Heartland and Paul Bunyan Trail Weekend/ July 29, 30, 31, 2022

Ride Leaders: Lyle Koehler, 612 516 2053; Miriam Simmons 651 212 0775

These out and back rides are on the Paul Bunyan Trail or the Heartland Trail in northern Minnesota. You must be a TCBC member to participate in these rides. You are welcome for any or all days. Self-sufficient riders are welcome to ride ahead; anyone is welcome to ride shorter or longer distances. We ask that you let the ride leaders know.

Please register for the ride(s) by no later than Wednesday, July 27, 2022.

Final details will be communicated to you on July 28. 

Friday’s ride will start in Baxter at 11:30 a.m. at the Northland Arboretum trailhead of the Paul Bunyan Trail. Two routes are available: Baxter to Nisswa and return for 33 miles; Baxter to Pequot Lakes and return for 44 miles. We plan for a food stop in Nisswa or Pequot Lakes.

The recommended route from the Twin Cities to the Brainerd area is via Highway 371. As you’re heading north on 371, stay on 371 (NOT Business 371) through the intersection with MN Hwy 210. At the next traffic light, just before Fleet Farm, turn right onto Excelsior Rd. Continue on Excelsior for 0.5 miles (there’s a traffic circle along the way) and turn left onto Conservation Drive. There should be signage for the Arboretum and Paul Bunyan Trail prior to the Conservation Drive intersection.

Once we return to the start, go back to highway 371 and head north 60 miles to Walker.

A block of rooms will be held at the Country Inn in Walker at 422 Walker Bay Blvd. (www.walkercountryinn.com). All rooms have two queen size beds; breakfast is included.

Wireless internet is included; each room has a small refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, iron, ironing board and hair dryer; pool & hot tub available.

You can call the hotel at 218 547 1400 to reserve a room; tell them you are with Twin Cities Bike Club. Also you can reserve on-line:

Go to https://www.walkercountryinn.com/book-a-room/ and look for “Search Availability”; select the arrival date of July 29. The rate is $139 plus tax per night. Other lodging alternatives in Walker are Chase on the Lake and the Walker Hotel.

To get to Walker, head north on highway 371. As you approach Walker, you are on highway 37; this is also called Highway 200 and Minnesota Ave East. The Country Inn is on the east side of 371 at 422 Walker Bay Blvd.

A group dinner for Friday will be arranged.

Saturday’s ride starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Guthrie Town Hall parking lot. We will bike the Paul Bunyan Trail to downtown Bemidji and return (30 miles). Another route is to continue to Bemidji State Park and bike the trail extension around Lake Bemidji for 44 miles round trip. There will be a lunch stop in downtown Bemidji.

To get to Guthrie from Walker, go north on Highway 371 for 14 miles. At mile marker 106 turn left on 136th St. You may also see a green “Guthrie” sign. Go straight for 8 miles as the road becomes County Road 16. Turn right on highway 100 (275th Ave). Go 0.25 miles to Guthrie Town Hall on the left.

Saturday dinner will be arranged for the group.   

Sunday We start at 9:45 a.m. in Akeley, about 10 miles southwest of Walker on highway 34. We will bike to Dorset on the Heartland Trail and return for 24 miles. To find the start ride in Akeley, drive past the ginormous Paul Bunyan statue and turn right on Hillside Avenue for 0.1 miles and to the trailhead. A park is nearby.

Lunch: We plan to stop for lunch in Dorset.