Yesterday I rode from the Mall of America to Bloomington Ferry Road, via the Minnesota River. The spring floods had deposited a lot of sand on the trail, making some stretches unrideable. I did a lot of walking yesterday...
Long Meadow Lake trail, the first section of this route, was in great shape. The Fish and Wildlife Service had cleared most of the sand from the trail, and it was rideable all the way to Hwy 77.
Beyond Hwy 77 hadn't seen any maintenance, and deep sand covered the trail in many spots throughout the remainder of the ride to Bloomington Ferry. I should have switched the 700x35 rear tire to a 29x2.1, oh well. There were also many sections between 77 and Lyndale that are already overgrown.
When there wasn't any sand the trail was tons of fun. It was a gorgeous, warm day with clear skies. The sunlight and blue sky peaking through the canopy made for some beautiful scenery... it was an awesome day to be in the woods.
And the Fargo felt great - smooth, comfortable, and the big wheels helped get me over all the branches and logs on the trail.
Crossing 9 Mile Creek isn't always possible, so I was glad to see I had the option. The raft is stuck mid-stream, but I crossed on the decked tree (which is useable, although partially submerged at one end).
With the exception of all the sand and some overgrown sections, this is a really fun route. It is very flat (which is good for my current fitness level) and brings you through some really pretty scenery... from open fields to dense forests with gigantic cottonwoods.