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Circling around the 652-acre lake on the eastern edge of Waseca, the Clear Lake Bike Trail System provides a fun recreational experience and a unique way to explore this pristine body of water. A very popular fishing spot, Clear Lake also has a reputation for swimming and sailing, and the paved trail provides an excellent land-based alternative form of outdoor fun, as well as offering a safe and scenic connection between the various city parks located around the lake.
The trail begins next to the southwestern part of the lake at the intersection of 4th Avenue and 9th Street. Hugging the shoreline, the trail soon joins up with Crane Creek Road and runs along the side of the road as a sidepath, offering scenic views of the adjacent lake. Passing by Memorial Park, home to a playground and various athletic fields, the trail continues along the roadside through Maplewood Park, a popular boat launching site that also offers some unpaved nature trails through the woods along the lake. The paved trail continues around the edge of the lake, now adjacent to Clear Lake Drive, passing by a plethora of lakeshore homes before reaching yet another local park, Sportmans Park. Another popular boat launch site, the park also offers picnic tables and benches, a perfect place for trail users to take a break as long as the geese haven't claimed the site. The trail eventually leaves the side of the lake, crossing the road at a marked trail crossing and winding west and south through open fields, providing trail and lake access to some of the nearby neighborhoods. The paved, off-road portion of the trail system comes to an end at 8th Ave. NE about a block away from Clear Lake Park, although a well-signed bike route with dedicated bike lanes allows users to continue their journey to make a full loop back to where the trail began. Those interested in a more linear trail experience can also check out the nearby Loon Lake Trail System on the western side of town.
Street parking is available near the trail entrance at 4th Ave and 9th Street. Parking and restrooms are also available at the city parks along the trail route, including Memorial Park, Maplewood Park, Sportmans Park, and Clear Lake Park.
To reach the southern trail entrance from Interstate 35, take exit 40B for US-14 W towards Waseca. Continue on US-14 W, then follow signs for State Route 13 into Waseca. Continue on SR 13, then turn right onto 8th Street SE. Head north on 8th St. for about 2 miles, then turn right onto 4th Ave NE. The trail's entrance is at the intersection of 4th Ave NE and 9th Street NE.
The pavement around the lake was in good condition. A section was thru city streets but marked. In the south east is Mable Wood Park, on a huge wooded hill for hiking.
A lovely trail around the lake.
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