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Thread: Routing help along MN River - MOA to Jordan

  1. #26
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    The old bridge and road were closed back around '79 or '80 when the current one opened. I didn't start biking down there until '90 or '91 and it's probably been 5 years since I've last been down there. But, when I last rode from 77 to 35W on the two-track and singletrack next to the river, I don't believe there were any signs that indicated it was questionable activity. There were refuge signs facing sideways along what I assume was the border of the regulated area. There also may have been a couple no unauthorized vehicles signs that were the same as the ones at both ends of the gravel road back into the singletrack west of 35W and I assumed those referred to cars. At that time the trail through that section was well defined though it was less so and more raw than the bluff side or the stretch from 35 to BFR. I vaguely remember a gate in there somewhere but there was trail going around/passed it just as there is (or was) heading east from the boat landing so, again, I assumed it was just to keep out offroaders looking for a mud bog.

    I guess, if a ranger said no, that's the official story.
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  2. #25
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    Earlier this month I decided to see what signs were in place.

    If you take your bike to the east end of the Long Meadow Lake Trail (seen on this map: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/Minnesota...ng_meadow.html), near the visitor's center, you'll see a sign that says it's open for bikes. And if you look at the map, you'll see the trail continues west for a while, but only to the point where it crosses under the 77 Bridge.

    But if you do keep going, you'll cross under the bridge (and the bike/pedestrian cage) and come to a T. One part goes north, to the old and closed bridge. Another part goes briefly south before it heads west again. You'll see this sign, at what, roughly, the 10-mile mark of the map first listed in this thread.



    It's a list of some regulations governing the wildlife refuge. It says, among other things, that bike riding is a permitted use "on designated trails."

    Keep going west and you'll see this sign:



    And some two-tracks:



    And another sign:



    You'll see other signs like this throughout the refuge, including along the river, if for some reason you choose to land a boat. It's also widely seen on the decaying road that is leading to the old Cedar Bridge.

    Curiously, you soon come to a locked gate.



    Next to the gates is another sign, which says "Road Closed," with a car "lined out."



    I can't figure out what it's referring to. Anyone else? I wasn't living here when the old bridge was open, but I don't see anything besides brush behind the gate. The gate is also positioned well west of the paved road that leads to the old bridge. Might the gate and sign have been moved from a position marking the two-track? I doubt it, but don't know what to think.

    Finally, I just got off the phone with someone at the wildlife refugee office. He told me that there is no public access on that two track road. It's for the electric company to access their towers and the rangers to get access to the refuge.

    My conclusion (I'm not a lawyer, yada yada): if you want to keep a clean image for our sport, stay out of the area south of Long Meadow Lake and west of the 77 bridge.

  3. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigwheel View Post

    Can anyone confirm that you can still get through that part? My hunch is that you can't.
    Yes. You can dry foot from 77 bridge to 35w, south of meadow lake. I did not see any signs but a mile marker.

  4. #23
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    When you get south of Louisville Swamp, the multi-use trail has several re-routes becuase of river erosion/flooding. This re-routes cross private land that are not open to traffic until the snowmobile trails open Dec 1st.

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    Quote Originally Posted by omgmrj View Post
    Long Meadow Bridge. It's the half of Old Cedar Ave Bridge that remains.
    That's what I was wondering. I've been on that site before, but forgot that was the name of the bridge.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowboarder Guy View Post
    What do you mean by "Long Meadow Bridge?" I'm not familiar with it.
    Long Meadow Bridge. It's the half of Old Cedar Ave Bridge that remains.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowboarder Guy View Post
    The old Cedar Bridge has been closed to bikes for years now--and from the looks of it, I don't recommend poaching it
    Since 2002. I may or may not have carefully crossed it a few times over the past few years. It's not fun to do with a bike, especially in road shoes, especially in the winter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowboarder Guy View Post
    Anyway, I'd like to know if you find that it's legit to ride on (say) miles 10-11 of your proposed route, as I'd like to try that out for myself sometime.
    Groovy. I'll definitely update this thread with a full report once I ride it.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigwheel View Post
    Can anyone confirm that you can still get through that part?
    +1. "Keep Out" signs are posted at trail entrances, so routing decisions can be made then, but it sucks to get a few miles down a trail that suddenly becomes unridable. Trail conditions are what I'm trying to find out about in this thread.

  7. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave t View Post
    but the trail from Old Cedar to Lyndale at the river's edge used to be very well established and everyone you would ask said it was OK to ride.
    +1. Last time I rode it was two winters ago. Once the ground is frozen, it is a lot of fun.

    When not frozen, the difficult part is getting through the swamp from the maintenance dirt road up to the mountain bike trail. (approx mile 11.5 to 12.5) Depending on the rain situation, it was always either a muddy adventure or completely non-passable.

    Can anyone confirm that you can still get through that part? My hunch is that you can't.
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  8. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by arcFlash View Post
    Look down for a post of mine. I have a link to a national wildlife map. Its legend says bike only on defined trails but the map doesn't define the road so it off limits.
    The map also states, "boundries posted in field supercede map". I haven't been down there in years but the trail from Old Cedar to Lyndale at the river's edge used to be very well established and everyone you would ask said it was OK to ride. The refuge border was posted as a corner at the inland side of the old gravel two-track at Cedar. Several spots along the way, it was also reposted to indicate a corridor outside of the refuge.

    Back then, the bird watching trail was already off-limits to bikes and was posted at both ends so it's logical to believe other off-limits trails would be also marked as such. The fact that such a well established trail was never posted as closed or blocked leads me to believe it was either legal or the authorities looked the other way to its existence. I'm not saying that is the case anymore but at one time, maybe ten years ago, that's how it was.
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    Look down for a post of mine. I have a link to a national wildlife map. Its legend says bike only on defined trails but the map doesn't define the road so it off limits.

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    The "road" (two tracks) as an access route to power towers makes sense, but which park map are you referring to?

    By the way, I pulled out an old road atlas (2002) and maybe I'm referring to "Minnesota River Road." On the east terminus is the south end of Old Cedar bridge road; the west end just stops at a end end. If you were somehow able to flap your arms and fly due north, you'd end up somewhere between Elliot and Chicago avenues in Bloomington.

  11. #16
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    10-12 is an access road (to a powerline mast) that has a No Unauthorized vehicles sign at 77. North of 77 to 494 is clearly ok to ride but is the same road. The last mile from the mast to 35 is likely off limits although I think it's a xc trail because I saw a brown trail marker that said "15"

    The park pdf maps are clear, it only allows bikes on marked trails and this trail is not marked on the map. I saw plenty of tire tracks to someone patrols it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by omgmrj View Post
    You are correct. As I was hoping for the first leg of this journey to follow the gravel doubletrack between miles 6-10, I would end up on the south end of Long Meadow Bridge. Not to bring up more issue of tresspass, but if the south side of Long Meadow Lake is truly unridable, or the trail tapers off, I could backtrack to 77, and cross Long Meadow Bridge, then continue west on the trail that has been well-covered in this thread as being off-limits to bikes. I'd walk my bike, of course, as to not upset the delicate ecosystem.
    What do you mean by "Long Meadow Bridge?" I'm not familiar with it. As far as I can tell, there's no way to get across Long Meadow Lake. The old Cedar Bridge has been closed to bikes for years now--and from the looks of it, I don't recommend poaching it--and the bike/pedestrian cage on the "new" Cedar bridge doesn't go all the way across.

    Anyway, I'd like to know if you find that it's legit to ride on (say) miles 10-11 of your proposed route, as I'd like to try that out for myself sometime.

  13. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by omgmrj View Post
    ....................... then continue west on the trail that has been well-covered in this thread as being off-limits to bikes. I'd walk my bike, of course, as to not upset the delicate ecosystem.........................
    I've been told that the USFW signs literally mean "no bikes", not "no biking", and you can get ticketed for walking your bike there. Not saying I think this is right nor saying I'd never poach that segment, just passing along some info. A short way around that segment is to ride the road to Indian Mounds School and take that access to the trail.
    Work is the curse of the riding class.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowboarder Guy View Post
    As I review the map outlined in the first post of this thread, it looks to me that the original poster is not planning to go anywhere near that stretch of land. Why? That strip is on the north shore of Long Meadow Lake, and he's talking about going on the south shore.
    You are correct. As I was hoping for the first leg of this journey to follow the gravel doubletrack between miles 6-10, I would end up on the south end of Long Meadow Bridge. Not to bring up more issue of tresspass, but if the south side of Long Meadow Lake is truly unridable, or the trail tapers off, I could backtrack to 77, and cross Long Meadow Bridge, then continue west on the trail that has been well-covered in this thread as being off-limits to bikes. I'd walk my bike, of course, as to not upset the delicate ecosystem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowboarder Guy View Post
    Isn't mile 10 on that map about the place where you end up if you take the pedestrian bridge (attached to the MN-77 bridge) from near the boat landing from Nichols / Blackdog road in Eagan?
    Yup. It's basically a four-way junction there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowboarder Guy View Post
    I walked that off-limits area two weeks ago. Any idea when it became off-limits to bikes?
    It's been off-limits for at least 10-15 years, albeit with no signage on the western end, and poorly signed or signed not at all on the eastern end.

    It's been 2 years since I've been on the old road south of Long Meadow Lake (on the north side of the river), so maybe something has changed regarding signage. I do recall some signs near the road, which I believe were intended to keep vehicles on the road, and not bopping around off-road.
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