The Root River Trail is one of the best bike trails in southern Minnesota. It’s meant for the casual cyclist looking to pedal smooth asphalt with relatively little elevation change. Is there a more perfect path to ride an ebike on? This 42-mile long trail winds along with the Root River from Fountain to Houston, Minnesota. Much of this trail mirrors the Minnesota Bluff Country Scenic Byway (Highway 16).
In terms of amenities and beauty, this trail is downright indulgent. From west to east, the Fountain trailhead has ample parking, restrooms, and water to get you started off down the trail. The first 12 miles wind through rolling farmland while approaching Lanesboro. Lanesboro is just about the quaintest town you can find in southern Minnesota.
Ice Cream ALERT: Another Time Ice Cream Parlor
While in Lanseboro, check out Another Time, where you can grab a cone and sit directly adjacent to the trail. We don’t think this trail is one of the best bike trails in southern Minnesota for no reason! For riders that want to make their journey last longer, there are camping opportunities trailside as well. One great option is the Eagle Cliff Campground just east of town.
If you schedule your ride in September, be sure to look into the Taste of the Trail. This event is where towns along the route like Whalen have miniature festivals. You get a taste of what their communities have to offer!
If a less rustic overnighter is more your speed, check out the Andor Wenneson Historic Inn in Peterson, MN.
Ice Cream ALERT: Creamery Pizza & Ice Cream
As you roll into Rushford, you’ll find another trailside cone option at the Creamery. Rushford is also your last chance to restock on water for the last leg of the journey, a 13 miles stretch from Rushford to Houston.
The Root River Trail is one of the best bike trails in southern Minnesota also because it is considered part of the “Minnesota Blufflands.” This is a subsection of the Paleozoic Plateau Section of the Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province. Keep an eye out for the Rushford Sand Barrens Scenic natural area. This stretch is home to some unique plant life—especially within Minnesota—and lots of birds of prey.
Ice Cream ALERT: Sub Zero Pizza & Ice Cream
If you hadn’t guessed, ice cream stops are of the utmost importance to us here at Tuoteg HQ. If you missed either of the other two cone-stops on this journey, take the time to ride the extra couple of blocks to Sub Zero in Houston, MN for a post-ride reward.
In conclusion, the Root River Trail is one of the best bike trails in southern Minnesota for many reasons. From ice creams stops to beautiful scenery, you really can’t beat it! Take your electric bike for a spin, especially now that summer is upon us.