Author Topic: Route from Winnipeg Canada to Northern Tier  (Read 1067 times)

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Offline dstromberg

Route from Winnipeg Canada to Northern Tier
« on: May 17, 2012, 09:10:40 am »
I'm trying to determine a start point for a tour starting about September 1st. Can anyone give me feedback about a bike friendly route starting in Winnipeg Canada and going south to connect with the Norther Tier route between Fargo, ND and Grand Rapids Minnesota?

Offline John Nettles

Re: Route from Winnipeg Canada to Northern Tier
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012, 10:40:11 am »
I rode from Mexico to Winnipeg back in 2009.  I rode through Fargo on my way north.

To reverse my route, get to PR-100 & MB-200 and head south.  Do not take 75 as it is pretty busy and has no paved shoulder.  There is a CS in St. Adolphe. At junction of 200 & 305 (near St. Agathe, restaurant), continue south on 200 (begin 8.5 miles of decent gravel) all the way to border crossing just west of Emerson.  Dominion City has a grocery store, Emerson has a restaurant.

Cross border, ride on I-29 (great wide shoulder, legal, low traffic, and it is the only way) to Pembina, ND (very large CS).  Go east on ND-59 which becomes MN-171.  Bridge with HUGE tire grabbing expansion joints at border.  Be careful!

Take MN-171 to US-75 and turn south.  Hallock has a GS, R, CS, nice city CG.  Due to a massive tailwind, I rode from Hallock to Winnipeg in one day, a Sunday.  There may be more stuff open on other days, but a lot of places seemed closed on Sunday.  I couldn’t tell if this was a Sunday only thing or a permanent thing since some towns (especially in Canada) had a store out of a non-descript metal building.  I did not notice any legal CGs north of Hallock until Winnipeg.  I would definitely carry at least an emergency ration or two just in case everything is closed.

Kennedy has a CS.  Stephen has a GS that accuses you of stealing their money bags. http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/forum/board/message/?o=A&message_id=165384&v=1H   Argyle has a CS.  Warren has a CS, R, GS, & CG.

Head west on MN-1 to Alvarado (tiny gas station with very limited stale products) and head south on MN-220 into East  Forks, MN services and a GREAT CG).  Cross river into ND on a bike path accessed on east side at Demers Ave & river.  When you get to Washington Ave., turn south onto Washington which merges with CR-17 and CR-81.  Thompson (off route) has a CS and allows I think allows camping if you call the sheriff.  Reynolds (off route) has a restaurant I was told.  Buxton has a small CS in the Cenex.

Hillsboro has a GS, CS, R, hotel, overpriced CG.  Grandin has a CS & R on the west side of the interstate.  I don’t think Gardner had any services (sorry, can’t remember). Argusville has a bar/restaurant but is not that good.  Harwood didn’t seem to have any services.

Take CR-20/40th Ave. north of Fargo to the east to University Drive and turn south to 12th Ave. in Fargo.

One strong word of caution is that the wind is really strong out there.  I had either great tailwinds or horrible headwinds.  My mileage would go from 35-40 one day and be exhausted to over a hundred miles and had extra energy.
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Route from Winnipeg Canada to Northern Tier
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2012, 02:02:58 pm »
To reverse my route, get to PR-100 & MB-200 and head south... At junction of 200 & 305 (near St. Agathe, restaurant), continue south on 200 (begin 8.5 miles of decent gravel) all the way to border crossing just west of Emerson.

I actually rode from Winnipeg towards the Northern Tier last year. One thing to note: There was a section of 200 closed south of the junction of 210 at Saint Adolphe. (I think it was a bridge was out.) This was August of 2011. I don't know if it's been fixed yet.

The route that I took:
  • South on PR 200 out of Winnipeg (use city map to figure out how to get there.)
  • East on PR 210 at St. Adolphe.
  • 210 intersects PR 59. I headed on 59 south for about ten miles and would not recommend doing it. High traffic, gravel shoulder. (Manitoba REALLY likes their gravel shoulders, meh.) If I did it again, I'd stay on 210 and then head south on PR 206.
  • West on PR 52.
  • South on PR 216.
  • You can take 216 all the way back to 59. Or, a few miles before that, take a left to get to St. Malo Provincial Park for some nice, inexpensive camping and a lake for swimming. (For some reason google maps is not showing the name of the road to turn onto.)
  • Back on 59 south. The traffic is very light the rest of the way to the border. PR 59 becomes US 59 at the border, and continues south through Minnesota. Still light traffic, still no shoulder.
  • You can camp at Bronson Lake State Park, a few miles off route, about 20 miles south of border. Swimming as well.
  • Intersect the Northern Tier on 59 south of its crossing of US 2.
Just to note, there ain't much but farms on this route. There's usually a small town every ten miles or so with a small store. Thief River Falls, MN would be the largest town on the way, a good place to resupply. There's also some other small campgrounds along the way as well.

Also, we took US 2 towards Lake Itasca to connect with the Northern Tier. This is shorter than heading south on 59 to connect, but may not be as scenic. 2 is a four lane divided highway with humongous shoulders for the most part through here, so this might not be your cup of tea.

Offline dstromberg

Re: Route from Winnipeg Canada to Northern Tier
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2012, 03:50:06 pm »
Thanks so much to the two individuals that responded! I appreciate the detailed info.