The Cannon Valley Trail Draws Cyclists for More than Just the Scenic Ride

Cannon Falls, Welch and Red Wing are connected by the Cannon Valley Trail which follows the meandering Cannon River through some of the most scenic river valley in southern Minnesota.  Cyclists come from all over to enjoy a day away from the big city for the charm of these small towns along the trail.  Its close proximity to the Twin Cities, usually a drive of an hour or less, makes it a popular destination for those that would like to get away from their urban setting and ride through the woods and fields of this scenic trail.

In addition to biking the Cannon Valley Trail, there are other things that draw cyclists to the area.

Cannon Falls

Cannon River Winery
The Cannon River Winery is a very popular destination for cyclists after a day on the trail.  Wine tastings are offered daily during regular business hours in their antique tasting bar and reservations are not required for groups under 10 people.  Located at 421 Mill Street West, the winery sits adjacent to the trailhead parking lot making it a short walk to after your ride if you park here.  For directions, click here.

Cannon Falls Trailhead Parking
If antiquing is your thing, there are three good places in town to shop, Country Side Antique Mall, Schaffer's Antiques and Thora Mae's Antiques.  All three are located within a couple of miles of the Cannon Falls Trailhead and offer something for every collector.
Schaffer's Antiques
One of the first stops I make before hitting the trail is the Old Market Deli to pick up a Wheel Pass and a "Presidential" (a free range turkey and white cheddar sandwich President Obama had here on his visit to Cannon Falls in 2011) for the ride.  They serve breakfast and lunch made with in season locally sourced foods, Peace Coffee and a selection of Cannon River Winery wines.  The Old Market Deli is conveniently located at 331 Mill Street West just 2 blocks from the Cannon Falls Trailhead parking lot.

Old Market Deli


At the midway point on the Cannon Valley Trail is the little town of Welch.  Located a couple of blocks north of the Welch Trailhead is the small downtown and the Trout Scream Cafe.  Here they serve breakfast and sandwiches but are mostly visited by cyclists for their fantastic ice cream.  The portions are large and the prices are reasonable, but bring cash because they do not accept credit cards.  They are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm.

Trout Scream Cafe

Red Wing

Locate just a few blocks from the Red Wing Trailhead is a great one stop place to shop.  Historic Pottery Place is located just off Hwy. 61 at 2000 W. Main Street and contains specialty gift shops, antiques, eateries and a pottery museum.  It is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Check out 3rd Floor Antiques for over 30 vendors and a huge selection of collectables. 

Historic Pottery Place

A little further past Historic Pottery Place is Red Wing Pottery and Shops which has a Red Wing Pottery salesroom, gift shops, a candy store and a cafe.  Their summer hours are Monday through Saturday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sunday 9:00 to 5:00 pm.

Red Wing Pottery and Shops

Located between Historic Pottery Place and Red Wing Pottery and Shops  at 1932 Old West Main Street is Wheelhouse Cycles.  They provide bike rentals, service and and an assortment of bikes, parts, clothing and accessories.  Their store hours are Monday through Friday 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10:00am to 5:00 pm.

Wheelhouse Cycles

If accommodations are needed and you would like to stay at a historic Red Wing landmark, check into the St. James Hotel.  Located at 406 Main Street in the heart of downtown Red Wing, this historic hotel provides luxurious rooms, a spa and casual to gourmet dining.  

The Historic St. James Hotel

With all that these towns have to offer, it is no wonder that the Cannon Valley Trail draws cyclists from all over to experience a ride through the Cannon River Valley.

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