The Pere Marquette Trail - Heading South For a Promise of A Warmer Winter - CycleBlaze

July 10, 2019

The Pere Marquette Trail

Midland to Evart

We spent all day on the Pere Marquette Rail Trail. 57 miles and it was very nice.
Heart 1 Comment 0
They've set up some excellent stops with restrooms, water, picnic tables. Here we are in the middle of nowhere and this path is very impressive.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Lots of shade on a day where the temps are supposed to reach 90! I just checked and right now it's 88 degrees/feels like 93!
Heart 1 Comment 0
Cute bathroom stop
Heart 1 Comment 0
Luke started in Seattle and is heading for home in Albany, NY!
Heart 1 Comment 0
He told us be sure and stop at Cops and Doughnuts Headquarters so we did!
Heart 1 Comment 0
Police memorabilia!
Heart 0 Comment 0
I put our pin in for where we started! The owner says this map has been up since last September. They get so full he has to clear it and start again.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Of course we had to sample something, right? I forgot to take a picture but we split a huge sticky bun. That half a bun got us here to our hotel in Evart!
Heart 1 Comment 0
Path all the way!
Heart 1 Comment 0
A few of these tunnels were shady and cool.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Hope nothing too big goes over the top!
Heart 1 Comment 0
Home for tonight at the Osceola Grand!
Heart 1 Comment 0

Today's ride: 57 miles (92 km)
Total: 9,581 miles (15,419 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 4
Comment on this entry Comment 7
Nancy WrightI am enjoying following your route, especially the trails in Michigan. We have been on several of them. I am so jealous, you got to go to Cops and Donuts! If you are going to take the Badger ferry, let me know and I can tell you the name of a great bakery in Manitowoc, Wisconsin!
Nancy Wright in Sharon, Vermont
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Janet Anspach-RickeyTo Nancy WrightHi Nancy!
We are taking the SSBadger this Saturday! I have us mapped as far as Winona. Some of the 400 and the Elroy-Sparta trail is damaged and closed so it will be a good mix of some 33 and 71 and some of the trails.
Right now I'm pouring over the Minnesota/ South Dakota options. In your journal you mentioned going along the Mississippi to arrive in Winona. Did you follow the Sakata Singing Hills State Trail as it ran north and then come down the River?
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Nancy WrightTo Janet Anspach-RickeyHi,
Are you going to take the Great River Trail along the Mississippi River to get to Winona? It gets rough after Trempeleau, so if you get off and take side roads up toward Winona, you can avoid some of the main road, I think it's 33? When you cross the bridge over the Mississippi River into Winona, take the sidewalk on the left/westbound side because there is a lot of traffic and no real shoulder.

We went north along the Mississippi and turned west on a county road toward Rochester. If you want directions on which roads we took, let me know and I will get back to you tomorrow. I have directions to Rochester, Faribault, Mankato and New Ulm.

How were the donuts? I only eat donuts when I am on a bike tour!

Nancy
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Janet Anspach-RickeyTo Nancy WrightHi Nancy,
Any routing you can share is welcome! I'm using your journals to piece together our route!
From Winona, we thought we would ride up along the River to the start on the Singing Trail for starters. Looks like it would be interesting. It would take us through the towns you have listed.
I'm also looking at S. Dakota and riding through the Badlands. If we ridd from Kadoka, its 59 miles through the park and up to Wall.
Thoughts? Advice? Thanks for any help.
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Nancy WrightTo Janet Anspach-RickeyHI,

If you go north along the Mississippi River, I think the road and traffic are better on the Wisconsin side until you get to Wabasha; on the Minnesota side, the highway is something like an interstate, two lanes in each direction with a median up the middle. Cross into Wabasha and go north along the river to Red Wing. You can then get onto the Cannon Valley Trail (very nice) and from there, head to the Singing Hills Trail.

The east end of the Singing Hills was in rough shape in 2016; it's a very old trail. The western 2/3 was fine after they had recently repaved it. They had plans to do over the eastern end after 2016, so it's probably okay now.

When the Sakatah Singing Hills Trail ends just before Mankato, take the trail to the right before going under the highway. That will eventually take you along the Minnesota River. It doesn't go directly through town, but if you go through a break in the cement wall on your left side near town, you can go into town, and see the famous buffalo statue.

Continue on the trail along the river. There will be a trail to the left, which will become the Red Jacket Trail. Take that and it will follow Old Hwy 66. When it "T's " at a crossroad, go right on S Route Trail. This will take you to Minneopa Falls (worth a visit). Leaving the falls, go right on 69/Gadwell, then left on 574th. At Route 68, go left and this will be a very nice cycling road that will take you to New Ulm, a German town.

From New Ulm to the South Dakota border, most of Route 14 is okay to ride. Last time, we took back roads on the south side of 14 just for a different route. Some of the back roads are dirt. I checked them out in advance, because our riders don't like to do these dirt roads with road bikes.

There aren't many places to stay after New Ulm. (the next large town is Brookings, South Dakota). We used to stay at a church in Tracy, a nice little town. I think there might be a motel there. As you get closer to the state line, there will be hundreds of wind turbines. There were just a few when we went through in 1996, and there have been more every time we rode through.

One thing about one of the towns on this route: Faribault, at the north end of the Singing Hills Trail, has always been very confusing to get through. The streets don't make any sense. It could be hard to find the beginning of the trail. There is a Dairy Queen right at the start, so look for that.

Any questions? Just let me know!

Nancy
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Janet Anspach-RickeyTo Nancy WrightThis is really nice. Thank you so much. I'm looking at South Dakota too. Did you follow the frontage road or get right on I-90. I see some of it was closed that year so you were able to ride it carefree! I'd like to ridd ghd Badlands. Did your riders go the whole route through the park on what is it? Route 250?
When you left rapid City what route did you take? Looks like you went north then south then north again. Janet
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Janet Anspach-RickeyTo Nancy WrightWinona was great
We bought food at the co-op. The chili was delicious. There's a separate bike path along the westbound side of the bridge now crossing the River. There was a storm all night with rolling thunder and lightning. What a show
Reply to this comment
2 months ago