First U.S. bike route in Minnesota - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

First U.S. bike route in Minnesota

LAKE CITY, Minn. (KTTC)--  Minnesota moved from the number four bike friendly state up to number two Tuesday.

The thanks could partly go to law makers who designated the Mississippi River trail as the state's first bikeway this legislative session.

Tuesday federal officials announced a portion of the trail will be a part of the U.S. Bicycle Route.

It's part of a national network that in the future will include more than 50,000 miles of bike routes.

Think of it like Highways that run East and West across the country... MnDot is working on a 20 year plan to give bikers the same travel options.

The Mississippi River Trail connects existing shouldered highways, low-use roads and off-road paths that closely follow the River.

In Minnesota the 148 miles of the U.S. bike route will go from Hastings to the Iowa border. This is just the first segment. The other two thirds of the route will eventually become a part of the U.S. Bike route system.

It gives bikers a confidence in knowing they will have somewhere to ride and brings the state more too.

Lake City council member, Andru Peters says, "Everybody's talking about job creation to create revenue. Tourism hits a home run right away. Tourists come in right away, they see what we have, they'll stay, they'll spend money. There's lodging there's restaurants there's cafes."

Right now they are just basically re-branding the trails but the federal involvement provides those future opportunities for physical development along the trails and roads, as well as the towns they will run through.

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