It’s World Bicycle Day - a time to celebrate the joy and simplicity of this easy and environmentally friendly mode of exercise and transportation.
And what better way to embrace this day than jumping on your bike and exploring our beautiful state? Whether you’re a casual rider seeking easy paved trails and plenty of places to stop for ice cream, or a dirt-riding, single-track warrior on a quest to bag the toughest terrain, Minnesota’s got a trail to suit every ambition and skill level.
Grand Rounds - Minneapolis
Take in the breathtaking views of lakes, rivers, and some of the city's most iconic spots from this 50-mile trail that encircles the City of Lakes. The scenic and mostly flat trail is a fun crash course into urban cycling and you’ll quickly discover why time and time again Minneapolis tops the bike-friendly U.S. city lists.
If 50 miles feels a bit daunting, it’s easy-peasy to select a small sliver of the trail to explore one bit at a time.
Are your wheels in the shop or in mothballs? No problem. Minneapolis has got you covered. Take advantage of the city’s bike share program, Nice Ride, with stations sprinkled around the trail for easy access and usage.
Root River Bike Trail - Southern Minnesota
Constructed on an abandoned railroad, the Root River trail is a 42-mile paved corridor that travels through southern Minnesota, providing cyclists with picturesque views of limestone bluffs, historic buildings, and the occasional wildlife sighting.
Cuyuna Lakes - Northern Minnesota
The former iron ore mines of Cuyuna have been reopened as a rad mountain biking hub. The 30 miles of trails slink through woods and trails, offering a range of difficulty for newbies and pros. There’s even a local bike shop where you can rent bicycles if you’re not totally sold on extreme sports.
Paul Bunyan State Trail - Northern Minnesota
Uffda! The Paul Bunyan State Trail is a mammoth 120-mile bike trail aptly named for the plaid-wearing lumberjack that stretches up Northern Minnesota connecting Bemidji and Brainerd.
The trail is also, thankfully, divided into three sections so you can split up your journey and take a break for a stop in one of the many towns to rest or find a delicious treat.
Gitchi-Gami State Trail - Northshore
This trail is an outdoor enthusiast's dream! Stretching 86 miles along Lake Superior, this state treasure gifts cyclists with breathtaking views of the iconic Great Lake, cascading waterfalls, and intensely gorgeous trees and plant life. Stop at any number of the charming small towns along the trail for a breather and a slice of rhubarb pie.
Casey Jones Trail - Southwest Minnesota
One of the state’s first trails to be established, the Casey Jones trail is three discontinuous segments journeying through tall prairie grass, ravines, and remnants of the glacial landscape of southwestern Minnesota.
The no-filter-needed heartland backdrops will fill you with Midwest pride. And with stops at Pipestone National Monument or Laura Ingalls Wilder sights, you betcha’, you’ll discover why it’s a bucket-list ride.