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Find the top rated birding trails in Alexandria, whether you're looking for an easy short birding trail or a long birding trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a birding trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
|Trail Image||Trail Name||States||Length||Surface||Rating|
The completion of the final segment of the Central Lakes State Trail in 2005 was the culmination of a positive partnership between volunteers and local and state officials that began in 1992 with the...
Phase one of the development of central Minnesota’s Dairyland Trail was completed in April 2013, allowing trail users to hike, bike, or ride a horse for more than 6 miles between the small towns of...
|MN||6.2 mi||Crushed Stone||
The 22-mile original section of the paved Glacial Lakes State Trail follows the former right-of-way of the Burlington Northern Railroad between Willmar and about 1 mile west of Paynesville at...
As fans of public radio can tell you, this trail’s namesake is the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, made famous by author and radio personality Garrison Keillor of A Prairie Home Companion. Along the...
The Soo Line Recreational Trail is a continuation of the Soo Line Trail (southern route) just north of Royalton, Minnesota. This 10-mile segment, however, does not permit motorized uses, unlike its...
I had been on the Lake Wobegon trail many years ago to where it dead-ended north of Holdingford. Now I finally made it back to ride the extension to the Mississippi River and back. For added thrills I also rode to Albany for lunch and returned.
There seem to be at least 3 trails in Minnesota that use the Soo Line name so it gets a little confusing. This one is an extension of the spur line of the Lake Wobegon trail, starting a little north of Holdingford, which is itself north of Albany, which is on I-94 west of the Twin Cities.
Holdingford has a nice trailhead with all the facilities and a real-life boxcar for added atmosphere. The transition from Lake Wobegon to Soo Line trail is seamless.
The trail is wide, smooth, and has only a couple road crossings of any consequence. The Mississippi River bridge is quite spectacular; I stopped and took in the views of the river and dam for a while. Shortly after that I came to the end of the paved trail where it changes to ATV use. There's one highway bridge where both kinds of vehicles are allowed, but I didn't see any ATVs while I was there, and I doubt that there are many conflicts.
The northern trailhead was not as well-appointed as Holdingford, but still had the basic facilities. There was also a nice trailhead mid-trail in Bowlus.
Smooth, flat, scenic. A very nice ride.
Trail is closed just north of Willmar - very soft trail at about 5 miles out. Trail from Spicer to Paynesville is great
Rode from mile 90 to 85 and back on a cross country car trip. A very pleasant break and a trail I would like to come back to and ride more.
Nice ride from Ashby to Dalton. Open views of rolling prairie, wetlands and farm fields. Head (right) to downtown Dalton and take the paved county road east for 2 miles, then south on a less traveled paved county road with rolling hills past several lakes and wetlands, a beautiful country church on top of a hill with an outstanding view of the countryside and to the trail for the return to Ashby. This is about a 17 mile loop and makes the ride more interesting than out and back on the trail.
It's a nice smooth ride with great food at Jordie's along the way. Worth a visit.
On August 21, 2015 my wife, 7 year old daughters and I traveled a couple miles east and a few miles west of Big Ole in Alexandria. The kids did fine as the trail is level and in good shape. On this short trip, the travel west was easier.
Going east involved more side street crossings. The tunnel under the main highway limits the high traffic danger going east and is kind of cool to go through. If we had traveled a little further and I expect we would have been out of town and had the joys of rural riding.
Going west involved crossing a couple busier roads, but was picturesque once we left town. As we rode several large culverts brought us right over the lakes. We did some Geocaching along the way and stopped to just look around.
The scenery was beautiful. In our view, the trail is great. Our round trip distance was about 14 miles (2 east and 5 west X 2).
The trail head in Alexandria had toilets, water and a place to sit down. Parking was good. Also, basically across the street is the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum (lots of vintage boats) and the Runestone Museum. We enjoyed both.
We look forward to more Central Lakes trail this summer.
On March 12, 2016 my wife, our 8 year old daughters and I rode bike from Willmar to Spicer. Smooth 6 mile ride. We crossed a few gravel roads, but traffic was not a concern. The Highway 23 underpass eliminates the worry of crossing a busy highway. We stopped at Subway, a few feet off the trail, in Spicer. After lunch we turned around and traveled back to Willmar. Our daughters handled the ride very well. They did last year at 7 also. They have good bikes from Rick's Cycling in Willmar, not discount store, bikes.
Overall great little trip, get out and ride, they grow up fast.
I loved this trail. Nice, clean and flat. It gives a good view of the countryside as you traverse the miles of trail. I had no clue where this ended as it flawlessly merges with the Wobegon trail for way more mileage that I could have done in my short timeframe. There are multiple little wooden bridges. I took a little rest at Bowlus. Wish I had time to stop by the little café I saw. I would definitely ride this one again!
We have been on a mission to bike all the state managed bike trails in MN. This trail was somewhat disappointing compared to many others. After reading some of the other reviews I would agree that it does not have many of the amenities we have come to expect like benches/ porta potties at rest stops. We biked only the portion from Paynesville to New London since it was the closest point for us. We could not even find a decent start point in Paynesville. We parked next to the cemetery on a pulloff spot because there was no parking at all at the 'trailhead' indicated on the map. I suppose there may have been other spots including the high school that a person could choose but not knowing the area we had no idea. I would describe the trail to New London as:
A very nice, smooth surface
Pretty but next to a busy road quite a bit
Not much tree cover
Appreciated the trailhead in Hawick with parking and potty (we should have started here)
Found the trailhead at the end in New London to be lacking. They seem to be working on it still but it was very exposed. We went past it into town and the 'rest stop' indicated was a convenience store with a picnic table behind it next to the dumpster.
In summary I would say that it is not one we will go back to however, I can see by other reviews that the Spicer end near Green Lake might have been more enjoyable.
Awesome trail you will enjoy it
This trail is a beautiful ride through the edge of Praire Pothole Region of Minnesota.
You'll see plenty of potholes and prairies with lots of wildlife along the way. Watch out for the deer and Sandhill Cranes! You should see lots of water fowl along the way too.
Check out the Prairie Wetland Learning Center just outside of Fergus Falls MN. For more info go to http://www.friendsofprairiewetlands.com/
If you ride the trail in late summer to see the those "amber waves of grain" that are part of the great American folk song "America the Beautiful!"
The trail weaves through the land dotted with woods, prairies, lots of large and small lakes and the many small towns that dot the country side evoking memories of a Norman Rockwell painting. Truly a wonderful experience of small town America from a cycling perspective.
The east end of the trail merges with that other icon of America... "Lake Wobegon" ... in the form of the Lake Wobegon Trails. The combination of trails creates 100+ miles of paved rail trail to enjoy from Fergus Falls MN on the west to St Joseph at the east end ... a really wonderful ride across Central Minnesota.
This route is also a favorite of many of the cross country cyclists following the northern tier route of the Adventure Cycling Association. (http://www.adventurecycling.org/)
Happy Tails! Cliff
Lake Wobegon Trails Association
33504 Shorewood Drive
Avon MN 56310
Every year sometime between Father's Day and the 4th of July the Minnesota State Flower blooms along the Lake Wobegon Trail.
There's even a bike ride dedicated these lovely flowers and it's call the "Lady Slipper Nature Ride" and MN Master Naturalists are stationed along the trail to share their knowledge and answer questions about the flowers or any other natural aspects of the trail.
For more info on the ride go to www.ladyslipperride.com
This native orchid is the Showy Pink & White Lady Slipper. It's flower looks like baby's moccasin and is also referred to as the moccasin flower. It's protected by state law making it illegal to dig them up or to pick them.
But you can take all the photos you want! Just don't get too close to them or you can potentially kill the plants. Use the zoom on your camera to get that close up picture!
They require a unique environment to grow including a boggy soil, filtered sunlight and a special fungus in the soil for them to mature and create their stunning flowers!
You can find pictures on the trail website at http://lwtrails.com/gallery/Site/index/Pages/Lady_Slipper.html
It can take up to 15 years for the first flower to appear. So enjoy them as I do every year but try not to stand too close and risk compacting the soil and killing these lovely native orchids.... Happy Trails!
PS for more information on the Lady Slippers go to http://lakewobegontrail.com/Websites/lakewobegontrail/images/2014_Vers_Lady_Slipper_Brochure.pdf
Lake Wobegon Trails Association
33504 Shorewood Dr
Avon MN 56310
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