Twin Cities to Winona Bike Tour

Download Twin Cities to Winona Bike Tour

This ride, from the Cedar Avenue Bike Bridge in Bloomington, Minnesota to the Amtrak Station in Winona, Minnesota takes in the Cannon Valley Bike Trail, historic Red Wing and the Driftless Area of southeastern Minnesota. It includes multiple miles of low traffic roads along the Mississippi River, a couple of locks and dams and optional side trips to the impressive Minnesota Marine Arts Museum or the funky houseboat village near Winona.

Day One gets you out of the metro area and passes through UMore Park where the remnants of a World War II munitions plant still stand. It passes within view of Watt Munisotaram, a Cambodian Buddhist temple in Hampton, Minnesota and ends at Lake Byllesby Campground, at the western end of the Cannon Valley Trail. A beautiful trail along the Cannon River takes riders to Cannon Falls where food and beverages, including a craft brewery, are available.

Day Two is the big ride. It’s over 60 miles long and traverses several large hills as it drops to the valley of the Mississippi River and climbs back out a couple of times. This is the Driftless Area of Minnesota. It’s stunningly beautiful, and painfully hilly, but the day starts out deceptively easy with a twenty mile ride on the Cannon Valley Trail. Food and beverages in Red Wing and Lake City. If you don’t want to cook in the evening, pick up a sub sandwich or carry out in Lake City and bring the meal to camp. Riding into Wabasha from the Kruger Campground is an option, but it adds about 10 miles and two steep climbs to the day’s mileage.

Day Three moves to the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River. After the initial climb over a tall range of hills, the route flattens out. Quiet side roads parallel Hwy 35 for about half the distance. Food and beverages are available in every river town on the route. An early start and reasonable pace will put you in the Winona area with time to spare before Amtrak comes through for the train ride back to the Twin Cities. Consider detouring off the Hwy 54/43 river crossing at Island SeventyTwo in the middle of the Mississippi River. If you ride to the Historic Wagon Bridge, you will be treated to a village of houseboats. Elegant, two story boats mingle with battered residences along the waterfront. You will still have time to visit the Marine Arts Museum.

Finish the ride by taking Amtrak back to Union Depot in St. Paul.

Nuts and Bolts

Download Twin Cities to Winona Bike Tour

The map bundle is broken into three one-day segments of 50 to 60 miles, with overnight camping spots at the full service Lake Byllesby Campground near Cannon Falls and the primitive Kruger Campground near Wabasha. Cannon Falls and Wabasha offer alternate lodging options. The trip ends in Winona at the Amtrak Station.

The north bound Empire Builder passes through Winona in the evening and takes about 3 hours to reach Union Depot in St. Paul. Amtrak carries bicycles for a $20 fee. The train carries a maximum of six bikes, so reserve a spot for your bike when you purchase a ticket. Bikes don’t have to be boxed or broken down. Simply remove all bags and panniers before handing your bike to an Amtrak employee at the baggage car.