In the Twin Cities & across the country // Get out of the metro and into Carver Park Reserve
Since this week’s weather forecast looks quite hit or miss, I jumped on my bike Monday evening for a ride in the sun [and heat] and since I was excited to be on my newer and faster road bike, I chose a long bike path that allowed for some serious acceleration.
Start: If you are looking for a ride that is 30+ miles, I began with the Lake Minnetonka Regional Trail which begins in downtown Hopkins, and headed West. From Hopkins to the Carver Park Reserve the path runs about 15 miles. This trail is a packed limestone, so be prepared for a little rougher ride than pavement. The trail runs through North Minnetonka, Deephaven, Shorewood, Excelsior, and finally Victoria.
End: Once you get to Carver Park, the trails are paved smooth with dashed yellow lines, which is excellent for busy days, and the scenery is serene and full of green. There are several lakes within the reserve and plenty of wildlife. If you were to ride the full loop of paved trail, you’d be adding 10.7 miles to your ride. It’s so beautiful and well-maintained I think the next time I want to spend some serious time on my bike I might just drive to the park so as to spend more time doing multiple loops instead of worrying about coming upon intersections as you do on the regional trails.
In Between: Carver Park Reserve has a lot more to offer than just nice bike trails; it has hiking trails, horseback riding trails, reservable picnic areas, fishing areas, swimming locations, boat access to several lakes, an amphitheater, and group camping. So if you had a free weekend with good weather, this would be a perfect spot to bike to and camp at.
In fact, this coming Sunday you can join a naturalist for Nature on Wheels and get a tour of the park for only $5.00 a person. If you’ve got plans already, there are many other family friendly events at the Lowry Nature Center located in the park.
When to Ride: Because there is so much fun to be had, a whole day adventure would be a great way to put Carver Park Reserve on your agenda. Access to the park can be via the Lake Minnetonka Regional Trail or there are several parking lots for car access if you are shorter on time or too far to reasonably bike there. The park is open year-round from 5AM to 10PM each day, so all seasons can be a fun experience.
There I am in my Sylvie Moxie Jersey at a pit stop within the reserve! Enjoy the ride!