Sunday, September 16, 2018

The St Paul Traverse road and mountain bike trail

Duluth has the amazing Duluth Traverse trail that ties together several mountain bike trails. Even that trail has some road connectors though. It occurred to me that there’s a natural St Paul “Traverse” trail that connects anything along the river with Battle Creek and Carver. It’s most paved bike trails or single track with a bit of quiet road.
Here’s the overview and the Carver MTB component:
BC to Carver
Here’s the section from the NE end of Battle Creek (technically NE end is not in park, it's Scenic Overlook)

The area circled in red is where I’d prefer to jump out of BC onto the paved trail. This is at the base of Goat Trail (not a beginner trail!), from the satellite map close up it looks like one could descend a grassy area to the paved trails (see footnote [1]). The map below is from mtbproject (REI).

BC

This would be a solid day of road/single track riding for most of us!

Update 6/9/2019  - more detailed version for a Sunday Ride

Depending on our timing a few segments can be dropped. There aren't a lot of places to stop and eat until the end of the trail. This ended up being a bit over 30 miles but it felt like 50-60 riding my mountain bike, doing the trails, and a surprising amount of up and down.

Segment 1: Groveland Tap to Overlook 8 miles

Segment 2: Batttle Creek Overlook to exit point (mtbproject)
The red line is the path overlaid on the mtbproject map. I think this is probably about 5 miles. The exit, is as above, not official. Will be bushwhacking (see footnote [1]).

This is St Paul East Side. The "Boys Totem Town" is a 100yo correctional facility for youth. It is to close in July 2019. (When we rode this in Strava you can see where we took a wrong turn or two.)

Segment 4: From start of Battle Creek back to the trails
The lower right quadrant here are trails we ski in Winter. This segment also appeared in an earlier post. The top right quadrant is Battle Creek Water Park, there can be ice cream trucks there and there are bathrooms. From here you can see wetlands Battle Creek runs through, but it starts in Battle Creek Lake in Woodbury (I think it is underground until it emerges near the water park).

When we actually rode this (Strava, below) we missed turning left on Upper Afton Road so instead of taking Battle Creek Road to the trails we followed Creek back to Luge Connector. (Battle Creek goes underground again at the end of the park to pass beneath rail and freeway.)

Segment 5: From S Battle Creek Road pick up the trail to Bowl and Luge to Overlook

8.3miles, 55 minutes. There are many eating options here at the end.


And here's how it looked on Strava with a few false turns, about 30 miles (felt longer):


- fn- 
[1] We were able to transition from the segment of Goat to the paved bike path -- but it's not easy. There's only one place to transition and it's fairly steep. We were able to walk it down using the bike partly as an aide -- but only because invasive vegetation had been cleared and it was opened up a bit.


Battle Creek Mountain Bike Trails

Battle Creek (county trail map, better mtbproject map) is St Paul's mountain biking trail. It’s not only a great trail, it’s accessible by bicycle trail from many directions. Battle Creek MTB Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/battlecreekmountainbike

My preferred starting points from western St Paul:

  1. Driving to start: Point Douglas Rd S parking lot.  Turn east off Hwy 61/10 on Lower Afton Rd, then go north on Point Douglas Rd S to the parking lot at the end of the cul-de-sac. (44°56’07.5"N 93°01'42.8"W)
  2. Riding to start:  Scenic Overlook by Burns Avenue and Hwy 10: 44°56’48.2”N 93°02’19.3”W  This small park with the hidden entrance isn’t technically part of Battle Creek. I’ve been told it’s Ramsey county land and not policed by SPPD. In the past few years it’s had more drug trafficking and is not a great place to park or to be at after dark
    Image001

Notes on the trail systems

There are 3 sections from west to east: 1. From overlook to parking lot (west of Battle Creek). 2. from Battle Creek to Battle Creek Road 3.Battle Creek Road to eastern boundary.

1. overlook to parking lot: there are two advanced options - a in/out spur at the top of paved segment, and a trail that goes across the ridge top to emerge 2/3 of the way up the paved trail along battle creek.

2. Battle Creek to Battle Creek Road: there are 3 routes up from Battle Creek. One is quite technical and is somewhat north. The other is to go up the Berm run. The last is to take Point Douglas road up a few hundred yards to a trail that climbs the bluff.

 

3. There are two places to cross from section 2 to 3 over S Battle Creek Road.We usually do the northern one. Going down to the Rec Center is a good intermediate descent/climb. At the SouthEast section is a segment sometimes called the Goat Path. It's an advanced descent.

 Image002

See also