Getting To The Great Minnesota Get Together By Bike

Avoid traffic congestion and the high cost of parking at the Great Minnesota Get Together by riding your bike.  The Minnesota State Fair has free secure and monitored bike parking at three locations.  The bike corrals are located at the Como-Snelling Gate (#6),  Hoyt-Snelling Gate (#2) and Randall-Buford Gate (#17).  They remain open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight.  Click here to download a printable color map of the Minnesota State Fair.

Image Credit: Minnesota State Fair

For State Fair goers that may have a longer commute, they can park and lock their bikes at one of several Park & Ride lots and take the bus for free to and from the fair.  These Park & Ride locations include:
  •  Roseville Area High School East of Hamline on Co. Rd. B2.  Not available Tuesday, August 30th or Thursday, September 1st.
  •  MN Dept. of Education East of Target, north of Co. Rd. B. (Pascal St. & Commerce St.). 
  •  U of M Minneapolis Campus (Not available Thursday, September 1st).  Various surface lots near TCF Bank Stadium along 6th Street SE and 8th Street SE open at 8 a.m. daily. 4th Street Ramp opens 4 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. weekends & Labor Day.
  •  Bandana Square North side of Energy Park Drive, east of Snelling Avenue (Weekends and Labor Day only).
Park Free, Ride Free bus rides are available from 8 a.m. to midnight and buses leave approximately every 20 minutes.  For a map of the Park Free, Ride Free locations, click here.

For Nice Ride MN subscribers, there is a Nice Ride Station located near the MN State Fair.  The U of M St. Paul Student Center Station is on Buford Ave. and is a short walk to Gate 16 by the Transit Hub.  Use the new Nice Ride Bike Share app for station locations, bike/dock availability and to rent/unlock bikes.

Image Credit:  Ochen K. from Bike Racks - Minnesota State Fair on Vimeo

There are several resources available to plan out your bike route to the fair.   BikeEverywhere has a Bike to the State Fair map that shows on-road, bike path next to road and bicycle corridor trail routes leading to the fair.  Please note that Lot 3 on this map has been moved from Commonwealth Ave. and West Dan Patch Ave. to the Randall-Buford Gate (#17).  Bike Walk Move has a downloadable Bicycling & Walking Como Avenue map that shows off-street bike paths and recommended on-street bike routes leading to the State Fairgrounds.  Cyclopath is a great tool for route planning.  Simply enter the beginning and ending addresses and it will find a bike route that matches the way you ride.

Google Maps using Bicycling Directions is also another great way to plan your ride to the Great Minnesota Get Together.  Enter the starting and ending points on your PC or by using the Google Maps app on your smartphone and you will be given several route choices. When using your computer you can even choose to send the route to your Google connected smartphone.  The Google Maps app even has an option to enable voice guided turn-by-turn directions so you can keep your eyes on the road.

Don't get stuck in traffic or pay the $13 State Fair parking fee.  By biking to the fair or using the Park Free, Ride Free bus service you can save yourself some money, enjoy the ride and arrive close to an entrance gate.

PLEASE NOTE that neither the fair bike corrals nor the Park & Ride lots provide for secure storage of bike helmets.

    1 comment:

    1. I love that your google map shows a route that the State Fair security has historically closed down to bike traffic. Oops! While it's possible that will be different this year, it's unlikely unless you've confirmed. Here's my two-year-old blog post about how the State Fair screws this up. Let me know if they've fixed it. http://streets.mn/2014/08/28/forget-about-biking-to-the-state-fair/


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