Heartland and Paul Bunyan Trail Weekend/ July 28-31, 2023

Ride Leaders:  Miriam Simmons, 651 212 0775; Lyle Koehler, 612 516 2053; Duane Kasper, 952 412 5654, Mike Beadles, 612-839-5406

These out and back rides are on the Paul Bunyan Trail or the Heartland Trail in northern Minnesota. We will bike at a C or 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 27, 2023.  Final details will be communicated to all riders on July 28.

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 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 is set aside for Twin Cities Bike Club for Friday and Saturday nights (see below for Sunday) until June 28 at the Country Inn in Walker at 422 Walker Bay Blvd. The rate is $164 plus tax. All rooms have two queen size 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. Or reserve on-line: https://www.walkercountryinn.com/book-a-room/  –look for “Search Availability”; select the arrival date of July 28 and use this Group Code: TCBC07282023. 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. 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 OR to Park Rapids and return for 37 miles. To find the start ride in Akeley, drive past the Paul Bunyan statue and turn right on Hillside Avenue for 0.1 miles. There is parking on the right near a park.

Lunch: We plan to stop for lunch/snacks in Dorset or in Park Rapids. Or both. We’re always hungry.

Sunday night lodging.

The ride leaders are planning on staying in Park Rapids on Sunday night.

Park Rapids motels: 

Super8 by Wyndham 

1020 1st St E, Park Rapids, MN 56470•(218) 366-9071 

Rate ~  $99, includes continental breakfast 

Website:  https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/super-8/park-rapids-minnesota/super-8-park-rapids/overview?CID=LC:SE::GGL:RIO:National:03713&iata=00093796 

AmericInn by Wyndham 

1501 1st St E, Park Rapids, MN, 56470 

Rate ~ $152 includes breakfast 

There is a swimming pool here.  

Website:  https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/americinn/park-rapids-minnesota/americinn-lodge-and-suites-park-rapids/overview?iata=00093763&cid=PS:lza7nus297ih0ne&gclid=Cj0KCQiAorKfBhC0ARIsAHDzsltNPW-wIOG3WaxXaD-V4gw4lrXtCN6KXCecTB8Vgu50qK3SFb2R1uIaAgToEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds 

A Wyndham Rewards number will get you slightly better rates.


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. Depending on the weather, the start time may be modified. Please remember to register on the TCBC calendar for all rides.