Sunday, June 21, 2020

MSP Family Outing to MN Nice Ice Cream (20 miles)

For my family's annual Father's Day family bike ride my son picked a trip to MN Nice Cream. It's roughly 20 miles round trip with a break in the middle:

(The starting point on public map and link isn't exactly our home.)

The trip is entirely on bicycle trails or quiet streets. Note the crossover Stone Arch and then down to Nicollet island then taking the short gravel trails to Boom Island.

There's an alternative route that takes the bicycle trail on the "east" side of the river. The trick there is that there's an illegal but now heavily used path under 35 W by the rail yards that connects Stone Arch bridge to the UMN river path:

Sooner or later that use path will get either closed/enforced or made legal, but for now it's in a happy limbo state.

Update: on the return trip a tired family member and ominous storm clouds required this shortcut to the above 35 W underpass route:

This was a surprisingly quite and pleasant route -- but 3rd Ave NE bike path is almost unrideable. Just take the quiet street.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

A 26 mile mountain and road bike minneapolis ride

I haven't done this ride, but sharing it for future reference from a Facebook river bottoms group.

Some times the river trail will be underwater in places.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Saint Paul Mendota Heights and Minnehaha Park

This is 18.2 miles per Google and has some great river views and some contrasting landscapes. The Mendota/62 bridge bike trail is a bit on the narrow side but not bad.

We originally planned to take the Big Rivers Trail to Mendota but it was washed out. The other alternative would have been Lilydale to Saint Paul but it was flooded. This was plan C but it was a happy reroute. I'd do it again.

Google Maps Route

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Saint Paul to Hastings MN

It doesn't show up on Google Maps, but I'm told it's possible to ride trail from St Paul to Hastings MN. These descriptions are combined from a local cycling FB Group and my own experience. At the moment the best starting point for many people would be Kaposia Landing Fields. In 2021 (see below) there's a connector all the way to Saint Paul.

Dedicated bike path along river to 65th & Concord, then it goes along next to Concord to Kaposia Landing trailhead. 

Follow the (MRT) trail some miles, eventually turning on Cahill, which takes you to Inver Grove Trail (road). Follow the bike trail along there past the Pine Bend School, & the trail turns away from the road again past the RR trestle. [easy to spot because there's an attractive awning over the trail to protect from train debris] ... After that, the trail follows Courthouse Blvd. a bit before turning off on to a dedicated, removed bike path again ... 
... the current trail ends near the beginning of Pine Bend Trail (which is a road, not a bike trail - nice shoulder, very low traffic). You can take Pine Bend for a mile or so ...  turn Left on Fahey Ave (gravel, may not be signed or may say archery range). Take that a few hundred meters to the Fahey Ave Trailhead (well signed, cars parked, cyclists gathering, Q248+F3). From there follow the trail to Hastings. (The trail does not appear on Google Bicycle routes, I don't think Google is updating those.)


These are lovely bike trails, but the Kaposia trails cross roadways. Drivers may turn left or right off Concord without looking for pedestrians, much less a cyclist heading downhill at 30-45mph. (Like someone who didn't see spot the road crossing until they passed in front of a car that turned abruptly left without signaling but a miss is a good as a mile they say).

Another member shared their Strava map (125 miles - beyond me):

Another one:

By comparison here are the parts Google knows about:

There's a trail from the red marker at bottom to the heart icon in Hastings but Google doesn't know anything about the trails that tracks the green space to the east of 52.

Update 9/20/2020

A friend and I finally did this route. We started from the Harriet Island riverboat parking, it was about 30 miles each way. 

The usual start of the route is to go up Wabasha to Concord then join the river trails by Kaposia landing. From that point until our lunch at The Onion in Hastings we did not travel with a single car.

This is a great trail, but in 2021 it will get much better. There will soon be a bicycle trail, traffic free, from Harriet Island park to Hastings (not to mention trails through Lilydale upstream that track along the Minnesota river, and trails from Hastings downstream [1]). The problem of the St Paul airport will be solved.

The new trail, unopened but almost complete, was tracked by a scofflaw friend of mine:

Look out Hastings, hordes of cyclists will be invading and emptying your restaurants.

- fn -

[1] Local cyclist: "From Hastings there’s a trail that goes over the Highway 61 bridge and goes out to Prescott. There’s also a trail that goes south from Hastings over the Vermillion River and heads back West along the South side of the Vermillion River."

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Minnesota Inline Skate Club (MISC) trails page: Minneapolis and St Paul inline skating trails

The Minnesota Inline Skate Club site has been revised and republished. It's now relatively mobile friendly and uses https. The club is smaller than it was in the 90s, but there's generally a good turnout for the Monday social skates that usually start in May and end in October.

There's a new menu based Trails list. For example- here's the Rush Creek Regional Trail listing. It's a great resource for skaters and cyclists too.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Sunday Ride - Murphy Hanrahan (Murph)

Murph is a western metro trails system with a xc flavor.

Parking is by the trail head: 44.724184, -93.348320, 44°43'27.1"N 93°20'54.0"W.

Three Rivers publishes a trail map, and it's well represented in mtb project. Trail status is published on the MORC page and the Murphy Hanrahan MTB Facebook Page. MORC volunteers maintain it.

All the trails connect, so start on easy, go to intermediate, then do advanced.