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. From a local Facebook group:
... rode this trail from Hastings to West St Paul and other than a few hundred meters it was all trail. I think I rode a little gravel on pine bend trail. In fact once you get to 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..
... The gravel gap in the trail is only 2 miles of very hard packed limestone and is passable by road bike. I've probably done it a dozen times.
The next big connection from Hastings will hopefully be the north to Afton. There is an abandoned RR grade along the river....
... the current trail ends near the beginning of Pine Bend Trail (which is a road, not a bike trail). You can take Pine Bend for a mile??? Maybe???? Both paved and gravel and then snag the trail again near the archery range at Spring Lake Park. It’s a pretty small gap and Pine Bend isn’t too traveled on anyways...
... Least favorite part of the trail is that in SSP/IGH you have to bike by a shooting range. Hearing the sounds of guns going off all around me does not make me feel calm.  I bike through there very quickly
From near Pine Bluff (44.7545486, -92.9801149) it's all trails to Hastings.

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.

I'm looking forward to doing this route and updating this guide.

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.