Description: This is a trail in central Minnesota running from St. Joseph through Avon, Albany, Freeport, Melrose, and continuing to Sauk Center, with approximately six to nine miles between towns. It's 10 feet wide, so two skaters can skate side-by-side and allow for oncoming traffic. The trail from St. Joseph to Avon opened in 2003, as well as the 9.4 mile spur from Albany to Holdingford. The trail from Avon west opened in 1998.
Getting there: There are trailheads in some of the towns along the route:
- St. Joseph: From I-94, exit north into town on Hwy 2. Follow the signs for Hwy 2 (you will turn left and cross Hwy 75). You will see trailhead on the right (under the water tower), but you need to go past it and take the first street to the right (brown sign will point the way) and loop back around to park. The trailhead has a good parking lot and nice visitor building with bathrooms.
- Avon: From I-94, exit north into town. In 0.6 miles, you will cross the trail; park on the right. There is a trailhead with good parking lots and shelter. There's good picnicking, but it isn't close to any businesses.
- Albany: Take Exit 147 north 0.2 miles, then turn right on Church Street and go 0.3 miles. Good parking and great blacktop in a city lot adjacent to the trail and nearby businesses.
- Freeport: A smaller town with Jimmie's Pub and Charlie's Cafe. Good parking, but there's 20 feet of gravel between the parking lot and the trail.
- Melrose and Sauk Centre have trail access points as well.
Length: 46 miles from St. Joseph to Sauk Centre, plus a 9.4 mile spur between Albany and Holdingford. It's generally about six miles between towns.
Link: Official web site