging climbs for the novice rider. More advanced features and options like log piles, jumps and drops can be found on "B" lines with ride-arounds on the intermediate loop. A kids’ loop and skill park are accessible from the trailhead. Memorial Trail | Red Wing 7 miles: Beginner to advanced. Trail has many options from which to choose: long climbs, challenging obstacles, outstanding views, twisting singletrack. Mount Kato Ski Area | Mankato 7 miles: Mount Kato has roughly seven miles of cross country singletrack winding through the wooded hills of their ski area for novice to expert riders. Riders who like a climbing challenge will enjoy the challenging climbs and descents.

Minnesota Trails

mountain bike trails

Myre Big Island State Park | Albert Lea 7 miles: Intermediate. Well-marked singletrack. Runs through forested hills, by a lake. Lots of trails to choose from. Limited access when wet. A paved trail connects the park to Albert Lea. River Bend Nature Trails| Faribault 10 miles: Multi-use, dirt and grass trail is shared with hikers and travels through hardwoods along the Straight River and has scenic bluff views. Bring your camera. Nature Center has interpretive displays and the park is a great place to see wildlife. Sechler Park| Northfield 1.75 miles: Trail is designed to introduce beginners to mountain biking. It runs along the woods on the shore of the Cannon River and features some obstacles like logs and skinnies.

Seven Mile Creek | Mankato 9 miles: Seven Mile Creek’s multi-use bi-directional trails feature little technical challenge but some climbs and descents are steep and very challenging. Trails are gravel lined and are considered open in any weather. Traverse des Sioux trails | St.Peter 10 miles: This system consists of rolling and winding trail through the Minnesota River bottoms, weaving through the trees and over the undulating flood plain. The trails are bi-directional with trail difficulty rated easy and beginner friendly. These trails have some of the area’s best views of the Minnesota River. Sources: MNDNR, MORC, RAMBO, WAMBO, MAMB,




Faribault [fair-uh-boh] French n 1852 translates; great people, incredible fun.


Outdoor fun for everyone

www.redwing.org Spring 2017 15

mountain bike trails

Crosby - Ironton - Deerwood Bayy Lake La e - Cuyuna - Emily Emil

~ LODGING ~ Country Inn Deerwood 23884 Front St., Deerwood 218-534-3101 www.countryinndeerwood.com Deerwood Motel 23688 Forest Rd., Deerwood 218-534-3163 www.deerwoodmotel.com Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge 25039 Tame Fish Lake Rd., Deerwood (Open May-October) 218-678-2885 www.ruttgers.com Woodland Beach Resort 15596 Woodland Beach Lane, Deerwood 218-866-0711 www.woodlandbeachresort.com

~ EAT & DRINK ~ Cuyuna Brewing Co. 1 E Main Street, Crosby 320-894-4362 www.cuyunabrewing.com Deerstand Restaurant and Bar 24188 Mohs Street, Deerwood 218-534-9253 www.deerstandrestaurant.com Mixed Company - A Kava House 128 W Main St., Crosby 218-545-1010 Coffee Shop · Panini/Sandwiches · Ice Cream North Country Café 12 W Main St., Crosby 218-545-9908 Homestyle cooking w/friendly service. Woodtick Inn 24916 Minnesota Ave., Cuyuna 218-772-0252 All trails lead to the tick.

~ SERVICES ~ Cuyuna Lakes Chamber 221 4th St SW, Ironton 218-546-8131 www.cuyunalakes.com Cuyuna Regional Medical Center 320 E Main St., Crosby 218-546-7000 www.cuyunamed.org Cycle Path & Paddle 115 3rd Ave SW, Crosby 218-545-4545 www.cyclepathpaddle.com Deerwood Bank Deerwood-Garrison-Brainerd-Baxter 800-291-6597 www.deerwoodbank.com Jacobs Realty Hwy. 6 & 210, Crosby 218-546-8346 www.jacobsrealtymn.com Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union 117 W Main St., Crosby 218-546-5428 www.mmfcu.org

Contact Us for More Information

218-546-8131 • www.cuyunalakes.com 16 Spring 2017


This area offers more twists and turns and a greater chance to come across wildlife while rolling down a hill or along a hard-packed singletrack. While the trails may not be as well developed they have more of a wilderness experience. The terrain varies from the grasses along the Red River Valley to the wooded trails of the Chippewa National Forest. Agassiz Mountain Bike Trails | Fertile 20 miles: 2.5 miles of intermediate to advanced singletrack carved into the 150’ gorge of the Sand Hill River. Has logs, jumps, tight turns and downhill challenges. The remainder of the trail system is grassy, mowed double track. Rated easy to intermediate with lots of hills. Hayes Lake State Park | Roseau 5 miles: Beginner trail on grassy, level terrain in a wooded area. Lake Bemidji State Park | Bemidji 5 miles: Beginner to advanced. Well-maintained dirt and packed grass trails. Lake Bronson State Park | Lake Bronson 5 miles: Good variety of trails and loops through forest and prairie. Grass and gravel. Movil Maze | Bemidji 6.5 miles: This system lives up to its name, so bring a compass and use a map of the area.

Chippewa National Forest Trails Cut Foot Sioux Trail | Deer River 18 miles: Loop along old forest roads with gravel and sand. Simpson Creek Trail | Deer River 13 miles: Rolling topography through pines and along glacial eskers. Suomi Hills Trail | Marcell 19 miles: The remote trail is part of a semi-primitive non-motorized area. Trout Lake Trail | Marcell 11 miles: This is a short scenic trail in the woods. Sources: MNDNR, MORC, MMCC


There's great mountain biking in the heart of Minnesota. From the purpose-built red dirt ÅV^ [YHPSZ VM [OL *\`\UH SHRLZ [V [OL NYHUP[L V\[JYVWWPUNZ VM 8\HYY` 7HYR PU :[ *SV\K VY [OL lift-assisted downhill rides of Detroit Mountain to the wilderness of the Matthew Lourey State ;YHPS ULHY /PUJRSL` [OL JLU[LY VM [OL Z[H[L OHZ H great variety of trails to explore. Bertram Chain of Lakes Trail | Monticello 10 miles: This trail offers many options for all skill levels including a fast singletrack, switchbacks and a meandering doubletrack. Be ready to deal with logs, roots, wooden bridges. Black's Grove | Wadena 8 miles: Beginner to advanced trails that wind through a wooded setting. Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail System | Crosby/Ironton 25 miles: An IMBA Silver Level Ride Center. Singletrack trails from beginner to expert. Stunning views off overburden piles left from the area's mining days. Deep mine lakes offer refreshment after a hard ride. Detroit Mountain | Detroit Lakes 7 miles: This trail system has trails from beginner to expert. Ride contour flow trails, or take the lift up to the top and zip down the downhill flow trails, or ride the skills park. Connecting trail to Mountain View Rec Area. Minnesota Trails

Dunton Locks County Park | Detroit Lakes 4 miles: Trails along the shores between Lake Sallie and Muskrat Lake. Some wind through hardwood forested hills. Hillside Park | Elk River 6 miles: Advanced. An expert trail that is either climbing or descending for the entire course. Good skills practice. Maplelag | Callaway 12 miles: Mixture of challenging singletrack and grassy doubletrack. Milaca City Trails | Milaca 14 miles: A variety of trail options for riders of all skill levels. Most of the trails are singletrack. Mountain View Recreation Area | Detroit Lakes 3 miles: Singletrack through a mature, mixed hardwood forest. Trails are laid out to be challenging. Connects to Detroit Mountain. Jail Trail | St. Cloud 7.5 miles: Beginner to intermediate with advanced options. Singletrack trail runs through dense woods with sections along the fence of the Minnesota Correctional Facility. Quarry Park | St. Cloud 2.2 miles: Intermediate: Doubletrack with a mixture of gravel , dirt and grass around some granite outcroppings. Runs through a heavilywooded area with a few fairly technical sections. Bike over billion-year-old bedrock. River Bluffs Regional Park| St. Cloud 3 miles: Beginner singletrack loop near the Mississippi River. Saint Croix State Park | Hinckley 21 miles: Grassy trail in the woods with some dirt sections on the Matthew Lourey State Trail. Sources: MNDNR, MORC, MMCC

mountain bike trails


Rates Greaat ckages &P E ONLIN



Best Western Bemidji • Indoor Pool & Whirlpool • Free WIFI • Great Service • Free Hot Breakfast 242 2420 20 Paul Bunyan Dr. Bemidji, MN 56601

(877) 857-8599 (218) 751-0390 www.bestwestern.com/bemidji b t

keep on

adventuring 24-hour ATM 15 E MAIN ST CROSBY, MN 56441

Paved and mountain bike tours for all skills. Trails from 6 to 160 miles through parks, forests and along sparkling sky blue lakes. Bike rentals and shuttle service available.

VisitBemidji.com 877.250.5959 www.unitybanking.com

Minnesota Trails

Spring 2017 17

bike rides & tours

Ȉ ȏ %ɁNȽ 5ɁGȽV DɆG 7ɇXɊV 50 great events from short family rides to multi-day trips





St. Cloud








12741 Central Avenue NE ..................... 763-755-8871 www.pioneercycle.com

160 29th Avenue S .................................. 320-251-2453 www.revolutioncycleandski.com

102 S 29th Avenue .................................. 218-724-5101 www.stewartsbikesandsports.com

3020 Minnehaha Ave ............................. 612-729-0437 www.thehubbikecoop.org

16 Shady Oak Road S.............................. 952-938-8336 www.tonkacycleandski.com

11350 Aquila Drive.................................. 763-712-0312 www.trailheadcycling.com



1751 Cope Avenue E ............................... 651-770-1344 www.straussskatesandbicycles.com

Giant is the world leader in cycling innovation, combining engineering and manufacturing expertise to create bikes that are suited to every type of rider. 18 Spring 2017

Minnesota Trails

bike rides & tours



Location: Waconia, MN Email: ride@ironmanbikeride.org Website: ironmanbikeride.org Distance: 19, 26, 45, 55, 100 miles The Minnesota Ironman Bike is moving to a new location for 2017. Explore beautiful Carver County, starting and ending in Waconia.

Location: Park Rapids, MN Email: nicole@parkrapids.com Website: parkrapids.com Distances: 2-10 miles Bike Opener starts at Red Bridge Park on the Heartland Trail. A family-friendly, easy ride with fun kids' activities.

Sun., 04/30/2017

Sat., 05/20/2017



Sat., 06/03/2017

Location: Minnehaha Falls, MN Email: joatman@diabetes.org Website: www.diabetes.org/ twincitiestourdecure Distances: 7, 18, 29, 43, 62, 100 miles Join us for the Twin Cities Tour de Cure at Minnehaha Falls.

Sat., 05/13/2017

Location: Summit Brewery, Minneapolis Email: fundraisingsupport@nmss.org Website: main.nationalmssociety.org Distances: 12, 22, 40, 50 miles More than 1,000 riders choose their own challenge.


Fri., 05/19/2017 and Sat., 5/20/2017

Location: Spring Valley, MN Email: tymflion@harmomytel.net Website: www.almanzo100.bike The Almanzo 100 on Friday, and the Royal 162 and Alexander 380 on Saturday, are self-supported gravel road races through the rolling farmland and bluff country of southeastern Minnesota. A free event, part of Wilderfest in Spring Valley.

Minnesota Trails

The annual Bike Opener on the Heartland Trail in Park Rapids. Jan Lasar photo

ALS BIKE TREK MN Sat., 05/20/2017

Location: Big Marine Park Reserve, Marine on St. Croix, MN Email: alsbiketrekmn@als.net Website: www.alsbiketrekmn.com Distances: 14, 32, 54 miles The ALS Bike Trek MN is a family-oriented ride.

TOUR DE PEPIN Sat., 06/03/2017

Location: Lake City, MN Email: lcchamber@lakecity.org Website: http://lakecity.org/news-events/ tour-de-pepin/ Distances: 32, 50, 72, 100 miles Begin your tour in historic Lake City and end with a steamboat ride to get back to the start on the 50 and 100 mile routes.

Spring 2017 19

bike rides & tours TOUR OF LAKES Sat., 06/03/2017

Location: Crosslake, MN Website: www.paulbunyancyclists.com Distances: 35 and 65 miles This is a loop ride that begins and ends at Crosslake Community Center and winds through Paul Bunyan Country with views of lush forests and scenic routes.


Location: Hutchinson, MN Email: beth@vimm.com Website: www.hutchinsonrotary.org Distances: 12, 25, 50 miles A fun ride on roads and the paved Luce Line Trail. A 75K gravel grinder is new for 2017. All rides begin and end at the Crow River Winery.

A late September ride through Minnesota's northwoods on the Headwaters 100 Bike Ride. Jan Lasar photo

CARAMEL ROLL RIDE Sat., 06/10/2017

Location: Albany, MN Email: lwtevent@gmail.com Website: www.caramelrollride.com This is central Minnesota's annual “Beginning of Summer” ride on the Lake Wobegon Trail, with caramel rolls at each stop, through the area that gave birth to Garrison Keillor's legendary town.

A. T.

116 First Street Southeast Little Falls, MN 56345 (320)BLACK 632-5374 & WHITE THE View Our Menu Online www.attheblacknwhite.com 116 First Street Southeast Little Falls, MN 56345 (320) 632-5374

Large selection of Minnesota craft beers and wines from family-owned vineyards.



Location: Stillwater, MN Email: drumminglibrarian@hotmail.com Website: www.tourofminnesota.com Distances: 30-75 miles daily Starting in Stillwater and on to North Branch, Moose Lake, Superior, Danbury, St.Croix Falls/Taylors Falls, back to Stillwater.

Location: Avon, MN Email: lwtevent@gmail.com Website: www.ladyslipperride.com This is a short ride, about 6 miles round trip, to see the beautiful Lady’s Slipper orchids growing along the Lake Wobegon Trail.

Fri., 06/16/2017 to Fri., 06/23/2017

a work of

Sat., 06/17/2017


stone, marble, granite, polished cement, mosaic, mirror, hardwood, and glass.

Please visit us at:

ĎěĊė ĔĜēgallery Le Cordon Bleu trained chefs

115 1st St. NW, Little Falls, MN 56345 Originals, numbered and signed prints available.

320.224.3023 www.arivertown.com


June 16-23, 2017

April 30, 2017

Start in Stillwater, MN, on to North Branch, Moose Lake, Superior, Danbury, St. Croix Falls/Taylors Falls and back to Stillwater.

Come Ride with us in our New Location - WACONIA Multiple Route Choices All Rest Stops Indoors

Rest dayful in beautior, Superi WI


Over 300 scenic miles including the Sunrise Prairie, Willard Munger and Gandy Dancer Trails www.tourofminnesota.com 20 Spring 2017

Exceptional cycling, brewery and farm tours, daily happy hours, lovely Galena, IL, and great fun!


Find us at

IronmanBikeRide.org #bragging rights guaranteed

Minnesota Trails

bike rides & tours



Location: Bemidji, MN Email: mgilman@bemidjistate.edu Website: www.bikebemidji.com/ Distance: 17 miles Family-friendly bike ride around Lake Bemidji. Easy, paved route with festive rest stops and evening programs.

Location: Golden Valley, MN Email: info@tourdamico.org Website: http://tourdamico.org/ Distances: 29, 45, 62 miles Routes cover western metro area. Multiple supported rest stops with refreshments.

Sat., 06/17/2017

Tue., 07/04/2017


ROOT RIVER BLUFF & VALLEY BICYCLE TOUR Fri., 07/07/2017 to Sun., 07/09/2017

Location: Peterson, MN Email: russ@havefunbiking.com: Website: www.havefunbiking.com Distances: 50 to 60 miles each day Discover the magic of riding your bike in southeastern Minnesota's scenic driftless area.

Sat., 06/17/2017

Location: Little Falls, MN Email: cmnbikeclub@yahoo.com Website: www.cmnbikeclub.com Follow the Great River Road through Charles A. Lindbergh State Park to historic Blanchard Dam. A free ride with options of 20 and 40 miles.

Have ride photos to share? jan@mntrails.com

Shooting Star Bike Ride

Sat., June 24


Location: Rose Creek, MN Email: skjacobson@frontiernet.net Website: www.shootingstartrail.org Distances: 20, 40, 50, 62, 100 miles All routes are fully supported with rest stops and SAG support. See the ^PSKÅV^LYZ HUK WYHPYPL [OH[ ZV\[O^LZ[LYU Minnesota is famous for.


20 and 40 miles- trail only 50, 62, 100 road and trail


Sat., 06/24/2017 to Thu., 06/29/2017 Email: scscbiketour@yahoo.com Website: www.scscbiketour.com Five-day bicycle tour featuring the best of cycling in the driftless region of southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

WATERMELON RIDE Mon., 07/04/2017

Location: Shoreview, MN Email: watermelon@biketcbc.org Website: www.biketcbc.org/watermelon Distances: 15, 25, 50 miles The Twin Cities Bike Club's annual Fourth of July ride is a family favorite.

Details at mntrails.com/events

10thl Annua SATURDAY, JUNE 3, 2017 Minnesota Trails








A Rotary Sponsored Ride for Water Carnival


June 10th, 2017 12 MILES

3 Paved Bike Rides

Plus NEW 75K Gravel Grinder Start & Finish at Crow River Winery

Fully Supported Ride - TCBC Outreach Approved Ride Map & registration available at HutchinsonRotary.org




www.tourdepepin.com Spring 2017 21

bike rides & tours TOUR OF SAINTS



Location: St. Joseph, MN Email: info@bikemn.org Website: http://tourofsaints.com/ Distances: 18-50 miles It's not a race. It's a heavenly little ride through a pastoral landscape.

Location: Montgomery, MN Email: kolackydays@gmail.com Website: www.montgomerymn.org/ tourdebunbikeclassic Distances: 13, 33, 50 miles Three overlapping loops take you for a ride in the heart of Minnesota Czech Country in scenic Le Sueur County.

Location: Minnetonka, MN Email: tim.litfin@minnetonka.k12.mn.us Website: www.tourdetonka.org Distances: 16, 28, 40, 48, 57, 67, or 100 miles. Tour de Tonka is a scenic bike ride that travels through the Lake Minnetonka area and its surrounding communities.

Sun., 07/09/2017


Thu., 07/13/2017 to Sun., 07/16/2017 Location: Bloomington, MN Email: marni@redribbonride.org Website: www.redribbonride.org Red Ribbon Ride is a fully-supported bike tour to raise funds for HIV/AIDS services.

SPLIT ROCK TOUR Sat., 07/15/2017

Location: Ordean Building, Duluth, MN Email: twinportscyclery@gmail.com Website: www.veloduluth.com This bike tour will take you along the beautiful North Shore of Lake Superior with lake views and gentle rolling terrain.


Wed., 07/19/2017 to Sun., 07/23/2017 Location: Central, MN Email: fundraisingsupport@nmss.org Website: main.nationalmssociety.org Bike MS: TRAM Ride 2017 is a fully-supported cycling vacation in central Minnesota.

Sat., 07/29/2017

Sat., 08/05/2017



Location: Northfield, MN Email: lmars@save.org Website: www.save.org/event/tour-desave-northfield/ Join SAVE and local area cycling clubs for the 14th annual Tour de SAVE. The ride supports SAVE’s mission to prevent suicide through public awareness and education.

Location: Grand Rapids, MN Email: tourinfo@mesabitrail.com Website: mesabitrail.com Distances: 14, 26, 50, 67 miles Enjoy this unique riding experience on the Mesabi Trail, Minnesota's premier paved bicycle trail.

Sat., 07/29/2017


Sat., 08/05/2017 to Sat., 08/12/2017 Location: Garrison, ND Email: ndfm@restel.com Website: www.candisc.net Distance: 400 miles CANDISC cycles 400 miles of hills, dales and scenic roads in North Dakota every August. This year marks the 25th Anniversary.

Sat., 08/05/2017

KLUNKERFUNK Sat., 08/05/2017

Location: Ironton, MN Email: info@cuyunaklunkerride.com Website: www.cuyunaklunkerride.com Join the crew for this family-friendly ride and bring your funkiest klunker. It’ll be a day of riding, live music, prize drawings and you get to ride your rig in the klunker parade.


Sat., 08/12/2017 to Sun., 08/13/2017 Location: Duluth, MN Website: bikeduluthfestival.com/ The Kraus-Anderson Bike Duluth Festival is a chain-rattling Minnesota mountain and road biking event that you do not want to miss.


Wed., 08/23/2016 to Wed., 08/30/2016 Location: Park Rapids, MN Email: kerri@mywahooadventures.com Website: www.mywahooadventures.com Distances: 50 miles per day This tour travels from the Mississippi Headwaters all the way to LaCrosse, Wis. for a paddleboat cruise, then a return trip on the Amtrak Empire Builder.


Thu., 08/24/2017 to Sun., 08/27/2017 Location: Walker, MN Email: bambiketour@gmail.com Website: www.bambiketour.org/ Starts and ends in Walker with stops in Bemidji, Park Rapids and Staples. It is primarily a camping tour with limited hotel options. Great attractions along the way offer lots of fun.

Find MN Trails on:

22 Spring 2017

Minnesota Trails

bike rides & tours


Location: Two Harbors, MN Email: annualride@ggta.org Website: www.ggta.org/ Distances: 28, 37, 55 miles. Enjoy a supported, recreational ride on the Gitchi-Gami State Trail and scenic roads along Lake Superior’s amazing North Shore.

CARAMEL APPLE RIDE Sat., 09/09/2017

Location:Â Sauk Centre, MN Email:Â lwtevent@gmail.com Website:Â www.caramelappleride.com Enjoy the fall colors and great apple refreshments at all the rest stops, including caramel apples, in Lake Wobegon Trail Country. Take in a BBQ competition, car show and the Quilts on the Trail and Moonshine Madness events that day.

JESSE JAMES BIKE TOUR Sat., 09/09/2017

Location: Northfield, MN Website: jessejamesbiketour.org Distances: 12, 30, 45, 60, 100 miles ;OPZ MHI\SV\Z IPRL [V\Y PZ HU VMÄJPHS event of Defeat of Jesse James Days, one of Minnesota’s largest community celebrations. The best century ride around.

BAM riders celebrate after finishing their four-day tour. Jan Lasar photo


Sat., 09/09/2017 to Fri., 9/15/2017

Location:Â Northern Minnesota Email: ridemn1@gmail.com Website:Â www.ridemn1.org Distance: 346 miles Seven-day bike ride across Minnesota to raise awareness and funds to end cancer. The route, all on Highway 1 in northern Minnesota, is fully supported with stops PU ;OPLM 9P]LY -HSSZ 9LK 3HRL ,MĂ„L *VVR and Ely.

SEPTEMBER SONG Sat., 09/09/2017

Location: Rice Lake, WI Contact: 715-234-4127 Distance: 50 miles A free, self-supported bike ride held by the North Roads Bicycle Club since 1968.

Details at mntrails.com/events



SALES • SERVICE • RENTALS One block off Central Lakes Trail

611 3rd Ave. East ALEXANDRIA, MN

320-219-7433 jake@jakesbikes.com www.jakesbikes.com

CANDISC Tour 2017

AUGUST 5TH-12TH, 2017

“Victory Lap Tour� Begins & Ends in Garrison, ND 25th Silver Anniversary )HDWXULQJ )W 7RWWHQ +LVWRULF 6LWH

www.candisc.net 1-800-799-4242 Minnesota Trails

Spring 2017 23

bike rides & tours TASTE OF THE TRAIL Sat., 09/09/2017

Lanesboro, Whalan, Peterson

Sat., 09/16/2017

Fountain, Preston and Harmony

Sat., 09/23/2017

Houston, Rushford, Rushford Village Location: Root River and Harmony-Preston Valley Trail Email: info@rootrivertrail.org Website: www.rootrivertrail.org Three consecutive weekends each feature a different selection of towns.


Location: Richfield, MN Email: stacy@coloncancercoalition.org Website: http://coloncancercoalition.org Distance: 25 miles A ride to bring awareness to colon cancer awareness and screening.


Riders on the annual Ironman Bike Ride in April are a hearty bunch. Jan Lasar photo

Location: St. Paul, MN Email: info@bikemn.org Website: www.bikeclassic.org Distances: 15, 32, 47 miles +PZJV]LY [YHMÄJ MYLL NSLL VU 4PUULZV[H»Z biggest bike tour on the streets of St. Paul.



Location: Maple Grove, MN Email: kzammas@pancanvolunteer.org Website: http://support.pancan.org Distances: 8, 25, 50 miles PurpleRideStride is a signature event of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. A 5k run and walk is part of the celebration.

Location: Winona, MN Email: mbernatz@hbci.com Website: www.ridetheridges.bike Choice of four routes in southeastern 4PUULZV[H HSVUN [OL 4PZZPZZPWWP 9P]LY

Sun., 09/10/2017

Sat., 09/16/2017

Sat., 09/16/2017




… the LUCE LINE STATE TRAIL AmericInn 1115 Hwy. 7 E, Hutchinson 320-587-5515 www.americinn.com

Lillians 21 Main Street N, Hutchinson 320-234-3708 www.lillianshutch.com

Outdoor Motion 141 Main Street S, Hutchinson 320-587-2453 www.outdoormotionbikes.com

Crow River Winery 14848 Hwy. 7 E, Hutchinson 320-587-2922 www.crowriverwinery.com

Elena’s Bakery 8 Main Street N, Hutchinson 320-429-2253 www.elenasbakery.com

Zellas Restaurant 14 Main St. S, Hutchinson 320-587-9463 www.zellas.net

Hutchinson Chamber & Tourism 800.572.6689 | info@explorehutchinson.com 24 Spring 2017

Minnesota Trails

bike rides & tours



Location:Â Mora, MN Website:Â www.morabiketour.org Distances: 25, 50 miles The annual Mora Bike Tour starts and ends at the Vasaloppet Nordic Center. The YV\[L PZ NLULYHSS` Ã…H[ ^P[O TVZ[S` NLU[SL hills on the roads of Kanabec County.

Location:Â Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trails Email: info@cuyunalakesmtb.com Website:Â www.cuyunalakesmtb.com/ oremageddon.html Distances: 12, 25, 50 miles ;OL WYLTPLY TV\U[HPU IPRL YHJL VM [OL ZLHZVU VU ^VYSK JSHZZ TV\U[HPU IPRL [YHPSZ

Sat., 09/16/2017

Sat., 10/07/2017



Location: Minneapolis, MN Website: www.minneapolisbiketour.com Distances: 16, 32 miles :[HY[Z HUK LUKZ H[ ILH\[PM\S )VVT 0ZSHUK HUK MLH[\YLZ [^V M\SS` Z\WWVY[LK YV\[LZ that take riders through the spectacular WHYR HUK I`^H` Z`Z[LT VM 4PUULHWVSPZ [YHMÄJ MYLL

Location:Â Mankato, MN Email:Â info@bikemn.org Website:Â www.bikeriverramble.org Distances: 12, 26, 42 or 50 miles Savor the fall colors on this classic countryside ride.

Sun., 09/17/2017

Sun., 10/08/2017

The Caramel Apple Ride is a familyfriendly event. Jan Lasar photo

AUTUMN TREK Sun., 09/17/2017

Location:Â River Falls, WI Email:Â jmwebber@sbcglobal.net Website:Â www.rivervalleytrails.org/ Distances: 25, 45, 65 miles and 101-mile Century Super Challenge with over 8,200 feet of climb through Western Wisconsin.


Location: Fergus Falls, MN Email: clark@centrallakescycle.com Website: www.centrallakescycle.com/clc247-duathlon.html The Central Lakes Cycle 24/7 Duathlon ^PSS [HRL WSHJL VU [OL *LU[YHS 3HRLZ ;YHPS ( TPSL IPRL YPKL MVSSV^LK I` H TPSL Y\U VU [YHPSZ HUK WH]LK YVHKZ ÄUPZOPUN ^P[O H TPSL IPRL ZWYPU[ VU WH]LK YVHKZ


HEADWATERS 100 Sat., 09/23/2017

Location:Â Park Rapids, MN Email:Â bike@itascatur.org Website:Â www.itascatur.org Distances: 45, 75, 100 miles ;OL WYLTPLY MHSS L]LU[ PU 5VY[OLYU 4PUULZV[H [OL /LHK^H[LYZ OHZ ZVTL[OPUN MVY L]LY`VUL

May 20, 2017


Hike the North Country Trail Canoe the Crow Wing River State Water Trail Walk across the Mississippi River at Itasca State Park Bike the Heartland Trail




Find your

Adventure in Southeast Minnesota *(7+22.('2135(6721 &20 :$17 025(" 0,/(6 2) 3$9(' %,.( 75$,/6 Minnesota Trails

Spring 2017 25

Lake Bronson Br ron nso son on

Adventure Race Jan Lasar, Trails Editor


he Pink Ladies es b es bravely rraave ave veely lly y battled the Abominable Ab bo om min inab able le Snowwomen n an aand nd Organized Chaos went haao os os we w ent nt neck-to-neck with thee Bronson Bron Br Bron onso on Brawlers, but in the end end nd it it was was the wa th he Dog-on Dirty Shirts w who took home wh ho to ho ook ok h om o ome me the coveted trophy: A to moose ttoy ym mo oos osee on a slice of pinewood d with with itth glitter g ittte gl terr writing. ”Getting a little lost ost is is part part of of the fun”, said Pastor Frank Johnson to the crowd of about thirty people who had gathered in the far northwestern corner of Minnesota for the Lake Bronson Adventure Race on a cool and very windy day last May. Johnson, a Twin Cities transplant, now pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in nearby Hallock, was the organizer of this event. He’s a runner, biker and triathlete and tried to come up with ways to have more active events at the park in his new backyard.

Cortney Christensen, Jenna Halvorsen and Lindsey Evenson of Team Linortnna jump for joy. Jan Lasar photo

“I like the concept of an ǡ ϐ area more than a triathlon. It’s something anyone can do,” he said. The concept was easy: Teams competed to complete a list of tasks in the fastest time and under three hours to place. Not so easy was ϐ with a compass, map and GPS. There was a lot of pre-race commotion in front of the park visitor center that morning. some dressed in Adventure Racers, som running gear, some wea wearing jeans and T-shirts with their team name names over bulky mil coats, milled around, chatted, laughed l and jumped in i place to war Bushes keep warm. and grasses grasse were beginn just beginning to show signs of green. At 9:30 a.m. Frank Johnson sta started the large digital digita race clock, t and ten teams of three rran or biked off in different The “Strong “Stron is the New Skinny” tea team of Bethany Folland, L Leola Schultz, and Mariah Ma Olson, gathers information info from an interpretive interpr sign at Lake Bronson Brons State Park. Jan Ja La Lasar a photo

26 Spring 2017

directions to be swallowed by the woods. The sound of the wind was the backdrop to their whoops and hollers as they made their way to ϐ Ǥ They had three hours to bike, run or walk from station to station and were given the coordinates for the next mission only after completing one. Johnson designed each task to show off some of the history, geology and ecology of Lake Bronson State Park, and combined it with elements of orienteering and geocaching, by having racers study interpretive signs on the Aspen Parklands Trail, pump water from Lake Bronson with a ǡ ϐ a GPS unit or read the headstones at the Pioneer Cemetery for clues. Catching pingpong balls dropped from the iconic WPA water and observation tower was thrown in just for fun-not an easy task in the windy conditions that day. “I come to the park each year ϐ new things that people have never done here. Showing off what it has to offer is the impetus behind the route planning,” he said. It was so windy, that instead of canoeing across Lake Bronson to the Pioneer Cemetery at the southern end of the park, racers were told to bike around the lake Minnesota Trails

to gather their clues. The racers didn’t mind biking in the wind. They were out to have a good time, just like Johnson intended for his second annual event, which he said took “a couple of months of intensive planning.” He’s the creator and organizer of the Lake Bronson Adventure Race and even made the trophies, but credits its success to his staff of 20 church and community volunteers and park ranger Diane Peterson. “I was a little nervous to approach the DNR with the idea of an adventure race, because it was a new concept for them, but the park staff was excited to have this event out here and they jumped right on board with it,” he said. Park Ranger Jack Pellinen said "It’s good to see so many people come out to the park and use it to be active this time of year,” because Lake Bronson State Park, just about 20 miles from Canada and North Dakota, sees few visitors before May. Ǧ ϐ ʹǣͲͻǣͳ͸ took home the moose trophy that day, but church volunteer Liz LaPlant, from nearby Hallock, saw more ϐ ǣ Dz away from electronics,” she said.

Mason Bring pumps drinking water from Lake Bronson. “Just Talent #Family” teammates Keylee Dahl and Serena Ratzlaff wait their turn. Jan Lasar photo

Lake Bronson Adventure Race | May 13, 2017 www.graceredriver.com/adventurerace

Steven Sjostrand, Evan Bernstrom, and Loren Youngren (Team “Dog-on Dirty Shirts”) check the GPS coordinates for their next challenge. Jan Lasar photo Minnesota Trails

Spring 2017 27


:DWHUIDOO :RQGHUODQG Tom Watson, Outdoor Writer

In 2012 I took a North Shore trip to Tettegouche State Park, where I fell in love with Two Step Falls. There’s just something about a waterfall.

–– Lisa Crayford

High Falls


uickly now, think “waterfalls” in the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota. The most famous ones come easy: Minnehaha, the double drop of Minneopa, perhaps even the Hidden Falls at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. Lisa Crayford can spout off those and a dozen more. And that’s her short list! As a master photographer and the author of Waterfalls of Minnesota, a photo guide to over one hundred waterfall drops and cascades through the state, Lisa combines two loves, waterfalls and hiking, into an outdoor activity she can enjoy from one end of 28 Spring 2017

Minnesota to the other. “In 2012 I took a North Shore trip to Tettegouche State Park, where I fell in love with Two Step Falls,” recounts Crayford. “There’s just something about a waterfall,” she adds. For Crayford, the quest for that certain "something" has encouraged her to visit nearly every waterfall, from ϐ Johnson Falls deep within the BWCA, to the somewhat elusive Minnemishinona Falls within a few miles of Mankato’s highly-popular Minneopa Falls. Over one hundred of these natural water wonders are

Barrier Falls

Dry Falls

ϐ her book. Minnesota’s waterfalls and cascades are scattered throughout the state: 19 in the southern region, from the Twin Cities southward, including Redwood Falls, Pipestone and the 60-foot underground waterfall at Niagara Cave, to scores more in the northern half - 46 in the North Shore region alone. Ten Minnesota state parks feature waterfalls in their list of natural attractions including Banning, Temperance River, Judge Magney, Tettegouche and, of course the massive cascading steps in the falls at Gooseberry State Park. The 120All photos by Lisa Crayford Minnesota Trails

Upper Falls Brule River

foot drop in the Pigeon River near Grand Portage is Minnesota’s tallest waterfall. To encourage waterfall seekers to hike and photograph Minnesota’s waterfall wonderland, Crayford ϐ photographing these spectacular water displays. “Most of the hikes to falls are pretty short,” says Crayford, and adds, “and some are well off the beaten Minnesota track.” She highly has more than recommends one hundred searches for "waterfalls" on waterfall both Google drops and ϐ Ǧ cascades. essential tools for learning how to get to remote, Ǧ Ǧ Ǧ Ǥ Dz ̵ want to go in blind, especially out in the boondocks,” she warns. Crayford says spring is “always the best time of year, ϐ ǡdz Dz Ǧ Ǥdz Along the North Shore most major ϐ Ǧ fantastic winter settings, too. Photographing the lush scenery, dramatic rock outcroppings and ϐ ǡ best images possible. A steady tripod is necessary whenever shooting at the slow shutter speeds needed to capture ϐ waterfall. A cable release or timer keeps any shutter release motion to a mininum. Crayford recommends setting a digital camera’s ISO number to 100. “It will yield the greatest detail, sharpness, effects and color accuracy.” Among the Minnesota Trails

other photography tips in her book, she suggests slower shutter speeds of 1/8 second or slower “to produce Ǥdz Lighting is critical for capturing the full essence and grandeur of a waterfall. Because midday or full, bright sun can cause harsh shadowing and bright spots in the image, Crayford recommends early morning or late afternoon for optimum light conditions; or cloudy days. “On overcast days you don’t have any hot spots on your waterfall,” she says. It’s also important to frame the waterfall and include some foreground element to give it all perspective. In Crayford’s book, she also emphasizes the best shooting position for waterfalls. “Shoot from the top, bottom or side of the falls but always try to keep one side of the image frame parallel to the ground. Basically , treat the waterfall like a piece of architecture.” Some of Minnesota’s most spectacular waterfalls are also its most remote. Finding them and services of a backcountry guide. The journey to Johnson Falls

Devils Falls

across three lakes connected by portage and “one hell of a hike,” remembers Crayford. For beginners, she suggests starting out with Gooseberry Falls and Devil’s Kettle along the North Shore or the Hidden Falls at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. Whether it’s the seven metro waterfalls, those in ten state parks, or the scores of breathtaking cascading and plunging rivers roaring above Lake Superior, Crayford stresses that the main thing is to “get out and explore so much beauty.”

e arth BluE Upper Falls Brule River



Come for the fun, stay for the memories Paved Bike & Walking Trail Campsites & Cabins Public Landing & Fishing Piers Family Aquatic Center Historic Downtown & Antique Shops Fourth of July Fireworks Join us for

Buttered Corn Days August 18 & 19, 2017 Visitors Information f



photo credit: Taylor Smith

Brewery, Shopping, Antiques, and Coffee Shop RIGHT IN THE


• WALK/BIKE Trails • GIANT PARK with 55’ Green Giant statue & tourist info. • Camping • Lodging • Water Park • Fun-Food-Festivals

www.blueearthchamber.com h b

507.526.2916 chamber@bevcomm.net Spring 2017 29


Tom Watson Outdoor Writer

Raptor Center I

magine for a moment you’re hiking in a park and come across a Bald Eagle frantically struggling along the ground Ǥ ϐ response should be contacting a park ranger - and it’s where they make the next call that may very well save this eagle’s life.

The Raptor Center (TRC) at the University of Minnesota is a hospital and rehab center for eagles, hawks and other raptors. Its mission is to help birds recover from injuries and ailments through treatment and personalized rehabilitation. Over 800 injured or sick raptors are treated at the Raptor Center each year. Bald Eagles, RedTailed Hawks, Great Horned and Barred Owls are the most common More than 800 injured or “patients” treated. Recovered sick raptors are treated at the birds are released back into the Raptor Center each year. wild; those that wouldn’t survive in the wild are featured in ongoing educational programs that introduce the public to raptor behavior, habitat and threats to their environment. Besides injuries, TRC is deeply engaged in the battle against lead poisoning from bullets and pellets ingested when feeding upon unrecovered game or in ϐ hunters. Of the 120-plus bald eagles brought to TRC annually, 90 percent suffer from elevated lead residue, a quarter of which ultimately succumb to fatal lead poisoning. Since 1992, over 500 eagles have died as a result of ingesting lead. Their research has directly linked this poisoning to A Great Horned Owl that was rescued by the Raptor Center. Terri Dinesen photo hunting seasons where lead

30 Spring 2017

Jeff Payne releases a Bald Eagle as part of a 2015 fall release raptor event. Les Conrad/Raptor Center photo

ammunition was allowed. Carol Henderson of the DNR’s Ecological and Water Resource Division, in conjunction with TRC staff, is developing a program addressing lead ammunition's effect on birds during presentations at Minnesota state parks prior to the state’s fall deer hunting season. “Probably the most innovative effort by the Division of Parks and Trails relating to raptor rescue and rehab,” says Henderson, are “training sessions for parents and youth who will be participating in the youth-mentored deer hunts in the [state] parks.” The presentation’s focus is the “importance of using nontoxic copper ammunition so that … raptors in our state parks will not be poisoned by tiny lead bullet fragments that are otherwise embedded in the gut piles after a deer is taken with a lead bullet or shotgun slug.” ϐ observations in which several Bald Eagles, ravens and hawks completely consumed a deer gut pile (and presumably any lead fragments) in a couple of hours. “Instead of waiting for the eagles and other raptors to become poisoned,” she says, “we are doing a preventative conservation effort Minnesota Trails

to encourage hunters to switch to copper ammo.” Programs offered through TRC are both pre-structured and tailor ϐ ǣ The Raptors of Minnesota features an introduction to the many varieties of birds in Minnesota; Summer Camps offer a series of raptorrelated programs; Our Feathered Friends targets audiences of pre-K through grade 2.

ϐ ǡ you can contact your local state park or the MNDNR Department ǡ Ǥ Ǥ

ǯ ϐ Ǥ Our state parks are living history museums where the displays are alive and free ǡ Ǥ Raptor Center’s recovery and rehabilitation efforts and outreach to the public make it an invaluable asset to our state parks' raptor wildlife populations. A Rough-legged hawk in the recovery program at the Minnesota Raptor Center. Terri Dinesen photo

Helping an injured raptor: • Do not attempt to rehabilitate or treat a raptor on your own. • B_ rhn fnlm aZg]e^ hk fho^ Z [bk]% Ûklm cover it with a blanket or towel; wear gloves and safety glasses; carefully and gently fold its wings and place it in a transport container. • Transport birds in plastic dog kennels with ventilation, not wire bird cages. The container should be only slightly larger than the bird.

• Never feed or water injured birds unless instructed by a professional handler. • Handle the bird as little as possible. • Keep the bird in a dark, quiet, calm and warm environment, keep it away from children and pets. • Get the bird to a vet or wildlife authority as soon as possible.


About the writer: Tom Watson

National Eagle Center Wabasha, MN

Minnesota Trails

Visitors from around the world come to the National Eagle Center in Wabasha to every year. Submitted photo

Tom Watson is an accomplished outdoor writer, columnist and photographer.. He has written severall guide books, including Bestt Tent Camping-Minnesota and 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Minneapolis. His new book, Best Minnesota Camper Cabins, is coming out in April of 2017. See his presentation at the Spring Outdoor Adventure Expo at Midwest Mountaineering.

Spring 2017 31

Rudi Hargesheimer, Outdoor Writer

Prairie Dancers Watching prairie chickens at Bluestem Prairie Preserve and Buffalo River State Park


ne hour before sunrise on March 29, Don and Jean Kaddatz of Mora, Minn., walked the grassland path to their assigned blind.

ϐ Prairie Chicken viewing season at Bluestem Prairie Preserve near Moorhead, shafts of intermittent moonlight pierced the night skies and one could hear the soft cackling of birds. “This is our third visit here. We look forward to each visit to the booming grounds with anticipation of hearing the sounds and seeing the prairie chickens dance,” Don said. warm clothes and stocking hats and

ducked into their small shelter. Soon the prairie chickens arrived on the grass in front of the blind. Sandhill cranes, tundra swans and Canadian geese as well as mallard ducks were in the air. Prairie chickens were once common all across the Minnesota ϐ Ǧ environments in the northwest corner of the state. The prairie chickens arrive just before dawn to their preferred courting areas known

A male Greater Prairie Chicken shows its bright colors to attract a female. Steve Maanum photo

Viewing blind on the booming grounds. Rudi Hargesheimer photo 32 Spring 2017

Minnesota Trails

as leks or booming grounds. Short grasses at the lake allow the males to show their stuff to all the other males, and of course, to the females they are hoping to woo. The mating ritual is a sight and sound to behold. The males “boom” with a deep echoing low hum that can be heard up to a mile-and-onehalf away. Simultaneously, other chickens cackle continuously. It is a joyously noisy affair. The males strut about, raising their neck feathers to a vertical position and exposing puffed up orange neck sacks from which the booming sounds are delivered. At the same time they dance with quick foot movements, twist in circles, raise their big tails and ward off competing males. Sonia Winters of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) explains, “The females show up in late April to admire the show and pick a mate. That’s when the hooting starts. Booms and cackles and hoots all at the same time.” But for all this boastful behavior only a few of the more dominating males succeed in mating with females. The Kaddatzes, as well as hundreds of other lucky Minnesotans, watch the displays along with the female prairie chickens. For the humans the ϐ Ǥ TNC of Minnesota manages Bluestem Prairie Preserve’s 6,078 acres of native and restored prairie. The Minnesota DNR co-manages ͳǡ͵ͳͲ ϐ Natural Area. The preserve is recognized as one of the largest and highest quality tall-grass prairies in the nation.

Minnesota Trails

Every spring TNC erects two blinds, each accommodating up to four people. Blinds are not much more than plywood shacks with a single bench and windows that can be opened. Only two groups are allowed in each morning during the April to May booming season. Admission is free, but reservations ϐ quickly. Viewers have to arrive one hour before sunrise and stay at least until 8:30am. The birds would be disturbed and abandon the lek if these rules were not observed. Adjacent to the Bluestem Prairie Preserve, on its northern border, is Buffalo River State Park. The river cuts through ancient glacial Lake Agassiz’s Campbell Beach as it slopes upward from the ϐ of Hawley. Cottonwoods, elm, ash, poplar and oak line the riverbanks, offering welcome shade in the otherwise open grasslands. Over 250 ϐ can be found here, including some now rare in Minnesota. 200 species of birds are present in the park. Most famously, the park is known as the

prairie chicken park. The park has seven miles of prairie and woodland trails, a heavily-used picnic area, wonderful swimming hole, and fortythree campsites. Lance Webb from Fargo, a brand new bird enthusiast donning a camera with a huge birding lens, was checking out the park. He said, “Birds are just beautiful. I am so happy to have discovered the world of birds. And this park is a gem, an ideal mix of prairie and woods, great for us folks living in the Fargo area”. Yes, Fargo residents like our Minnesota parks for the same reasons Minnesotans should embrace this park and the neighboring Bluestem Prairie. This is fascinating country!

Two males compete for attention in the lek. Steve Maanum photo

Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society: www.prairiechickens.org The Nature Conservancy: www.nature.org

Spring 2017 33

Lookout Mountain

Luther Kemp, Outdoor Writer

Mountain bike partnerships hg Fbgg^lhmZ l Iron Range


o build world-class mountain bike trails you need great partnerships with landowners, sponsors and willing volunteers. A good example of a very effective partnership is the completion of the Lookout Mountain Bike Trails near Virginia, Minn., in the Superior National Forest. The Iron Range Off-Road Cyclists (IROC), a chapter of the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA), began their journey in October 2012 with the goal of building more singletrack mountain bike opportunities across the Iron Range. It all started when a couple of mountain bikers explored the ski trails and former ski hill north of Virginia. They immediately saw tremendous potential, because Lookout Mountain has everything you need for a great mountain biking experience: Beautiful hardwood trees, amazing views, giant rocks and changes in elevation on the mountain. The next step was to contact the landowners to see if it was possible

Greg Smith coming down the rock garden on Lookout Mountain trail. Paul Pluskwik photo

to build some singletrack there. After a few meetings, IROC and the United States Forest Service (USFS) created a partnership. The USFS performed an environmental study and gave the group the green light to start building trails. Over the next three years a core group of three dedicated volunteers began to pour thousands of hours into hand-building six miles of trail. The USFS supported them by providing tools and volunteers from the Iowa Conservation Corps and Youth Conservation Corps. Lookout Mountain continued to

Representatives of IROC, USFS, and the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce at the ribbon cutting ceremony last September. Paul Pluskwik photo 34 Spring 2017

get better and more popular every year as the trail expanded. With the popularity came some complaints, the biggest being that the climb to the top of the mountain was too ϐ Ǥ evaluated an alternate route, but determined there was no way to re-route without bringing in some equipment and professional trail builders and that meant fundraising. The IROC crew began to search for donors and received a $5,500 grant from the Iron Range Resource and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) and $2,050 from the Minnesota Power Foundation. With money lined up, the next ϐ builder and IROC contracted with local builder Adam Harju, owner of Dirt Candy LLC, to machine-build the challenging reroute of the climb. Harju, along with some local volunteers, made quick work of the trail re-route despite the wet and slimy conditions last year. The result is an absolutely stunning series of berms and rock garden that is a blast to ride up or down. The trail system provides up to ten miles of challenging singletrack with amazing views and beautiful trees along the way. The old route was very much a climb straight up the hill and only ǡ ϐ top. The new re-route makes the ascent easier. It’s still a challenge, Minnesota Trails

but much more fun than it was. Once you get to the top it’s mostly rolling hills through a beautiful forested landscape. There are a few large rock features and some challenging intermediate skill level sections. To celebrate the accomplishments of the volunteers from IROC and the Superior National Forest, they held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 22, 2016, with many media outlets, local ϐ mountain bike enthusiasts present. The story of the Lookout Mountain Bike Trail is a display of what a small group of dedicated individuals can accomplish with hard work, communication, organization and good stewardship of the land. Positive relationships and strong partnerships were the key to this successful, community-based project. For now there are no immediate plans to expand Lookout Mountain. The group is working on other projects at Maple Hill Park in Hibbing and a proposed bike park ǡ ϐ out some groomed winter fat bike trails. Giants Ridge Resort in nearby Biwabik is also planning to build some singletrack in the summer of 2017. The momentum for mountain biking on the Iron Range is shifting.

We are moving to Silver Lake April 2017! Everyone welcome. OPEN EVERY DAY.


For more information and to support the efforts of IROC, visit their website www.iroc-mtb.org or send them an email: iroc.mtb@gmail.com

Pe ete te Ker ero oa an nd d da aug ught h er er A Aid id da ri ridi diing d g tthe he e be be egi giinner g nn ner er lo oo op. p. Pa Pau ull Plu l sk skwi wik ph phot phot otto o



Still in Virginia and still off the Mesabi Trail!! 218.741.4663 • naturalharvest.coop

Open O pen year ear rround ound

For our guests hitting the trails a boxed breakfast & shuttle service are available.

2810 Meyers Bay Road, Grand Rapids, MN 218-999-5795 • www.greenheronbandb.com Minnesota Trails

Join us for the Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour - 1st Saturday in August Spring 2017 35


Trails Q & A

Snapshots of people we meet along the trail

Brittany Pals

Jake Kostuck

Jim Henn

Seen: Picking wild asparagus and walking her dogs Moose, the Chihuahua, and Buddy, the English Pointer, with her husband Tyler on the Casey Jones Trail.

Seen: Riding the mountain bike trails at Bluffside Park in Winona. Gear: BMC Team Elite 3 mountain bike with 2.2” Race King tires. Occupation: Student of Exercise Science and Gymnastics team coach at Winona State University. Best Minnesota Experience: Competing in the Minneapolis Triathlon. The course around the ÃVi V > ià Ü>à y>Ì > ` v>ÃÌ° Worst Minnesota Experience: Having to walk two miles down from the top of Garvin Heights *>À 7 > LiV>ÕÃi v > y>Ì tire after struggling to get up there. How many miles do you bike a year? About 200. Advice for new bikers: Learn to handle a regular bike before you go mountain biking. Favorite Minnesota place: Red Wing’s mountain bike trails. They have a lot of man-made features like bridges. With $1,000 I would: Make car payments. Trail Treat: A burger at Culver’s. Future Minnesota plans: Go to Spirit Mountain in Duluth.

Seen: Hiking the North Country Trail near Itasca State Park on a DNR-led hike to celebrate 125 years of state parks in Minnesota.

Seen: Campground host for Glacial Lakes State Park with his friend, Thomas Berrett.

Gear: Hiking pole, High Sierra hydration backpack with clipon REI thermometer/compass, Garmin GPS watch.

Best Minnesota Experience: Being able to help people and be outdoors at the same time as a campground host.

Pipestone, MN

Gear: > i L>V L>V «>V w i` with water and dog treats. Best Minnesota Experience: The wide open space of the Casey Jones Trail. Favorite place to walk: Casey Jones Trail and Blue Mound Trail from Luverne to Blue Mounds State Park. How much do you walk a year? Not sure, but I get more than my 10,000 steps in each day. My step counter says so. Advice for new walkers: Bring water and know where you’re going. Trail Treat: Pipestone Dairy King, a small local ice cream shop. With $1,000 I would: Pay off some bills. How much asparagus did you pick today? Enough to feed 10 people.

Winona, MN


36 Spr Spring p ing ng 2017 2017

Bemidji, MN

Occupation: Retired now, but used to work for Vail Resorts. Best Minnesota Experience: Hiking with wife Barb. Worst Minnesota Experience: Getting blisters on my feet while hiking the Superior Hiking Trail. How many miles do you hike a year? Over 100. Trail Treat: Trail mix and Milky Way. Advice for new hikers: Don’t bite off more than you can chew when it comes to hiking and smell the roses. With $1,000 I would: Buy a new pair of downhill skis. Future Minnesota plans: Try to keep up with Barb and hike more.

Luke Mellman St. Paul, MN

Gear: DNR issue vest and hat.

Worst Minnesota Experience: A hailstorm broke the awning of our camper. Why did you choose Glacial Lakes State Park? Thomas has family connections to the park. How long have you been a campground host? This is our wÀÃÌ Ì i° What made you decide to become a host? We plan on hiking the Appalachian Trail and you can easily get in 10-mile practice hikes at this park. What are your responsibilities as a host? Answer questions and Ãi wÀiÜ `] V iV L>Ì À supplies and check for fallen trees after a storm. Trail Treat: Foil packets with potatoes, carrots and hamburger V i` ÛiÀ Ì i V> «wÀi° With $1,000 I would: Put it towards our Appalachian trip.

Minnesota Minnes Min nesota nes ota Trails T ail Tr ailss

Northwest Angle

Lake of the Woods Lost River

Garden Island Zippel Bay

Parks, Trails, Forests, Rivers

Franz Jevne Rainy Lake Trai


Smokey Bear

Beltrami Island

International Falls

Thief Lakes

Old Mill

Pine Island

Voyageurs National Park

Upper Red Lake


Red Lake




Fo Koochiching rk Riv er

Fo rk

Riv er

Grand Marais

Fergus Falls

Ottertail River


Terr e Riv er

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Pom m

Sauk River


Monson Lake


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Glacial Lakes Trail



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Shurburne National



Lake Maria


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Two Harbors

Jay Cooke

Maps • Guides • Features STATE PARKS




St. Croix


Wild River


Interstate William O’Brein


Browns Creek Trail

Grand Rounds

Willmar Lac qui Parle

Gateway Trail

l Luce Line Trai Upper Sioux Agency



Hutchinson inn

Dakota Trail




Fort Snelling

MN National Wildlife Refuge


Not for Navigation March 2016





Minnesota Valley

r Rive ood onw Cott

Pipestone National Monument


Casey Jones Trail

Split Rock Creek

Lake Shetek

Nerstrand Big Woods

Mankato Minneopa

Watonwo n River

Sakatah Singing Hills Trail

Straight River

Regional Trail Camden

Frontenac GoodhuePioneer

Cannon Valley Trail

Sakatah Lake



Marshall Camden

Red Wing er Cannon Riv

Fair Ridge Trail

Rice Lake

Douglas Trail

Kilen Woods

r ive at R rail Greidge T Whitewater R


Des Moines River

35 Blue Mounds Blue Mounds Trail

Zum bro R

Fort Ridgely

Albert Lea Blazing Star Trail

Find More Maps at www.MNTrails.com


Carlos Avery


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St. Cloud

Moose Lake


Glacial Lakes


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St. Croix

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Wob eg

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Big Stone National


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Rum River


Lak e

Mille Lacs


Soo Line

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Father Hennepin

Soo Line Trail

Gooseberry Falls



Fond du Lac

Willard Munger Trail


Lake Mille Lacs


Charles A. Lindbergh

Savanna Portage

Rice Lake National

Mille Lacs Kathio

Long Prairie River


Big Stone Lake

Brainerd Crow Wing

Lake Carlos

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Ce nt ra lL ak es Tr ail

North Country Trail



Wing River

Glendalough Trail


Cuyuna Country Rec. Area







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Whiteface River

Sunrise Prairie Hardwood Creek Trail



Cloquet Valley

Kettl e

Pine River Paul Bunyan Trail

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Split Rock Lighthouse

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Hill River


Foot Hills




Trail North Country


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Hill Annex Mine

Schoolcraft Golden

Leech Lake


Park Rapids

George H. Crosby Manitou



Heartland Trail

Smoky Hills

North Country Trail



Grand Rapids

r ive

Moorhead Buffalo River

Migizi Trail

rail bi T


Two Inlets

River Superior National Forest Temperance River


ipp iss iss

Tamarac National


Bear Island

Bear Head Lake

Finland Bowstring Lake Winnibigoshish

Paul Bunyan Trail

White Earth

Soudan Underground Mine


Red River

Itasca State Park

Chippewa National Forest


Bemidji Paul Bunyan

McCarthy Beach George Washington

iT ra i

Itasca Wilderness Trail

Grand Portage

Judge Pat Bayle C.R.Magney


Vermilion State Park

Sturgeon River


Buena Vista

Grand Portage



Big Fork

Lake Bemidji

Border Route Trail

Kekekabic Trail

Tra il

Lower Red Lake



r ive

Red Lake R Red River Rec. Area



Thief River Fall

R lion mil Ver

Big Bog Rec. Area

Agassiz National

La ke Su pe rio rW at er

Hayes Lake

Twin Lakes

tc h

Lake Bronson


Roseau River

Myre Big Island


John A. Latsch




Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood

Riv er

Root River Trail Shooting Star Trail


Lake Louise

Forestville/ Mystery Cave

HarmonyPreston Valley Trail

Great River Bluffs

Beaver Creek Valley


Give Invasive Species The Brush Off. Minnesota Trails

Spring 2017 37

Business Directory Online & In Print $250/annually • Call Jan @320-266-5132

Northeastern MN

Metropolitan MN

Northwestern MN

Southern MN

2010 Hwy. 210 E., Fergus Falls www.centrallakescycle.com


115 3rd Avenue SW, Crosby www.cyclepathpaddle.com



208 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis www.behind-bars.com











218-751-(BIKE) 2453

316 NE 4th Street, Grand Rapids www.itascatrailsports.net 611 3rd Avenue E, Alexandria www.jakesbikes.com

100 Mill Road, Park Rapids e-mail: northerncycle@charter.net 117 3rd Street NW, Bemidji e-mail: northerncycle@charter.net


160 29th Avenue South, St. Cloud www.revolutioncycleandski.com


124 2nd Street NE, Little Falls www.tourightbicycleshop.com


14843 Edgewood Drive, Baxter ^^^ [YHPSISHaLYIPRLZTU JVT



BOKOO BIKES & PADDLE SPORTS 550 Lake Drive, Chanhassen 952-934-6468 CARS BIKE SHOP




2661 Co Road I & Old Hwy 10, Mounds View www.CarsBikeShop.com 6028 Hwy 36 Blvd N, Oakdale www.gatewaycycle.com




A quick and easy reference for planning your adventure!


700 N Chestnut Street, Chaska www.michaelscycles-mn.com






12741 Central Ave., NE, Blaine www.pioneercycle.com 6825 Hwy. 10 NW, Ramsey www.ramseybicycles.com


1751 Cope Avenue E, Maplewood www.straussskatesandbicycles.com







16 Shady Oak Road S, Hopkins www.tonkacycleandski.com


Find your trail. . .


9500 Spirit Mountain Place, Duluth www.spiritmt.com

218-628-2891 800-642-6377

Biking! Holdingford

. . . share the story Minnesota Trails magazine accepts freelance articles depicting people using Minnesota parks and trails. Log onto www.mntrails.com for more details. 38 Spring 2017


16731 Hwy. 13 S, Prior Lake www.michaelscycles-mn.com

100 Chestnut Ave., Carlton www.carltonbikerental.com


141 Main Street South, Hutchinson www.outdoormotionbikes.com


11350 Aquila Drive, Suite 505, Champlin ^^^ [YHPSOLHKJ`JSPUNHUKÄ[ULZZ JVT


Nisswa Square, Nisswa, MN ^^^ [YHPSISHaLYIPRLZTU JVT





415 Washington Street, Brainerd www.easyridersbikes.com 105 7th Avenue S, St. Cloud ^^^ Ä[aOHYYPZTU JVT





6489 Cahill Avenue, Inver Grove Heights www.bike-king.com




Home of the Lake Wobegon Trail Covered Bridge Explore the newest stretch of Lake Wobegon Trail and bike the new Soo Line Trail!

SEE WHERE HISTORY HAPPENED. Visit our 26 historic sites and museums throughout Minnesota.


Visit us Online www.holdingfordmn.us Ad courtesy of Holdingford Municipal Liquor ¥ On Sale/OȔ Sale 320-746-2264 Cyclists Welcome!

Minnesota Trails


218-224-3519 218-731-5026





32287 Mississippi Road, Walker www.embracingpines.com 11058 Steamboat Loop, Walker www.leechlakebb.com 310 3rd St SE, Little Falls www.wallerhouseinn.com


5 miles from Taylors Falls www.countrybedandbreakfast.us


2810 Meyers Bay Road, Grand Rapids www.greenheronbandb.com



11 Poplar Creek Drive, Grand Marais www.boundarycountry.com


324 Broadway, Alexandria www.centrallakestrail.com


112 Washington Ave. W, Fergus Falls www.visitfergusfalls.com



PO Box 268, Nevis www.nevischamber.com











14084 Baxter Drive, STE 12, Brainerd www.visitbrainerd.com 2 Main St., Hutchinson www.explorehutchinson.com

100 Milwaukee Road, Lanesboro www.lanesboro.com P.O. Box 657, Preston MN www.prestonmntourism.com 530 Wilson Ave., Faribault www.visitfaribault.com


15782 Wilderness Drive, Lake Itasca www.bertscabins.com


MISSISSIPPI HEADWATERS HOSTEL Itasca State Park 218-266-3415

27910 Forest Lane, Park Rapids www.hiusa.org/parkrapids

SINCLAIR LEWIS CAMPGROUND 826 Park Road, Sauk Centre 320-352-2203 www.ci.sauk-centre.mn.us


1815 Paul Bunyan DR NW, Bemidji MN 218-751-8481 www.bemidjisuper8hotel.com


50 Mensing Drive, Silver Bay www.americinn.com






7231 W Hwy. 61, Tofte www.americinn.com

1088 Hwy. 61 N, Two Harbors www.americinn.com


Adventure Cycle & Ski

Gateway Cycle

Northern Cycle (2 locations)

507-452-4228 www.advcycle.com

651-777-0188 www.gatewaycycle.com

218-732-5971 northerncycle@charter.net

178 Center St, Winona, MN 55987

6028 Hwy. 36 Blvd. N, Oakdale, MN 55128

117 3rd St NW, Bemidji, MN 56601

Boehms Cycle

Jake’s Bikes

OneTen Cycles

651-644-4990 www.boehmscycle.com

320-219-7433 www.jakesbikes.com

651-454-2066 www.onetencycles.com

1592 Selby Ave, St. Paul, MN 55104

611 3rd Avenue E, Alexandria, MN 56308

1040 Dakota Dr., Mendota Heights, MN 55120

Central Lakes Cycle

Maple Grove Cycling

Ramsey Bicycle

218-739-5651 www.centrallakescycle.com

763-420-8878 www.maplegrovecycling.com

763-323-6666 www.ramseybicycle.com

2010 Hwy. 210 E, Fergus Falls, MN 56537

13950 Grove Dr., Maple Grove, MN 55311

6825 Hwy. 10, Ramsey, MN 55303

Easy Riders Sports


Rochester Cycling

218-829-5516 www.easyridersbikes.com

507-331-2636 www.milltownsports.com

507-289-7410 [[[ G]GPMRK ½XRIWW GSQ

415 Washington St., Brainerd, MN 56401

311 Central Avenue., Faribault, MN 55021

1211 7th St NW, Rochester, MN 55901

1204 7th Avenue, Two Harbors www.countryinntwoharbors.com

Freewheel Bike (4 locations)

Rydjor Bike Shop


612-339-2219 www.freewheelbike.com

507-433-7571 www.rydjor.com

1812 S 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55454

219 N Main St., Austin, MN 55912


605 Main Street South, Sauk Centre www.heavenandearthessentials.com Minnesota Trails

Spring 2017 39






[800] 634.3444 AMERICINN.COM

See more about these locations at AmericInn.com.

From Minnesota’s rugged north shore to its southwestern prairie, the northwestern tallgrass parklands, to the Minnesota River Valley, taking good care of people in this great state of ours is what we do best. We’ve earned our stripes when it comes to genuine hospitality, and you’ll feel it the moment you walk through our doors. From a friendly smile to a free, hot American breakfast, stop in and discover true AmericInn® hospitality.

Alexandria, MN Austin, MN Baudette, MN Bemidji, MN Detroit Lakes, MN Fergus Falls, MN International Falls, MN Jackson, MN Pequot Lakes, MN Roseau, MN Sauk Centre, MN Silver Bay, MN St. Cloud, MN Tofte/Lutsen, MN Two Harbors, MN White Bear Lake, MN

[320] 763.6808 [507] 437.7337 [218] 634.3200 [218] 751.3000 [218] 847.8795 [218] 739.3900 [218] 283.8000 [507] 847.2444 [218] 568.8400 [218] 463.1045 [320] 352.2800 [218] 226.4300 [320] 253.6337 [218] 663.7899 [218] 834.3000 [651] 429.7131


40 Spring 2017

Minnesota Trails