Favorite Trails for Fall Color Rides-Part 1

Fall is my favorite time of the year to get out in the woods and when it involves a bike that's even better.  With cooler weather fast approaching, now is the time to plan where you would like to ride to see the fall colors in their full glory.  Minnesota is filled with a lot of great trails to see the changing of the leaves and listed below are a few of my favorites.  For you mountain bikers, I will include some of my favorite MTB trails I enjoy heading to in the fall.

Image Credit:  MN DNR

The Minnesota DNR has on its website a Fall Color Report page to update you on current conditions around the state.  The site also contains a Fall Color Mobile page you can access anytime while you are out and about from your smartphone.  Use these reports to head to the areas with the best fall colors for your next ride.

My favorite area to go riding in the fall would have to be southeastern Minnesota on the Root River State Trail and the Harmony/Preston Valley State Trail.  The river valleys and bluffs of this area make for picture postcard scenery.

A local favorite of mine is the Cannon Valley Trail.  This trail runs along the Cannon River from Cannon Falls, through Welch and onto Red Wing in the scenic Cannon River Valley.  In Red Wing you can connect and extend your ride on the Hay Creek Trail and the Goodhue Pioneer State Trail.  The Cannon Valley Trail does require a Wheelpass to ride and one can be purchased at the Cannon Falls Trailhead, Welch Station and the Red Wing Trailhead.

The Gateway State Trail is one of my Twin Cities favorites as it has its urban start in St. Paul and transitions to the country as you make your way toward Stillwater Township.  You will travel through woods and prairies making this a scenic fall ride.
The Mendota Trail is an easy, but scenic mountain bike trail that travels through Fort Snelling State Park from the Cedar Avenue bridge to Mendota on the south bank of the Minnesota River.  This ride will give you scenic views of the river and provide a colorful fall ride through the woods of the Minnesota River Bottoms.

In part 2 of this segment, I will bring you several more trails to put on your "to do" list for the fall riding season.

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