Saturday, July 10, 2021

MacGroveland to Como Park (connects to Grand Rounds trail)

During the bad times highways completely messed up Saint Paul. We're still recovering; only recently have we developed some north-south routes that safely cross rail and freeway.

Below are two examples that go between Macalester college and Como Park pavilion. It's about a 4.7 mile trip each way. From Como there are now quite good Grand Rounds trails west and east to Gateway (Stillwater).

These routes use some bike-pedestrian walkways over rail and freeway that are barely visible on Google maps and omitted from most paper maps.

UPDATE: The 2nd route, which is basically Griggs all the way, is excellent. Do that.

https://goo.gl/maps/yZimkd6AR2GacRdSA



and

https://goo.gl/maps/QZEa1atwCTiLwsXN7 


(Snelling may be impossible to cross, so consider going up to St Claire or down to Jefferson just before you reach Snelling)







Friday, June 18, 2021

MSP Explorer - 15 miles

This route starts and ends at Lake Monster brewery. It explores some neat urban routes and spaces. Not many places to go fast, so allow 2 hours.

I have an 8 page map up as of June 2021 and a MapMyRide version but I can't guarantee it will stick around. Lake Monster to Dinkytown to Sheridan Memorial Park to East River Parkway to The Stone Arch Bridge to The Monument on Summit to Prior to Gilbert (CFSP) to Lake Monster.



Monday, May 31, 2021

Minneapolis to Sunrise Prairie (31 miles 1 way, but on to Duluth)

Via Facebook, AK shared a route from MPLS to Sunrise Prairie. At Sunrise Prairie one can start the trail to Duluth.

... It’s almost all bike lane/trail. The last big chunk that isn’t is all a county road but it has 10 ft shoulders ... Also, on Lake Rd, you go through Circle Pines which has a more populated section (but still has a big shoulder) but if you are uncomfortable with that, there is a frontage road you can ride on till you get to a less populated area...


 I also wonder about this as a route to Hugo, but I'm not sure we can get through Lino Lakes.

 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Gravel rides around Northfield MN (south of MSP)

Bruce Anderson posted this 5/23/2021 on the Cannon Valley Velo Club Facebook Group. I'm just republishing here:

Want to ride gravel in the Northfield area? Look no further! Here’s a growing list of gravel routes of all lengths and levels of difficulty.

Rides are categorized below as:

• Easy (less than 20 miles, any amount of climbing*)

• Moderate (20 to 40 miles, any amount of climbing)

• Moderately Hard (30 to 40 miles with more than 1500 feet of climbing)

• Hard but Relatively Flat (more than 40 miles and less than an average of 30 feet of climbing per mile)

• Hard and Moderately Hilly (more than 40 miles and an average of 30 to 40 feet of climbing per mile)

• Hard and Hilly (more than 40 miles and an average of more than 40 feet of climbing per mile)

• Killer but You’re Gonna Love It Anyway (more than 100 miles and plenty of climbing)

*Climbing elevations are generally as reported by the RideWithGPS mapping tool. In the author’s experience, actual climbing as recorded on these routes by GPS is often significantly higher than the RWGPS estimates. 

You can, of course, double your options by riding any of these routes in reverse. If you would like to add your favorite route(s) to the list, please comment on this post and a moderator will edit the original post to include the route if it is deemed a good addition. 

Most routes start and end at Bridge Square in the heart of historic downtown Northfield. If they start or end elsewhere, there’s likely a brewery or something else inviting involved! (Three excellent breweries and a cidery are within a few blocks or miles of Bridge Square for post-ride refreshments: Imminent Brewing (two blocks away), Tanzenwald Brewing Company (0.3 miles), Chapel Brewing (3.1 miles), and Keepsake Cidery (6.1 miles).

Ride on!

Northfield Gravel Rides

Easy (less than 20 miles, any amount of climbing)

• Southwest, Return on East Cannon River Trail (14.3 miles, 406’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27224078

• Cannon River Ramble 15-miler (15 miles, 438’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27220502

• Northeast and Back on Sciota Trail (16 miles, 584’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36130634 

• Isaacson Trail Quickie (16.8 miles, 606’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27223989

• Cold Moon Howl (18.8 miles, 560’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31572631

• Patrick L-Approved Loop (18.8 miles, 826’ of climbing, including a couple of challenging climbs) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36132368

• Crow Moon Howl 20-miler (19.8 miles, 478’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26943822

Moderate (20 to 40 miles with less than 1500’ of climbing)

• McKnight Prairie Fly-By (21.6 miles, 553’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36130160

• Chub Lake Super Blue Moon Howl (24.3 miles, 650’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26788958

• Easy Like Sunday Afternoon (27.7 miles, 633’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26513582

• Burma Passage and Ghost Nike Missile Site (28.9 miles, 796’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/22064188

• Randolph -- Strachan Farm Loop (30.1 miles, 648’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/20009046

• Farmer Trail – Big Woods – Dennison (30.2 miles, 1078’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36141468

• Western Gravel Staying East of I-35 (30.7 miles, 677’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/20830839

• Chub Lake Howl (30.7 miles, 792’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/25865282

• Burma Passage – Randolph (31.2 miles, 638’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26439954

• Chub Lake – Burma Passage (31.4 miles, 765’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26343685

• Boy Scout Camp Loop with Cherry Valley Descent (31.4 miles, 956’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36138847

• Farmer Trail – Eiler Ave – Rice County Wilderness Area (32.3 miles, 1361’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/25382894

• 20th Ave Rollers (32.4 miles, 1496’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36084642

• Beware Falling Mergansers (33.0 miles, 911’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/21606223

• Burma Passage – Chub Lake (33.5 miles, 893’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/25146470

• Lewiston Boulevard – Passage to Burma (34.3 miles, 726’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32501103

• Circle Lake 36-Miler (36.2 miles, 1358’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33841395

• Wilderness Park – Cannon City – Farmer Trail – Isaacson Trail (37.1 miles, 1308’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32565532

Moderately Hard (30 to 40 miles with more than 1500’ of climbing)

• Westerly to Union Lake Trail and Baseline Road (30.4 miles, 1534’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/21780917

• Farmer Trail – Big Woods – Isaacson Trail (32.3 miles, 1786’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30953952

• Beautiful Barn Loop; (37.9 miles, 1679’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30207821

Hard but Relatively Flat (more than 40 miles and less than an average of 30 feet of climbing per mile)

• Camp Winona Trail – Union Lake Trail (52.1 miles, 1354’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33318702

• Vermillion Highlands – Chimney Rock (63.2 miles, 1472’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32497739

• Montgomery Calling (55.6 miles, 1580’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29133208

Hard and Moderately Hilly (more than 40 miles and an average of 30 to 40 feet of climbing per mile)

• Full Strawberry Moon 42-Miler (42.5 miles, 1595’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/21924422

• Falls Trail – Union Lake Trail (43.0 miles, 1349’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33318802

• Shady Lane Trail Pronto (44.7 miles, 1597’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/21733748

• Small Taste o’ the DAMn (48.1 miles, 1757’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33586778

• Union Lake Trail – Cody Lake Trail – Lake Ave (49.7 miles, 1677’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26519007

• Full Strawberry Moon Howl 50-miler (50.4 miles, 1875’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/21892498

• Clark Valley Trail – Byllesby Dam (52.5 miles, 1848’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32424296

• Heywood 55 (53.3 miles, 1932’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31947123

• Camp Winona Trail – Cody Trail – Union Lake Trail (57.2 miles, 1931’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/21082907

• Randolph – Chub Lake – Union Lake Trail Meander (58.9 miles, 2192’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35721667

• Wilderness Park – Faribault – Monkey Valley (61.2 miles, 2215’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32565083

• Shady Lane Trail – Monkey Valley 100k (62.3 miles, 2386’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/22740727

• Skunk Hollow – Clark Valley Metric Century (63.4 miles, 2311’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32783148

• Shady Lane Trail – Wanamingo – Scenic Barn (63.7 miles, 2347’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33676439

• Welch – Miesville Ravine – Randolph (78.0 miles, 2812’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/21505746

• Clark Valley Trail – Sunset Trail – Welch Trail – Miesville Ravine – Chimney Rock Loop (88.6 miles, 3171’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/21454059

Hard and Hilly (more than 40 miles and an average of more than 40 feet of climbing per mile)

• Monkey Valley – Nerstrand Big Woods (42.7 miles, 2037’ of climbing) 

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33224111

• Shady Lane Trail – Scenic Barn (45.5 miles, 1833’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28597969

• Earth Day Gravel Grinder (52.4 miles, 3048’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32398440

• Wanamingo, No Foolin’ Around (57.5 miles, 2363’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31466963

• Chimney Rock or Bust! (59.3 miles, 2492’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31203805

• White Rock Trail – Oxford Mill Road (61.0 miles, 2890’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30986263

• (Bit Longer) Taste o’ the DAMn (61.5 miles, 2468’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33586723

• Area 57 with Return via Monkey Valley (66.0 miles, 2908’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33223964

• Sunset Trail – Welch – Miesville Ravine – Byllesby Dam (71.9 miles, 3068’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30727348

• Heywoodish Lite (76.9 miles, 3697’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30136462

• Angry Catfish Comes to Town (82.6 miles, 3748’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29263087

Killer but You’re Gonna Love It Anyway (more than 100 miles and plenty of climbing)

• Skunk Hollow -- Clark Valley -- White Rock – Vasa – Welch -- Miesville Ravine -- Chimney Rock Century (100.8 miles, 3894’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32782960

• Camp Winona Trail-LeSueur-Montgomery Gravel Century (103.9 miles, 3103’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/20316984

• Thunder Moon Howl: Good Stuff to the West and East (105.5 miles, 5844’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36141829

• Heywood 110 (109.9 miles, 5024’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31947274

• It Ain’t Paradise but It Used to Be (127.6 miles, 5903’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36141945

• Heywood 165 (163.8 miles, 7298’ of climbing) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31948826


Saturday, May 1, 2021

Twin Cities Metro Ride

 A friend shared this off Facebook. That's more than I've ridden for decades so it will take some work to get ready for it.


Thursday, April 29, 2021

Minnehaha, Lakes and the Utepils - Bryn Mawr neighborhood

This map was posted on Facebook's Utepils ride group as a suggested ride and my son asked to do it.

It's short loop and not fast -- these trails are popular with walkers, runners, skaters and cyclists.




Google wouldn't let me add more way points, but the rest of the return is 11miles, so about 28 miles for the entire outing.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Cross West St Paul: Kaposia Landing to Brickyard Trail

In a previous post I described the excellent Harriet Island (Paddleford Landing) to Kaposia Park via Robert Piram trail route:


This route describes a pleasant and relatively car-free route across West St Paul to make a loop that's between 11-13 miles (depending on variations). A google maps link should produce something close to this image:


The above route is about 3.8 miles and involves some big drops and climbs, there's a direct route that has only modest climbs and drops and is 2.7 miles:


If you're riding a mountain or fat bike there are some adventure options in this detail view:
Just after crossing over the freeway on the bridge from Kaposia Park there's a quick dirt trail drop onto a multi-use path. Follow that on a mountain or fat bike and you end up at Thompson Park Lodge.

On a road or mountain bike you can take a fast curvy trail deep into the very obscure Bluff Terrace Park shown at the top of the above detail (map).

Also on a mountain or fat bike when you get Brickyard Trail at the left side there are some interesting options:
In particular on a trail bike you can take the steep fast Brickyard trail to the bottom and find your way to Lilydale bike trail (don't take the railroad track, take the trail out) and then back to the Harriet Island Paddleford Landing start. At first you may think this trail is firmly fenced away (for some reason), but follow the fence to the right to see where locals have opened an entrance big enough for a small car.

On pavement follow the bike path on Cherokee Heights Road over to Ohio street and down to Paddleford that way.