Root River Trail System

Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Ride

Root River Bluff and Valley Bicycle Tour 2016About the Ride: Located in Southeastern Minnesota, this is a loop tour that begins and ends in Peterson. Meet Thursday evening, July 6, for a packet pickup party in preparation for your bicycle adventure that starts on Friday morning, July 7 through the Sunday the 9th. This 3-day tour is best suited for cyclist who are comfortable driving their bicycles on bike friendly roads, with some major hills to climb, as the route meanders in and around the Root River Trail system. Along the way riders will enjoy the local foods, history and scenery (of what many call God's Country) along the way.

  • Day 1 - From Peterson, journey up to the Freemont's historic general store, then over Vinegar Hill Pass to Money Creek and into Houston before circling around to Rushford, the tours 1st overnight stop.
  • Day 2 - After enjoying Rushford's milling culture the Tour heads southwest through Amish farmlands, still cultivated by horses, to Harmony. After enjoy the hospitality there it's on to Preston for the second evening of the tour. After checking out the Na-tional Trout Center, participants will take part in a dinner party and an evening of fun.
  • Day 3 - With a hearthy Preston breakfast the Tour makes its way north on the Root River Trail up to Fountain, the for a morn-ing break, then its off through Bucksnort pass and down to Lanesboro. Back on the Root River Trail the tour visits Whalan before returning to Peterson.

Mileage & Terrain: will range between 50 to 68 miles each day (century options are available upon request) on paved roads with some chance to ride on the paved trail. The terrain in this area is rolling with a few mile long, 8+ grade climbs. This tour is best suited for cyclists of intermediate ability and above. Are you up for the challenge and bragging rights the tour provides?

Getting to the Ride: Peterson, MN (ride start) is located on Hwy 16, about 2 hours from the Twin Cities, 1 hour from Decorah, IA and 45-min. from La Crosse, WI. Driving and parking instructions will be provided to all registered riders prior to the tour.

Camping/Lodging: This is primarily a tent camping tour, with limited hotel options available. Camping is in local parks, schools, etc., with showers provided. For those who prefer indoor lodging, there is a limited number of lodging rooms availa-ble in each city. Motels may be a 1 to 2-miles from the camping location so additional bicycling may be necessary depending on the location of meals or any activities the host town plans. The cost of motels rooms is not included in your registration fee and it is your responsibility to make your own reservations. A list of lodging options, with phone numbers are listed below for each host city. Please make reservations only at the properties listed, as they are the only locations that luggage will be delivered and picked up from. Camping in Peterson Thursday night is included (no showers). For lodging see list below.

Luggage Transport and Support:
Each day your luggage will be transported to the next overnight town. Campers are only allowed two soft-sided bags, limited to 40 lbs each, and hotel'rs are allowed one soft-sided bag, limited to 40 lbs. Please be sure all items fit inside your bag(s). There are no tie-on's, however for those with unique wheel sizes, we encourage you to bring an extra tire and some tubes. These items will be labeled with your name and carried in the support vehicle if needed.

SAG Support: Will be provided and is for people who have mechanical issues that cannot be repaired on the roadside or have a minor injury. Please be prepared to bike the distances, if you ride with the Sag be prepared to arrive late in the afternoon, as they will be sweeping in the last few riders and need to concentrate their efforts to those still on the road.
Mechanical Support: Please be sure to have your bike checked over and tuned up before arriving on the ride as bike mechanic repair may be limited. As mentioned above, we will allow you to bring along a spare tire and tubes that will be tagged and carried in the tours support vehicle.

Food: Each day, breakfast will be provided, starting day 1 (July 7th through the 9th). Lunches will be on your own in a town near the tours daily halfway point. A list of lunch and dinner options will be provided each day, along with other tour highlights in your registration packet. On Saturday evening there will be a dinner party, included in your registration

Supported Rest Stops: are only available where there are no retail establishments (convenience stores, ice cream, coffee shops or cafes) between the morning 15-25 mile section and at the 40-50 section along the route in the afternoon.

Cost: For the Bluff & Valley Tour is $295 per person, with 3-nights camping, 3-breakfasts, one dinner party admission Satur-day night, baggage transport to each night's destination, maps, vehicle support, commemorative bike jersey and all the scen-ery and fun you can pack in! Hotel reservations are on your own. Early registration, with a commemorative jersey for ride ends May 2, 2017.

Our Cancellation Policy: All cancellations received on or before May 1st will be refunded the full trip fee, minus $50. Cancellations received after May 1, will forfeit the entire trip fee; however, your registration may be transferred to 2018, only if another Root River ride is scheduled. All cancellations must be received in writing via email. Please send any refund requests or registration changes to

  Trail Conditions

Cottage House Inn
Bluffscape Amish Tours
Preston Foods
Geneva's Hideaway & Ice Cream Shop
Explore Minnesota Tourism
Highway 16 Scenic Byway