Twin Cities to Winona Bike Tour

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 28th, 2018

Bike touring from the Twin Cities to Winona offers a little bit of everything: The unique structures of UMore Park near the Dakota County Technical College, a Buddhist Temple siting, the Cannon Valley Trail, Minnesota’s hilly and scenic Driftless Area, quiet roads along the Mississippi River, Lock and Dam #4 at Alma, Wisconsin, a houseboat village near Winona, the Minnesota Maritime Art Museum and a three hour Amtrak ride back to the Cities.

The Twin Cities to Winona mobile map is broken into three segments, each segment representing one day or 50 to 65 miles of the tour.

Day 1 gets you out of town. Highlights of the tour include the Cedar Avenue Bike Bridge, the unusual structures of Umore Park near the Dakota County Technical College and a siting of the Watt Munisotaram Cambodian Buddhist Temple.

Route selection out of town focuses on low traffic roads over faster, but busier, through routes. The country opens up to rolling hills and wide open spaces about 15 miles into the day’s ride. Approximate distance 45 miles.

Day 2 is challenging and beautiful as it rolls through the Driftless Area of SE Minnesota, but it starts out deceptively easy with a 20 mile slightly downhill roll from Cannon Falls to Red Wing on the Cannon Valley Trail. The first big hill kicks in as you leave Red Wing and the valley of the Mississippi River. Two more large climbs and fast descents follow as you roll into Lake City and climb back out of town. The roads have little traffic and generally good pavement. The scenery is a mix of woodlots, small farms, ridges and narrow valleys. Approximate distance 65 miles.

Day 3 follows the Mississippi River on the Wisconsin side, takes in Lock and Dam #4 in Alma and finishes with optional side trips to the houseboat village and the stunning Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona. You should have plenty of time to do both before catching the 7:10 pm Amtrak back to Union Station in St. Paul.

Be sure to reserve a space for your bike when you book your ticket on Amtrak. Bikes travel for $20 and don’t have to be broken down. Just remove your panniers and hand the bike to the baggage handler. The train has a limit of 6 bikes, so book early to guarantee a spot.

Twin Cities to Winona Bike Tour

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News