Last weekend I made the trek to Rochester to visit a life long friend, Kristi! Since the Cannon Valley Trail was along the way, I decided to make a pit stop for a bike ride! The trail runs from from Cannon Falls to Red Wing. I decided to tackle the whole thing--all 19.4 miles. A Wheel Pass is required to ride the trail, $4 daily or $25 yearly. For me, the fee was money well spent to ride on the beautiful, well maintained trail.
Along the trail there were multiple rest areas with bathroom facilities. The small town of Welch had a huge rest area which consisted of fresh water, multiple bike racks, tables, trail information, a giant trail monument, and lots of shade. I biked into Red Wing along the river and had a wonderful refuel lunch at Bev's downtown. The day was a squelcher and it was 92 degrees when I reached my vehicle at the end of my 44 miles. (I added a few miles to the 19.4 by biking into downtown!). To top off my wonderful day of riding, I headed to the Cannon River Winery (which is conveniently located at the Cannon Falls trailhead). Is there a better way to wrap up a day of riding than tasting a flight local wines?
On Saturday, my friend Kristi and I headed from Rochester to Lanesboro to explore the Root River State Trail. We rented a double recumbent bike and cruised down the trail (of course we also had quite a few laughs). Onward we went towards Whalen, roughly 5 miles from Lanesboro. We stopped at the local pie shop for a bathroom break and a strawberry soda for the ride back. (Next time pie will be in order!). What a perfect day spent on a bike, enjoying Mother Nature's majesty and catching up with a great friend!
Southwestern Minnesota is a gem for cycling. I hope to make a trip back this fall to enjoy the beautiful splendor of colors and of course visit Kristi!