|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.
Lake Wobegon Regional Trail. The majority of this trail (Avon to Sauke Centre) was built on a former railroad grade making it a 54 mile, mostly flat ride. I like to start at the trailhead in St. Joseph and travel to Freeport and back for about a 42 mile round trip ride. There is a lot of fall color to see along the trail as you pass through the woods & fields and by the lakes & ponds of the scenic "Lake Wobegon" countryside. Wobegon Park in Avon is a great place to stop for a lunch break along the trail.
Dakota Rail Trail. Built on the former Dakota Rail Corridor, this 13 mile paved trail stretches from Wayzata to St. Bonifacius passing through the cities of Orono, Minnetonka Beach, Spring Park, Mound and Minnetrista. You will experience the changing scenery of the city and countryside as you ride along Lake Minnetonka. When in St. Bonifacius, stop at Mackenthun's Meats for some lunch and maybe even pick up some of their many flavors of tasty bratwurst to grill when you get home.
Minnesota River Bottoms. I usually ride the trails from the Russell A. Sorenson Landing on Lyndale Avenue under the 35W bridge to the Bloomington Ferry Unit parking lot about 7 miles to the west and make the return trip. The ride through the quiet and lonely river bottoms of the Minnesota River provide some great fall scenery complete with run-ins with the local wildlife. For more information about these trails, read my post Mountain Biking the Minnesota River Bottoms West Segment.
Memorial Park Mountain Biking Trails contain great views from atop Memorial Bluff that overlook the city of Red Wing and the Mississippi River Valley. Riding the miles of trails here, you will spend a lot of time on singletrack that meanders through ravines, thick woods and prairies that are full of color in the fall. Beginner to advanced mountain bikers will definitely enjoy taking several laps on these great trails, I know I do. For more information, read my post Red Wing's Memorial Park Mountain Bike Trails.
In part 4 of this segment, I will conclude this series of posts with some more trails to put on your "to do" list for the fall riding season.