Bike Trip Planning

By Friend of Pedal MN

Explore Minnesota

Information about trails, rentals, destinations, etc. complete with a searchable directory and Google map.

exploreminnesota.com/things-to-do/biking

Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT)

Whether you are bicycling within your neighborhood, exploring the state’s scenic county roads and trails commuting to work, this site will provide you with information and resources to help you make your trip a safe, efficient and enjoyable one.

dot.state.mn.us/bike

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

Looking for some great places to spin your wheels? Whether it’s miles of smooth asphalt or the rugged twists and turns of an off-road trail you can find something here to get you movin’.

dnr.state.mn.us/biking/index.html

Minnesota Trails Magazine

Minnesota Trails magazine is published quarterly in cooperation with the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota, a non-profit organization that acquires, protects and enhances critical lands for public enjoyment. The website provides a statewide trail map and bike shop listing.

mntrails.com

Cyclopath

Cyclopath is a geowiki: an editable map where anyone can share notes about roads and trails, enter tags about special locations, and fix map problems - like missing trails. Hundreds of Twin Cities cyclists are already doing this.

cyclopath.org

Email: cycloplan-project@cs.umn.edu

Mississippi River Trail (MRT) 

Coursing along America’s premier river, from its headwaters in Itasca, Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, the MRT offers a unique north-south transect of the United States to adventurous bicyclists. Although the majority of the MRT is routed on roads, imbedded are significant off-road trail opportunities to delight almost any user. MRT, Inc. has published a high quality guide book for cyclists seeking to bicycle the MRT through all 10 states. The guide lists lodging, camping and dining tips and provides a unique “cyclist’s” perspective.

mississippirivertrail.org

Minnesota's Mississippi River Trail (MRT)

Minnesota’s MRT, which is also designated U.S. Bicycle Route 45, connects existing shouldered highways, low-use roads, and long segments of scenic state, regional, and local trails for bicyclists to closely follow the Mississippi River from the headwaters at Itasca State Park to the Iowa border. The route begins where the Mississippi is just a small stream surrounded by towering white pines. It winds through forests and farm fields, passes through the bicycle-friendly Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and the National Park Service’s Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, and through charming, historic river towns. It offers challenging climbs in the limestone bluffs of southeastern Minnesota rewarded with long scenic views of the river valley. The route is sometimes on two sides of the river, offering a linear long distance bikeway along with opportunities for short loop rides if crossing from one side to another.  When traveling the Mississippi River at the pace and intimacy of a bicycle, you’ll be immersed in the river’s way of life and find great history, enchantment, and remarkable adventure. There’s something for everyone. Come experience and enjoy the river.

Bikely

Bikely is an international bike route search engine, where you can see routes other riders have posted, or you can create and post your own favorite route.

Bikely.com

Smart Trips

St. Paul Smart Trips is a non-profit organization that improves access and mobility for those who travel in and around St. Paul, and promotes bicycle commuting.  

smart-trips.org

Map My Ride

Plot your bike rides over mountains (view elevation), through the woods (topo maps), and speeding through the city (street level views) with just a few mouse clicks. Once your cycling map is complete you can quickly view it in 3D, satellite form, or share it with friends.

mapmyride.com

Adventure Cycling

Adventure Cycling researches and produces cycling maps for the Adventure Cycling Route Network - one of the largest route networks in the world at 38,158 miles (and growing). They publish Adventure Cyclist magazine, lead bike tours and work on bicycle advocacy projects such as the U.S. Bicycle Route System.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/us-bicycle-route-system/

American Trails

American Trails is a national organization that advocates for trails of all types and has online resources for planning, building, designing, funding, managing, enhancing, and supporting trails and greenways.

americantrails.org/resources/statetrails/MNstate.html

Rails to Trails

Rails to Trails is a nationwide network of trails developed on former railroad lines and connecting corridors. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is now an official content provider for Google Maps and Google’s brand new Biking Directions! To learn more, read Google’s official announcement.

traillink.com/home.aspx

Global Positioning System (GPS) – there are several companies such as Garmin (garmin.com), Trimble (trimble.com), and Lowrance (lowrance.com) that produce handheld GPS units and mapping technology software.