Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Riding the Cannon Valley Trail

As mentioned in my post yesterday, Mark and I rode the Cannon Valley Trail on Sunday.  If you enjoy cycling, and have never visited this gem, you MUST head down there this summer!  It is such a pretty ride and can be as easy or challenging as you want.  Here are my tips for making this trip a success:

- Start in Red Wing.  The trail runs between Cannon Falls and Red Wing, which is 40 miles round trip.  Welch is roughly halfway, so it would be an easy ride to just turn around there.  We did all 40 miles, which took us about 3 hours, not counting our stop for lunch.  We started in Red Wing because the elevation is lower, which means that you ride uphill first and downhill on the way back.  The hill grade is very slight though, but any little bit helps when you are tired!

- Bring cash.  You must purchase a wheel pass to ride.  You can buy these at either end of the trail or in Welch.  The cost is 4$ per person.

-Stop in Welch to stretch and refill your water bottle.  It's the only water fountain along the path, but there are several other rest stops that would be great for a picnic or a stretch.

-Speaking of food, we enjoyed a tasty lunch at a BBQ place in Cannon Falls.  Its easy to find the main drag from the trail and I enjoyed having 45 minutes off of my bike seat.

-Keep your eyes on the trail.  It gets really busy on the weekends so be prepared to have to share your space.  Also, watch out for wildlife.  A deer darted out in front of us, as did several squirrels and rabbits.

-As always, make sure your bike is properly fitted to you and that you are comfortable riding it.  40 miles is a long way if you are uncomfortable!  Also important are bike shorts, a helmet, and good sunglasses.


  1. I got engaged down on the Cannon! Super fun memories for me. We haven't biked it yet, but talk about doing it often.


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