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New bike route connects Moorhead to St. Cloud

The route is dubbed U.S. Bike Route 20, but the public is being invited to help select a new name.

Central Lakes Trail
The Central Lakes Trail is part of the newly designated U.S. Bike Route 20.
Paul Stafford/Explore Minnesota Tourism
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MOORHEAD — A new 188-mile bike route, designated as U.S. Bike Route 20, connects Moorhead to St. Cloud via a blend of off-road trails and carefully selected roadways.

Much of the route parallels Interstate 94 and takes advantage of a number of state and regional trails, with more than two-thirds of the route making use of off-road trails.

Segments of the route that make the most use of roadways include a stretch from Moorhead to near Pelican Rapids, which is made up mostly of what is commonly referred to as Old Highway 52 and is officially called County Road 52.

USBR20_Overview Map_June 2022.jpg
The new U.S. Bike Route 20, which runs from Moorhead in northwest Minnesota to St. Coud, in central Minnesota.
Image provided by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The Heart of the Lakes Trail, which is still under development but is to be completed some time in August, will connect Pelican Rapids to Maplewood State Park, according to Jake Rueter, active transportation coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

From the state park to Fergus Falls, the bike route largely follows roadways, though the route will be mostly off-road trails between Fergus Falls and St. Cloud, Rueter said.

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Leaving Fergus Falls, the route follows the Central Lakes State Trail through several communities, including a stop to see the Kensington Runestone in Alexandria.

In Osakis, the route continues on the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail, passing through many small towns to St. Cloud.

Rueter said the roadways included in bike routes are typically those that have the lowest vehicle speeds and traffic volumes.

The new route is dubbed U.S. Bike Route 20, but the public is invited to help select a new name by visiting
www. research.net/r/USBikeRoute20name and voting for one of the following options:

  • Glacial Lakes Bicycle Route
  • Prairie Lakes Bicycle Route
  • MiddleSota Bicycle Route
  • Rivers to Prairies Bicycle Route
  • Towns and Fields Bicycle Route

The above names, which highlight geographic features along the bike route, were suggested by participants attending a Minnesota Department of Transportation event last year.
Voting closes July 12, with the winning name to be announced later this summer.

"MnDOT is excited to give people another way to see our beautiful state," said Nancy Daubenberger, MnDOT commissioner.

"Working with local and regional partners to develop projects like Route 20 is one of the goals of our Statewide Bicycle Plan, which aims to make bicycling safe, comfortable and convenient for all users," she added. "We hope that Route 20 provides a new option for current cyclists and inspires others to see some of the great rides that Minnesota has to offer."

Additional information about U.S. Route 20 can be found at ridewithgps.com/routes/38913721 and at dot.state.mn.us/bike/usbr20.html.

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The U.S. Bicycle Route System is a network of numbered routes currently extending more than 18,000 miles through 31 states.

For more about Minnesota bike routes, visit www. mndot.gov/bike/routes-maps.html .

Related Topics: MOORHEADMINNESOTAST. CLOUD
I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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