16 Best Minnesota Bike Rides in 2021

Apr 9, 2021News

This Summer’s Featured Bike Rides

We’ve compiled this list of our favorite Minnesota bike rides of 2021. Road, trail, gravel-it’s all here. Dust off your bike and start planning!

Built on an abandoned railroad grade, the Lake Wobegon Trail has gentle elevation changes

Caramel Roll Ride

Albany, MN
June 12, 2021

This is the annual “Beginning of Summer” ride on the Lake Wobegon Trail. Choose from three options: East to Avon, Collegeville and Saint Joseph, west to Freeport, and of course, north to Holdingford and the covered bridge, then on the Soo Line Trail to Bowlus and Blanchard Dam on the Mighty Mississippi River. As always the best Caramel Rolls you can find anywhere will be available at all the rest stops along the way!


Cyclists pose for a shot with Paul and Babe after making it all the way to Bemidji on the Paul Bunyan Trail

Loop the Lake Ride

Bemidji, MN
June 19, 2021

Easy, paved trail ride around beautiful Lake Bemidji, features a rolling start time, food, music, and activities at rest stations along the way. Registration includes food, music, and photo ops on a scenic route. Distance: 17 miles.


The trail crosses the Mississippi River at Blanchard Dam on the Soo LIne Trail

Dam2Dam Ride

Little Falls, MN
June 19, 2021

Follow the Great River Road through Charles A. Lindbergh State Park to historic Blanchard Dam and enjoy miles of Mississippi riverfront and quiet back roads with two rest stops. The Dam2Dam Bike Ride is a great way to experience the Mississippi River and the Little Falls area and it’s free! Sign up on the day of the event. Distances: 20, 40 miles.


Lake Wobegon Trail Lady Slippers

Lady Slipper Ride

Avon, MN
June 19, 2021

See the Minnesota State Flower, the Pink and White Showy Lady’s Slipper in full bloom. This is a short ride to see the beautiful Lady’s Slipper orchids growing along the Lake Wobegon Trail. It’s a free ride, but donations will be accepted. Distance: 6 miles



Between Rose Creek and Austin, the shooting Star State Trail passes through southern Minnesota farm country

Shooting Star Trail Ride

Le Roy, MN
June 19, 2021

The 52 and 70-mile routes will be crossing into Iowa for a ride on the Wapsi Great Western Line Trail for an interstate experience. Take a ride through Minnesota’s prairies. All routes are fully supported with rest stops and SAG support and are either a combination of trail and hard surface county roads or trail only. Distances: 52, 70 miles on a combination of road and trail. 20, 40 miles on the Shooting Star Trail only.


On the Paul Bunyan Trail near Nisswa

Spring Bike Fling 

Walker, MN
June 26, 2021

Take a ride through the Chippewa National Forest on the Paul Bunyan Trail. Follow the western shoreline of Leech Lake along Walker Bay, before heading Northwest by beautiful Kabekona Bay and Lake Bennedict. This ride is flat, completely paved and you’ll enjoy the tranquil countryside on the way. On your return, attend celebration gathering at Portage Brewery – A Bike Friendly Watering Hole with a famous collection of Craft Brews.
Distances: 24 and 40 miles.


A woman rides a bike on a gravel road

Bluenose Gopher 50

Granite Falls, MN
July 24, 2021

Minnesota’s newest gravel ride explores the challenging ups and downs of the Minnesota River Valley in search of the route of a long-forgotten 1890s bike race. Breathtaking views, billion year old granite and quiet back roads steeped in history are the backdrop for a unique ride that starts and ends at Bluenose Gopher Public House.


Tour de Bun

Tour de Bun Bike Classic

Montgomery, MN
July 24, 2021

Ride your bike in the heart of Minnesota Czech Country in scenic Le Sueur County. Each route will have refreshment stops at various points and will provide scenic rural countryside on paved, lightly traveled roads. After the tour, riders will have plenty of time to participate in all the Kolacky Days weekend festivities.


The covered bridge at Holdingford

2021 Retro Ride 

Holdingford, MN
July 24, 2021

Art in Motion and the Minnesota Cycling Museum are teaming up to bring you a week-long celebration of the arts and all things bike on the Lake Wobegon Trail. It kicks off with the Vintage Bike Show with some classic rides from the Minnesota Cycling Museum on display. Then, take a ride on the most scenic section of the paved Lake Wobegon and Soo Line Trails to the village of Bowlus and back. Art in Motion is a one of a kind art gallery, workshop, poetry and music venue right on the Lake Wobegon Trail in Holdingford and the BOHO Café inside keeps you fed and hydrated. Catch a show, take in an exhibit and enjoy fresh, local coffee, craft beer and food.


Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Ride

Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour Series 

Tour 1: July 31, 2021 Minnesota Discovery Center, Chisholm

Tour 2: August 28, 2021 Itasca County Fairgrounds, Grand Rapids

Tour 3: September 18, 2021 Olcott Park, Virginia

The annual bike ride on the Mesabi Trail is changing its format for 2021. Instead of one big tour, choose from three smaller events at three different venues throughout the biking season with out and back routes of 25 and 50 miles. Registration is limited and starts six weeks before each ride.


Small town charm in Ashby on the Central Lakes State Trail

Rail Trails 100

Fergus Falls, MN
August 7, 2021

The Central Lakes and Lake Wobegon Trails offer some of the best trail riding in the state of Minnesota and this is your chance to conquer both of them in one day! You’ll board a luxury coach bus in Saint Joseph early in the morning and you and your bike get shuttled to the start in Fergus Falls. All you have to do is enjoy the 100-mile ride back.


Gitchi Gami Ride

Gitchi-Gami Trail Ride

Gooseberry Falls State Park
August 21, 2021

Enjoy a supported, recreational ride on the Gitchi-Gami State Trail along Lake Superior’s scenic North Shore. You’ll get up close and personal with some superior views, be serenaded by waterfalls, wind through multiple state parks and don’t forget: Snacks, t-shirts and sag support are provided! Ride lengths: 8, 28, 34 and 55 miles.


Pauls Bacon Ride

Paul’s Bacon Ride #3 

Brainerd, MN
August 28, 2021

You’ll ride with friends, visiting the trail towns of Merrifield, Nisswa and Pequot Lakes with bacon stops along the way and lots of cold Minnesota craft beer and drinks to wash it down. Registration includes bacon-themed breakfast and lunch, bacon stops along the route, drink specials, ride t-shirt and SAG. Distance: 45 miles.


Lake Wobegon Country is Dairy Country

Caramel Apple Ride

Sauk Centre, MN
September 11, 2021

Enjoy the fall colors and great apple refreshments at all the rest stops including caramel apples and other treats from local vendors. Spend the day riding the great Lake Wobegon Trail Country.


Bike riders climb up a hill

Ride the Ridges

Winona, MN
September 18, 2021

Ride the Ridges will take riders through some of the most scenic areas in southeastern Minnesota, from lush valleys along streams to bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. Four routes, ranging from short to a century. Each route has hills and valleys and spectacular views. All routes have well-stocked rest stops featuring local delicacies. Rider amenities include a long-sleeve t-shirt, meal coupon, free showers, and SAG support.
Distances: 18, 42, 62, 106 miles


On it southern end, the Paul Bunyan Trail winds through scenic Crow Wing State Park

Park 2 Park Adventure Ride

Little Falls, MN
September 25, 2021

Get to know the future route of the Camp Ripley/Veterans State Trail and explore Little Falls. When complete, this unique trail will connect The Soo Line bike trail with Crow Wing State Park and join together the Central Lakes, Lake Wobegon, Soo Line, Paul Bunyan, Heartland and Mi-GiZi Trails!
Leave Charles A. State Park and choose from several options.



Keep up with the latest MN Trails news and events in our newsletter

About me

I’m Jan, the publisher of Minnesota Trails Magazine. I’m looking for that one trail, the next ride, a new discovery and other reasons never to sit still in Minnesota.


More stories:

Must-Do Bike Rides in 2024

Road, trail, gravel, you name it. Take a look at our list of 2024 bike rides and mark your calendars!

A Runner’s Guide to Minnesota’s North Shore

From Jay Cooke and Duluth to Grand Portage, the North Shore offers trail running adventures of all lengths and difficulty levels.

Made in MN: Forage + Roam Lifestyle Goods

Forage + Roam Lifestyle Goods in Buffalo, MN is coming up on its first anniversary and has already received rave reviews.

Eight Numbers To Get You out of the Woods

It’s dark, it’s cold, and you didn’t expect to be out here this long.

Blue is King at Carley State Park

The 2023 Bluebell Festival at Carley State Park is scheduled for May 13.

A Tale of Two Trails: Paul Bunyan State Trail

You’ll see many incarnations of Paul Bunyan and other colorful characters in towns along this one-of-a-kind trail.

Central Minnesota Joy Ride

At high noon on a breezy late summer day, I loaded the panniers on my bike at the trailhead in Fergus Falls.  Before me were 130 miles of uninterrupted bike trail and three days of cycling.

Winter at Maplewood State Park

10,000-acre Maplewood State Park offers miles of winter trails, groomed and not.

Guest Blog: When Hope Becomes the Plan

Guest blogger Josh Rizzo’s story of eight friends, four days of bike packing and zero reservations.

New Program Replaces Minneapolis Bike Tour

The one-day tour will make way to a series of smaller events during the summer.

Lake Bronson Adventure Race

This orienteering-style race is held annually at Lake Bronson State Park. Grab a GPS and a friend and head to northwestern Minnesota.

Please join our newsletter mailing list!

It’s your source for sneak previews of the next print issue, new trails to explore, upcoming events and the latest blog posts. We promise to keep it brief, entertaining and relevant and you can unsubscribe anytime. We will not share your info with anyone.

* indicates required