Trail: Wobegon Trail
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:
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.
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.
Difficulty: Easy -- mostly flat and straight, though there's a slight uphill between Albany and Avon. St. Joseph to Avon is flat with a gentle uphill ending in Avon. For those who want to "open it up", this 9 mile stretch is fast with minimal cross traffic.
Popularity/number of other users: The section from St. Joseph to Avon and on through to Albany is relatively popular, mostly with families on bikes. Albany to Freeport is less busy. Neither section is terribly crowded, and we would expect sections north of there to be similar.
Surface conditions: St. Joseph to Avon is very smooth. Avon to Albany has some snowmobile stud damage right down the middle of the trail, so your left skate is always vibrating a bit. It's annoying at first, but you get used to it.
Scenery: St. Joseph to Avon has gently rolling farm fields, wetlands, and don't be surprised to see deer, and turkeys! Avon to Albany is the most scenic
-- a must-see. Albany to Freeport is flat and runs along the freeway.
Freeport to Melrose goes into the country again.
Nearby restaurants: The towns along the
route should have typical small-town restaurants (at least Freeport, as
Water: Available from convenience stores near
trailheads, but not available outside the small towns.
Other nearby trails: Not mentioned.
Comments: This trail has really nice scenery
and is definitely worth checking out. It's probably the nicest scenery
of any trail in the area.
Official web site
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