In case you've been wondering where we've been, hope no one has worried. We have been just fine but camping in a spot with impossibly slow internet (Yellowstone!), so posting to the blog was not possible. We have a lot of posts in the pipeline, so please stay tuned, and thanks for your patience.
When we last blogged, we were in Akeley, Minnesota. Seems like that was an awfully long time ago! But what a wonderful time we had riding the Heartland State Trail there. Here's a great description of the trail from the Minnesota DNR's website:
"The Heartland State Trail was one of the first rail-to-trail projects in the country. It is a 49 mile, multiple-use trail between Park Rapids and Cass Lake. The trail is located entirely on a level, abandoned, railroad grade, except for a four-mile segment north of Walker which is on a low-volume traffic road....The Heartland State Trail also connects with the Paul Bunyan State Trail system and other regional trail systems."
During our stay, we were able to ride the entire length of the Heartland Trail in two separate days, riding west to Park Rapids one day and northeast to Cass Lake the other.
The trail is smoothly paved and near flat to flat. It is a true joy to ride, with beautiful woodlands, fields, lakes, and charming towns along the way, especially at the western end.
Our ride to Park Rapids actually had a purpose; we needed to go to a bike shop, and found one conveniently located right at the western terminus of the trail.
On the way back to Akeley, we stopped at the cute tourist town of Nevis for some delicious ice cream at Muskie Waters Co.
The next day we rode east and north on the trail. This was a longer ride, and Walker is the only city between Akeley and Cass Lake, so you need to plan accordingly and bring enough to eat and drink.
It got hilly at the end as the Heartland Trail officially ends two miles south of Cass Lake, but we forged onward in search of refreshment!
We finally found something yummy to revive ourselves in the city of Cass Lake (part of an Indian reservation), but we never did see Cass Lake. It is a bit north and east of the city, and we'd ridden enough.
On the way back we stopped off in Walker, the County Seat of Cass County. Walker is on the southwest shore of beautiful Leech Lake.
We'd hoped to pick up a couple of freshly baked scones at the Green Scene health food store, but they sold the last two right as we arrived. We were so disappointed as they looked amazing. Picking up our pouty lips, we pedaled back to Akeley.
We ended up with over 41 miles on the Akeley to Park Rapids ride and over 68 miles on the Akeley to Cass Lake ride. My legs were getting really tired! But we still had one more ride we really wanted to do before leaving the area and only one more day to do it in, so stay tuned for that one!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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