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Multi-purpose trails to ride in Minnesota

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Multi-purpose trails to ride in Minnesota

Old 08-21-19, 04:10 PM
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oldguy5
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Multi-purpose trails to ride in Minnesota

I'm on an ICE Trice T touring recumbent trike due to my being functionally blind and am tired of crashing on a 2 wheel bike. I ride 30ish miles from my house and ride some overnights to nearby campgrounds. I'm getting bored with the same old places. Once a year I join 3 other gentlemen on the Wisconsin trails: Great River, LaCrosse, Sparta/Elroy, and 400 Trail. Great ride, plenty of food and campground sources. This was my first year on the trike and it's awkward on trails that have a center of green 'grass' with a trike. I'd much rather ride paved trails so I'm asking for suggestions on a trail or trail system that offers camping, perhaps 30 to 50 miles apart. Most trails require a drive and my wife is ok to take and pick me up. I've been on all or most of the trails in Minnesota but I don't have a drivers licence to get me there. I'm experienced in self-supported tours, and dozens of sag rides too. I've ridden the Mississippi River Trail from my home near St. Paul Minn. to New Orleans so I'm not a novice. I'd like some personal experiences on good camping, food sources too, rather than rely on what I find on-line. Thanks in advance........
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Old 08-22-19, 12:27 PM
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Here is one resource:

https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_pa...it/wheels.html

Portions of Adventure Cycling Association's Northern Tier route incorporate some trails in MN. You might want to get in touch with them.

An issue you might face is finding camping right along a trail. Might have to venture off trail a bit for that.

Not all unpaved trails have a hump in the middle. An unpaved trail with a nice, crushed limestone surface can be a joy to ride. You may have to compromise because there are just not that many long, paved trails. At 112 miles, the Paul Bunyan Trail (linked to above) is the longest continuously paved trail in the entire country.
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Old 08-23-19, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by oldguy5 View Post
I'm on an ICE Trice T touring recumbent trike due to my being functionally blind and am tired of crashing on a 2 wheel bike. I ride 30ish miles from my house and ride some overnights to nearby campgrounds. I'm getting bored with the same old places. Once a year I join 3 other gentlemen on the Wisconsin trails: Great River, LaCrosse, Sparta/Elroy, and 400 Trail. Great ride, plenty of food and campground sources. This was my first year on the trike and it's awkward on trails that have a center of green 'grass' with a trike. I'd much rather ride paved trails so I'm asking for suggestions on a trail or trail system that offers camping, perhaps 30 to 50 miles apart. Most trails require a drive and my wife is ok to take and pick me up. I've been on all or most of the trails in Minnesota but I don't have a drivers licence to get me there. I'm experienced in self-supported tours, and dozens of sag rides too. I've ridden the Mississippi River Trail from my home near St. Paul Minn. to New Orleans so I'm not a novice. I'd like some personal experiences on good camping, food sources too, rather than rely on what I find on-line. Thanks in advance........
Have you done the Root River Trail system down in Lanesboro? I believe there are campsites there. Also the Cannon Falls - Redwing Cannon Valley Trail has a campground right in the middle at Welch, MN.

The Sakotah Singing Hills State Trail is 39 miles, is paved and goes through the Sakotah State Park which has camping. This is down in the Faribault/Mankato area.

There's also a huge trail system up north out of Virginia/Biwabik/Gilbert area. I'm sure you could camp in some of those towns or make arrangements with businesses along the trail. There's a couple hundred miles of trails throughout the Iron Range. Here is the Mesabi Trail that alone is 135 miles paved of a planned 155 mile paved trail. There is even a shuttle bus provided between the uncompleted sections - that would have to be perfect for you. There is loads of camping up in the Iron Range and a few minutes spent with Google might be very useful there.

The Willard Munger Trail which is 70 miles from Hinckley to Duluth is all paved. I'm sure there is camping accessible to this trail but you'd have to do some research to figure it out.

Minnesota is loaded with long paved trails.
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Old 08-23-19, 11:20 AM
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Not sure what services are available but the Paul Bunyon trail might be an option.

https://www.paulbunyantrail.com/


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Old 08-23-19, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Have you done the Root River Trail system down in Lanesboro? I believe there are campsites there. Also the Cannon Falls - Redwing Cannon Valley Trail has a campground right in the middle at Welch, MN.

The Sakotah Singing Hills State Trail is 39 miles, is paved and goes through the Sakotah State Park which has camping. This is down in the Faribault/Mankato area.

There's also a huge trail system up north out of Virginia/Biwabik/Gilbert area. I'm sure you could camp in some of those towns or make arrangements with businesses along the trail. There's a couple hundred miles of trails throughout the Iron Range. Here is the Mesabi Trail that alone is 135 miles paved of a planned 155 mile paved trail. There is even a shuttle bus provided between the uncompleted sections - that would have to be perfect for you. There is loads of camping up in the Iron Range and a few minutes spent with Google might be very useful there.

The Willard Munger Trail which is 70 miles from Hinckley to Duluth is all paved. I'm sure there is camping accessible to this trail but you'd have to do some research to figure it out.

Minnesota is loaded with long paved trails.
Oh yeah, MN has a lot of excellent trails. I just came back from riding Bicycle Ride Around Minnesota part of which was on trails this year.

I second the Root River valley trail system. I did a tour there a few years back. There is camping there and lots of small towns with amenities, plus great pie!

I definitely want to explore the Mesabi range.
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Old 08-23-19, 12:15 PM
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I third the Root River trail! It was the middle 50+ miles of a 300K that I did back in May. Such a beautiful area! Trail was in great condition.
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