I love Minnesota. I spent four years in the Twin Cities and very much appreciate the Midwestern charm and practicality. I have kayaked on Lake Superior, camped in the prairies of Blue Mounds State Park, and bicycled or skated hundreds of miles of the many paved trails in the state.
Still, we recognize Minnesota and Wisconsin don’t often make it high on people’s vacation list. Yet if you like to be active on vacation and enjoy bicycling, I am here to convince you our Five Rivers & Seven Trails Bicycling Adventure that runs June 13 – 17 and takes place in southwest Wisconsin and southeast Minnesota might be the perfect vacation for you in 2021.
The Biking Is The Key
Yes, Italy has some amazing biking and France is perhaps the best country for bicycle touring in the world. That is why we run tours there. But those locations seem far from home as we continue to battle the pandemic. And for many people, the hottest bike touring destinations are pretty darn hilly (Tuscany) or simply have too much traffic (Napa). In the end, the quality of the biking dictates the satisfaction of the vacation.
On our Five Rivers & Seven Trails Biking Adventure, we make use of seven different bike paths. 85% of our biking is on off-road paths rather than along roadways. Most of these routes are old railroad beds, which means they are flat. For your average cyclist, biking on these paths is pure joy.
Small Towns Add the Culture
Once you have great biking, you still want to have an appealing culture for when you are not in the saddle. In this area of the Midwest, the largest city we visit is the Mississippi river town of Lacrosse, Wisconsin at 50,000 residents. Yet the town of Rushford will have you thinking you are in a Norman Rockwell painting. Lanesboro is one of the cutest small towns in the country. And Sparta considers itself one of the biking capitals of the country.
This lack of population density means you can truly relax on vacation. Traffic is low, there is room at the pie shoppe when you are ready to celebrate your day’s ride, and no one is going to honk at you to get your bicycle out of the way. For a vacation? Pure bliss.
The Scenery is the Topper
Riding on amazing bike paths is wonderful but only if you have something nice to look at along the way. This tour has lots to keep the eyes entertained:
- This region of Minnesota and Wisconsin was the only part of the states not covered (and wiped flat by) the last ice age 10,000 years ago. Called the “Driftless Area”, this means there are still hills rising up from the banks of the Mississippi River, giving us pleasing hillsides and bluffs as we cut through on flat trails.
- We cycle through three train tunnels that used to usher through 60 trains per day.
- We cross wide open prairies that will be pleasingly green during our June dates.
- We meander next to a number of rivers and cross the mighty Mississippi.
- We pass through 16 different small towns en route.
Consider the biking, the small town culture, and the scenery along the way. Do I have you convinced? Come join us on our Five Rivers & Seven Trails Biking Adventure this June 13 – 17!