Lake Traverse and Prairie Pothole Loop

Browns Valley, Minnesota

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To peruse a map of Minnesota, it's easy to overlook this part of the state, even though it bulges noticeably along an otherwise straight border with South Dakota. Many residents probably don't realize that Browns Valley straddles the major drainage ridge that separates water flowing north to Hudson Bay from water flowing south and east to the Mississippi. The town also sits between two important bodies of water. As the source of the Bois de Souix River, Lake Traverse to the north is a major part of the headwaters of the Red River, which flows north to Hudson Bay. Big Stone Lake to the south forms the headwaters of the Minnesota River, which merges with the Mississippi in the Twin Cities. Before you begin riding, when you're still 20 miles east of Browns Valley you'll notice a ridge on the western horizon. The ridge is the South Dakota border, and it forms a striking contrast to the flat fields that dominate this part of western Minnesota. Besides being a major farming area, the two lakes and surrounding countryside provide an exceptional habitat for a wide variety of waterfowl, including pelicans. Unfortunately, this isn't a route for children, unless they're riding a tandem with an adult.
Short Bike Rides in Minnesota

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Short Bike Rides in Minnesota

by Mark Weinberger (The Globe Pequot Press)

To peruse a map of Minnesota, it's easy to overlook this part of the state, even though it bulges noticeably along an otherwise straight border with South Dakota. Many residents probably don't realize that Browns Valley straddles the major drainage ridge that separates water flowing north to Hudson Bay from water flowing south and east to the Mississippi. The town also sits between two important bodies of water. As the source of the Bois de Souix River, Lake Traverse to the north is a major part of the headwaters of the Red River, which flows north to Hudson Bay.

Big Stone Lake to the south forms the headwaters of the Minnesota River, which merges with the Mississippi in the Twin Cities. Before you begin riding, when you're still 20 miles east of Browns Valley you'll notice a ridge on the western horizon. The ridge is the South Dakota border, and it forms a striking contrast to the flat fields that dominate this part of western Minnesota. Besides being a major farming area, the two lakes and surrounding countryside provide an exceptional habitat for a wide variety of waterfowl, including pelicans. Unfortunately, this isn't a route for children, unless they're riding a tandem with an adult.

©  Mark Weinberger/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Road Biking
Nearby City: Browns Valley
Distance: 27.5
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Riding Time: 2 to 3.5 hours
Season: Best spring to fall
Driving Directions: Directions to Lake Traverse and Prairie Pothole Loop

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Apr 2018