Two Minnesota state trails turn 25

Posted by Doug Shidell, July 25th, 2011

Now that Minnesota is back in operation, I’d like congratulate the folks at the Cannon Valley Trail and the Root River Trail for providing riders with two great trails for 25 years.

The Cannon Valley Trail, just 40 miles from the Twin Cities, draws a lot of visitors for day trips through its varied landscapes. From Cannon Falls in bluff country to Red Wing in the valley of the Mississippi River, the trail alternately hugs the Cannon River, passes under towering cliffs, runs through prairie grasslands and explores river floodplains. The center of the trail, near the town of Welch and the Welch Ski Hill, is also one of the most popular starting points. From there you can go upstream toward Cannon Falls or downstream to Red Wing.

One of my favorite activities is to ride the trail on a frosty, full moon night in October or November.

You can download the Cannon Valley Trail chapter of Bicycle Vacation Guide or pick up the book and get all of the major trails in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.

The most popular town on the Root River Trail is Lanesboro with its entire downtown list on the Historic Register of Places. The trail follows the scenic Root River through the bluff country of southeastern Minnesota. It’s a beautiful trail with bluffs, deep woods, the river and rural landscapes sharing the corridor of the Root River.  The Harmony-Preston Valley Trail branches off the Root River Trail and follows a quiet creek upstream to bluffs, then climbs for nearly a mile to the small town of Harmony. Explore some of the unusual destinations in Harmony such as the wood carving museum and the toy museum, then fly back down the bluffs on your way back to the Root River Trail.

You can download the Root River chapter of Bicycle Vacation Guide or pick up the book and get all of the major trails in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.

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