Planning Your Summer Biking Vacation
A great place to start is the Exploreminnesota.com website. There is a lot of information here to help you plan the kind a vacation you would like to take. It contains an array of brochures that you can download, view online or have mailed to you. Quite a few free regional brochures are listed for all areas of the state that can also be selected for mailing. Go to http://www.exploreminnesota.com/publications-order-form.aspx to access these brochures. There are planning tools beyond just the website because Explore Minnesota Tourism staffs a travel information center with travel counselors that will help you with customized information (by phone, mail or e-mail) for planning your trip.
One brochure you may find particularly useful is the 2011/2012 Explore Minnesota Biking Guide. It contains maps of bike trails, trail information by region (Southern, Central, Northeast, Northwest and Twin Cities area) and information about mountain biking areas. The Trail Listings segment informs you about the trails, area businesses and scheduled monthly bike rides complete with website links to bring you more details.
If you have a destination in mind for your trip, try heading to the tourism or visitor's bureau website for that area or city. Sites like Visitduluth.com, Explorebrainerdlakes.com, Visitbemidji.com and Millelacs.com are full of information that will help you find lodging, dining, attractions, events and area trails. Search engines like Google, Ask and Bing, when used with the proper search terms, are quite helpful as well.
Minnesota has an abundance of State Parks with scenic trails for biking, mountain biking and hiking. These State Parks are scattered throughout Minnesota and chances are there is one near you or your vacation destination. The Minnesota DNR provides a lot of information on it's website about our State Parks and all they have to offer. Go to www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/index.html to find out more.
For easy to find trail maps and trail information, don't forget about MN Bike Trail Navigator. I have already done the research to find the links so you don't have to.
Spring is right around the corner, so use the wealth of information available on the internet to make planning your next biking vacation a breeze.