It seems as though this is the first time we’ve seen clear yards before daylight savings time in many years. This early thaw revealed one of the gems of our area, the Cannon Valley Trail (CVT, for short). We think this trail is one of the best bike trails near Red Wing, Minnesota for many reasons!
The CVT stretches from Red Wing to Cannon Falls, Minnesota. It was built on the bed of what once was a portion of the ‘Corn Belt Route’ of the Chicago Great Western Railway. This railway was one of many Rails-to-Trails conversions across the US (read more about Rails-to-Trails here). Old railroad beds are mostly flat, which makes for easy pedaling and accessibility to a diverse set of riders. And since the railways connected from town to town, these trails typically have easy access points and regular roadside amenities.
What makes a route or ride one of the best bike trails near Red Wing, Minnesota? There are three main categories we like to check:
- Accessibility & Amenities
- Nature & Scenery
Accessibility & Amenities
It doesn’t matter how great the vistas are if they’re difficult to get to. And if we’re transporting bikes by car to get to the trail, having clearly marked access points and parking lots is a must. Having ADA-compliant infrastructure also ensures that trail access is well-designed. Consequently, this means the broadest range of folks can get out there and enjoy the trail.
Having restrooms and drinking water at regular intervals on the trail is key! Staying hydrated and being able to refill the water bottle is what makes for a joyous ride. And you can’t forget about restrooms…because when you got to go, you got to go.
The CVT has three main parking areas over its 20-mile stretch. There is one in Cannon Falls, one in Red Wing, and one at the halfway mark in Welch. Plenty of spaces, easy access, drinking water, and restrooms. Check!
Nature & Scenery
Playing leapfrog with a city bus or waiting at a busy intersection while inhaling exhaust doesn’t sound very fun. If we’re looking to get out for a weekend ride, we want to see some green or take in a nice view. Lucky for us, the CVT is one of the best bike trails near Red Wing, Minnesota because of its scenery.
The CVT follows the Cannon River through a gorgeous cross-section of Southeastern Minnesota topography. There’s great bluff views of the river, bridges, and rolling farmland. You can catch glimpses of a turkey and/or deer crossing, or a glimpse of rare birds while pedaling through the Cannon River Turtle Preserve Natural Area. How’s that for being one of the best bike trails near Red Wing, Minnesota? Check.
We make no apologies for it: we pedal for snacks. Your snack of choice may vary, but a great bike ride must have a food truck, café, or brewery on the route. Lucky for us, the CVT provides ample snack opportunities on either end! Whether that be in Red Wing’s West Main street area or Cannon Falls Downtown, you can find anything. The Bleu Dog Café in Welch is the perfect stop for a halfway lunch. Check.
If you find yourself nearby, it’s worth the time to take a spin down the Cannon Valley Trail. And let us know – we might just close up shop, grab a CRZR, and tag along. We don’t think the CVT is one of the best bike trails near Red Wing, Minnesota for nothing!
Want Additional Information?
Need any additional information for one of the best bike trails near Red Wing, Minnesota? Check out their website here to find out anything you need to know!