There are two scenic state bike trails, the Root River State Trail and the Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail, that connect the Root River Trail Towns. These 60 miles of paved trails are used for biking, jogging, walking, in-line skating, and cross-country skiing. The trail is used by all skill levels and offers a variety of views and stops along the system.
History of the Root River State Trail
- 1979 – Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad abandonment of its track through the Root River valley, which provides the opportunity to carry out the 1971 state legislation authorizing the bike trail. The MN DNR immediately moved to acquire the railroad grade. Eventually, 35 miles of the 100-mile abandonment, between Fountain and Money Creek Woods, will become the Root River Trail.
- 1983 – Root River State Trail Master Plan published View it here.
- 1986 – Root River State Trail officially opens
- 1995 – Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail Master Plan published. View it here. Construction begins on this trail and connects to Root River State Trail.
- 1996 – Harmony-Preston Valley Trail opens
- 1998 – Root River State Trail-Houston Extension Plan published. View it here.
- 1999 – 6.7 miles of trail added to the east, connecting the Root River Trail to Houston
- 2011 – 25th anniversary of the trail
- 2011 – Root River State Trail Extension-Houston to La Crescent Plan published. View it here.
- 2015 – Replacement and widening of trail between Whalan and Peterson
- 2017 – Replacement and widening of trail between Peterson and Rushford