|Family of deer in the campground.|
The weather deteriorated while we were at Wakefield. We stayed 3 nights hoping it would clear up but that was not to be so on Wednesday we took off. We wanted to do some biking and our first idea was the Elroy-Sparta trail in Wisconsin but with the rain we decided to make it a long diving day and go to Lanesboro MN. The difference is a limestone trail versus a paved trail. The Elroy-Sparta trail is a great trail but it also has some long and wet train tunnels, they are great on warm sunny days but with potential rain in the forecast it didn’t sound so nice. We broke all our driving rules and drove 320 miles to Lanesboro. We left by 8 am and even with a couple short stops arrived around 3 o’clock.
|Fall is coming|
Lanesboro has a small city park, Sylvan park, that has water-electric sites. We have tent camped here but never brought the RV here. We usually stay south of here in Decorah IA and then drive here to get on the trail. This park is pretty tight but we got a site on the end next to the hill. There were only 3 rigs in the park when we arrived but by Friday night this park was packed. It is amazing how quiet this town is during the week and then the crowds descend on this little burg and there are people and bikes everywhere. If you want to see all the different types of bikes there are this is the place to do it. Unique tandems and recumbent along with road bikes, hybrid bikes are everywhere. There are old folks, young families, and serious bikers.
We tried to get our bike rides in before the crowds arrived. Thursday we rode about 14 miles toward Whalen and back. Whalen has a great pie shop so we rode past it and then back to split a great piece of apple pie. Friday we headed the other direction and rode to Preston and back for a total of about 22 miles. The Root River trail system is 60 miles of paved trail. We have probably ridden about 30 mies of it at one time or another. Most of it is a rail trail so fairly easy riding but if you want a challenge go west out of Lanesboro and take the trail to Fountain. There is an intersection at about 5 miles where you can choose to go to Preston or onto Fountain. From the intersection to Fountain is 6 miles and it is all up hill. This section is not rail trail so steeper grades prevail. The good part is you get to coast most of the way back. We have ridden this section before but this trip we just couldn’t convince ourselves to work that hard.
|Amish selling their wares at the Preston trailhead|
If you like to bike the rail trails we highly recommend this trail, it follows the river and is a beautiful trail. The town is a nice little village with a couple restaurants, little shops, a winery, a live theater group, and a bike store that rents bikes and also arranges tours of the surrounding Amish country. Yes, this is another Amish area. They come into town and sell their baskets, quilts, baked goods and produce. There was a stand at Preston that we picked up some bread and there was a farmers’ market on Saturday where we added some veggies to the fridge. There are a couple alternatives to the campground at city park too. The city also has a Riverside campground by the dam, Eagle Cliff is not far away and The Old Barn is near that Preston-Fountain intersection on the trail. I think the Old Barn would be our choice after the city parks. The city parks are just more convenient to town.