These out and back rides are on the Paul Bunyan Trail or the Heartland Trail in northern Minnesota. We will bike at a C pace and will recruit a ride leader for a BC pace.

You must be a TCBC member to participate in these rides. You are welcome for any or all days. Please register on the ride calendar no later than Wednesday, July 24, 2024.  Final details will be communicated to all riders on July 25 by email.

Ride Leaders:  Duane Kasper, 952 412 5654, Miriam Simmons, 651 212 0775.

Emergency Contact Form. Club rules require you to fill one out—find this form on the TCBC website under “Resources”; then look under “Forms”. Fill out two copies—carry one with you on your bike and put the other in a sealed envelope to give to a ride leader. We need this in case of an accident, and if we have it, you won’t have one. Accident, that is.

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 will stop for food 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 is set aside for Twin Cities Bike Club for Friday and Saturday nights until June 26 at the Country Inn in Walker at 422 Walker Bay Blvd. The rate is $169 plus tax for two queen beds. Breakfast, wireless internet, and daily free pizza is included. Each room has a small refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, iron, ironing board and hair dryer; pool & hot tub available.

Call the hotel at 218 547 1400 to reserve a room; tell them you are with Twin Cities Bike Club. As of this post, we do not have a code for on-line booking.  The front desk is most helpful, however.  Other lodging in Walker may be available at Chase on the Lake and at 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.

We will have happy hour Friday evening at the hotel and provide a list of dinner options.

Saturday’s ride starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Guthrie Town Hall parking lot. Option 1 is the Paul Bunyan Trail to downtown Bemidji and return (30 miles). Option 2 is to bike to Bemidji State Park and the trail extension around Lake Bemidji for 44 miles round trip. Either way, 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.  This is all on the Heartland Trail. Option 1: bike to Dorset and return for 24 miles. Option 2:  bike to Park Rapids and return for 36 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.

Most of us will check out of the hotel this morning and will spend the night in Park Rapids, about 30 minutes south of Itasca State Park, where we will bike on Monday.

Monday

The ride leaders will be staying overnight on Sunday in Park Rapids at either the Super8 or the AmericInn.  Please check the calendar for details.

We will meet at 9:00 a.m. in Itasca State Park, bike the loop, check out the headwaters of the Mississippi, and then head for home. A state park sticker or day pass will be required to drive into the park.