Author Topic: Northern Tier route question - Bowlus to Fargo  (Read 1515 times)

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Offline jwrushman

Northern Tier route question - Bowlus to Fargo
« on: May 06, 2019, 02:28:57 am »
This summer I'll be biking from Green Bay to Anacortes.  On the Northern Tier, in western Minnesota, three routes options can get me from Bolwus to Fargo ND. 

     1. Trails Alternate - the shortest.  Kind of a direct line from Bowlus to Osakis to Dalton to Pelican Rapids to Fargo
     2, Bowlus to Walker to Fargo via Heartland Alternate
     3, Bowlus to Walker to Fargo via Bemidji and Lake Itasca. The longest route.

And comments on pros/cons of these alteranatives?


Offline JHamelman

Re: Northern Tier route question - Bowlus to Fargo
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2019, 10:00:37 am »
I've done part these routes as a loop (Walker, Bemidji, Lake Itasca, Akeley). Loved the Paul Bunyan Trail, especially the bit we call the Paul Bunyan Connector on NT Sec06, it is hilly and secluded and lovely, especially in the morning. Taking it would mean riding your option 1. Akeley has a lovely city campground on the lake (and a Paul Bunyan photo op!). Your option 3 includes the headwaters of the Mississippi River. I was a bit underwhelmed by it myself however there were also a lot of kids romping about informing the setting and ruffling my desired experience. Oh well.

Not sure any of that will be useful information but thought I'd drop it in just in case.

Jennifer
*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer Hamelman
Assistant Director, Routes & Mapping
Cartographer

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline jwrushman

Re: Northern Tier route question - Bowlus to Fargo
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2019, 10:54:45 am »
Thanks for the input!

"Wrong-way" Rushman

Offline EmilyG

Re: Northern Tier route question - Bowlus to Fargo
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2019, 12:20:22 am »
We did Fergus Falls to Bowlus via Alexandria, all on the rail trails.    Quite enjoyable, readily available lodging and some excellent food shopping options.   Fast day, really flat terrain, being a rail trail.
Mosquitoes the size of dragonflies, and dragonflies the size of small hummingbirds!  If you are a fan of Lake Wobegone days, you get to ride that trail and go through the covered bridge.

There's a city park in Bowlus that you can stay at for free (Call Jordie's Trailside Cafe to have them leave it open for you).   south of Bowlus, Two Rivers Lake County Park, a bike/hike only campgroud, is a beautiful place to stay. Was NO water in 2018, so check on that I believe it was free.  Great amenities otherwise.     City park in Dalton, camp for free, great amenities.
So if you are wanting to cover some miles, that route is a lot of fun, but not especially scenic.  The most beautiful section, for us, was from Bowlus to Albany, through the forest.
-Emily

Offline jwrushman

Re: Northern Tier route question - Bowlus to Fargo
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2019, 08:14:07 am »
Thanks for the excellent, detailed information!

24 days to go!

John R

Offline JHamelman

Re: Northern Tier route question - Bowlus to Fargo
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2019, 08:58:25 am »
My experience at Bowlus Park is that there is a charge (maybe $10/tent?) and when the park/recreation building is open there is a restroom with water. The cafe has good, standard cafe food. It was a bit difficult to get a satisfying meal for me since I eat vegan but I was used to that by then. They were as accommodating as they could be.

Jennifer
*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer Hamelman
Assistant Director, Routes & Mapping
Cartographer

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline EmilyG

Re: Northern Tier route question - Bowlus to Fargo
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2019, 09:10:14 am »
Jennifer, I had the same experience eating at Jodie's trackside cafe in Bowlus.    I eat vegan, too, and everything was slathered in butter or cheese.

But the owner of the place said that the park got locked at night, and all we needed to do was call the cafe to get the bathroom and water left open for us if we wanted to use it in the future.  That isn't advertised anywhere, so it was a cool tidbit.
-Emily