“I want to ride my bicycle; I want to ride my bike…. BICYCLE! BICYCLE!” Remember that catchy Queen song? Well, I truly did want to ride my bike. I got a new bike this spring and Emmitt recently transitioned from his balance bike to a regular one. (He never used training wheels and was, by far, the kid that learned to ride his bike the fastest and easiest; I highly approve of the “balance bike method”.) So, it was time to embark on an adventure. We, the Yustens, are still a bit of a chaotic bike crew, so trails are a much safer, more ideal place for us to ride versus on the roads.
I’d heard several great things about Lanesboro, Minnesota and the Root River Trail. So, that’s where we decided to go. At a little over an hour drive, it was a day trip for us. However, it would be super fun to stay overnight in one of their quaint little hotels and relax a bit longer or maybe go tubing or explore one of the nearby caves.
We took our bikes, but you can also rent them there at the Little River General Store. You can also rent other fun “bikes”, like a surrey bike, tandem bikes, or recumbent bikes.
The trails were nice, just as I had been told. They were paved and clean and a good portion of where we rode was in the shade. The ride was very pretty. We traveled by woodsy areas, bluff areas, along the river, corn fields and even a “waterfall”. There were a few picnic tables here and there and shelter areas in case of bad weather. There were no bathrooms in the stretch we rode along; they are noted on the maps though. We rode up one hill; everything else was flat. The hill may have been a bit of a challenge to bike up, but coasting back down sure was fun! We had to stop and cross one highway, but we didn’t see any traffic on it. There are no loops or intersections on the trail to go to different sections of the trail; it just goes “straight” from one town to another. So, as far as you ride in one direction – you will need to turn around and go back the same way.
As I mentioned, whenever the Yustens are on the go, it tends to be a bit chaotic. When we drive, and apparently when we bike, we have to make frequent stops. We had to stop for water breaks 20 seconds into our route. We had to stop to adjust the bike gator (Emmitt’s bike was attached to Jason’s bike most of the day.) And who knows why, but we just seem to need to stop a lot. So, most bikers would probably be able to explore a lot more of the area than we did. We did, however, enjoy almost a whopping 10 miles in about 2 hours. One hour one way and one hour back.
We went on a Tuesday in mid- August and there were few other bikers, which was nice. It appeared that not all the shops were open on the day we went, but not to worry, the ice cream shop was. The visitor center had maps and lot of other information. There was a very nice park with a playground. I’m thinking maybe we’ll make a trip to Lanesboro or another portion of the Root River Trail an annual event. My kids really want to rent a surrey bike…..and I do too.
Do you have favorite day trips or places to bike? Share in the comment section below.
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