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Lanesboro: Biking the Famous Root River Trail!

Program Number: 2215RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/15/2013 - 9/20/2013; 6/8/2014 - 6/13/2014; 9/21/2014 - 9/26/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Lanesboro, Minnesota
Price starting at: $999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Bicycling Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Combine biking with theater! During the day, explore the scenic, bluff country of southeast Minnesota on a converted rail bed from 1864. Bike experts lead this ride as you discover hidden gems of rural Minnesota. Round out your days by attending performances at a renowned local professional theater. Enjoy two seminars with theater staff including a backstage exploration, and engage cast members in post-performance discussions.




Highlights

Journey along the 60-mile trail following the Root River, hailed as one of the finest rails-to-trails in the country.
Explore Lanesboro's rich history and culture by van with narration by a knowledgeable local docent.
Attend two performances at a local professional theater and enjoy an opportunity to talk informally with cast members.



Activity Particulars

Must be able to bike 25 miles a day on relatively flat terrain. Quality 21-speed hybrid/cross style bikes are provided, but you may bring your own bicycle if desired.




Lanesboro

Historic Lanesboro, nestled against limestone bluffs in southeastern Minnesota, is the hub of the Root River State Trail System. Hailed as one of the finest rails-to-trails in the country, the 60-mile-long paved pathway runs along the river.



Accommodations
Lovely 19th-century style inn located on main street, directly across from the theater.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Terry Grier

Terry Grier owned and operated a bicycle and outdoor store in Rochester, Minnesota for over 16 years, selling, renting, and fitting bicycles. For the last 10 years, he has been the outfitter and main instructor of the Lanesboro Road Scholar biking programs. He has bicycled from Minneapolis to Seattle, Minneapolis to Alaska, and spent 11 weeks cycling in Great Britain. Terry volunteers as a Master Gardener, and enjoys bird watching and leading trips with the local Audubon Society.
 
Joyce Grier

Joyce Grier, along with husband Terry, owned and operated a bicycle and outdoor store for over 16 years in Rochester, Minnesota. She previously had worked as a substitute teacher, and had taught group lessons of guitar, banjo, fiddle, electronic keyboard, electric guitar, and string band. She volunteers as a Master Gardener and as a local Audubon Board member, and enjoys bird watching, quilting, gardening, as well as bicycling. Joyce spent 11 weeks in Britain, bicycling with Terry.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Cottage House Inn
  Lanesboro, Minnesota 5 nights
 Cottage House Inn
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Cottage House Inn is a modern 19th century style inn located on main street. It is family-owned with warm and caring service. Each room is uniquely decorated with a private bath and air conditioning. Sleeping rooms do not have telephone or TV; these items available in the lobby. The lobby phone has complimentary long distance service due to poor cell phone coverage. There is also complimentary WIFI internet service throughout the inn. Two floors, no elevator.
  Contact info: 209 Parkway Ave N
Lanesboro, MN 55949 USA
phone: 800-944-0099
  Room amenities: The rooms are decorated in a simple Amish style and have limited hanging space for clothes.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: $ Call 800-944-0099 for current rates. Book early as summer weekends fill fast.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $ Call 800-944-0099 for current rates. Book early as summer weekends fill fast.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00 PM at hotel in Lanesboro, MN. You will be staying at Cottage House Inn that night.
  End of Program:
11:00 AM at hotel in Lanesboro, MN. You will be staying at Cottage House Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Personal Information Form must be completed online, or on paper and returned to Bikes On Wheels prior to arrival. Waiver must be completed and returned to Bikes On Wheels prior to arrival.
  Parking availability:
Ample free off-street parking available.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lanesboro, Minnesota
  Nearest highway: US Highway 52
  Nearest airport:  Rochester, MN (RST)
  From End of Program
  Location: Lanesboro, Minnesota
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
GoRochesterDirect.com
phone: 800-280-9270
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$27 for Senior 60+, MSP to Rochester, or returning Rochester to MSP.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Rochester is 90 min from MSP, still 45 min away from Lanesboro. 

   

If flying into MSP, either take a rental car direct to Lanesboro or this shuttle to Rochester. See options below for transport from Rochester to Lanesboro.

 

Rochester (RST)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Bikes On Wheels
phone: 507-250-0097
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$15 for Rochester downtown or airport (RST) to Lanesboro, MN
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes RST to the Cottage House Inn 

   

This shuttle to Lanesboro will be ONE TIME ONLY at 1:00 p.m. the Sunday of the program. The return shuttle will leave Lanesboro about 8:00 a.m. as necessary. A signup sheet will be sent with registration materials several weeks before the program.

 

Rochester (RST)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Yellow Cab
phone: 507-282-2222
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$75 from downtown or airport to Lanesboro
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes RST to the Cottage House Inn 

   

Also $75 from Med City Cab in Rochester 507-282-8294

 
Driving Directions
  Minneapolis/St. Paul -- Take US Highway 52 South, 70 miles to Rochester. Continue on US 52 South for 33 miles to the town of Fountain. -- At Fountain, turn left onto County Road 8 East. Slow down! It is a sharp turn that comes up fast. -- Travel 8 miles to Lanesboro. The first stop sign you will come to is Lanesboro's main street, Parkway Avenue. -- Turn left and go 2 blocks to the Cottage House Inn, on your left. (The hotel sign can be difficult to spot, the building is gray with a white-pillared front porch.) You have gone too far if the road turns sharply to the right. -- Park behind the Inn, in their gravel parking lot. -- Total is about 110 miles from MSP to Lanesboro. -- Note - If coming from the West, MN 16 is under construction and unpaved from Dexter to Preston. From Preston to Lanesboro is open and newly paved.
  Wisconsin and points East -- Take Interstate 90 West across the Mississippi River into Minnesota for 26 miles. -- At Exit 249, turn South (left) on MN 43 for 10 miles to Rushford. -- Turn East (right) on MN 30 (West Jessie St.) for 11 miles. -- Turn South (left) on MN 250 for 9 miles to the town of Lanesboro. -- As you come into town you make a sharp left going up a short hill, and the Cottage House Inn is immediately on your right. (The hotel sign can be hard to spot - the building is gray with a white-pillared front porch.) -- Park behind the Inn in their gravel parking lot. -- Total mileage is about 58 miles from La Crosse to Lanesboro. -- Note - MN 16 is more scenic but is under construction from Rushford to Lanesboro. It should be driveable but is unpaved and delays are likely.
Equipment Requirements: Bicycle helmet and waterbottle.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check-in at the inn 3 PM, course materials, introductions, and program orientation.
(Sunday, September 15)

Note: Bike fitting from 3-5 PM.



   
 Afternoon: Hotel and program check-in begins at 3 PM. Receive your room key from the front desk, and nametag and other materials from the on-site coordinator in the conference room. Step outside to be fitted for your bike (proper fit is essential to a safe, enjoyable ride).
 Dinner: Group dinner at a local restaurant. There will be salad, chef's choice of entree, and a dessert. With all group meals, your choice of coffee, milk, soda, iced tea or lemonade is included in the meal. Pay the server directly for all other beverages.
 Evening: Meet in hotel conference room for introductions and a review of the program itinerary.
   
Accommodations: Cottage House Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Biking 23 miles on the Root River Trail and seminar on The Great River Shakespeare Festival.
(Monday, September 16)

Note: Option to extend biking after lunch 4.5 or 9.5 miles.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at Cottage House Inn. Optional stretching prior to breakfast.
 Morning: Bike 2 blocks to the trail and ride east. Snack stop in Peterson at 13.5 miles, where you will turn around and ride back toward Lanesboro. Ride ends in Whalan at 22.4 miles. Option to continue to Lanesboro after lunch for 27 miles total.
 Lunch: Trailside buffet lunch at shelter in the small town of Whalan.
 Afternoon: Optional 2 mile hike at Eagle Bluff ELC or optional biking extension out-and-back for one hour. Late afternoon discussion at the Commonweal Theatre.
 Dinner: Group dinner at a local restaurant. Your meal will be chosen by you at the time of check-in.
 Evening: Seminar on "The Great River Shakespeare Festival" in it's 10th year at nearby Winona, Minnesota by Doug Scholz-Carlson the Artistic Director.
   
Accommodations: Cottage House Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Biking 18 miles on the Root River Trail, Owl Soap Opera talk, and slideshow of Bicycling in the British Isles.
(Tuesday, September 17)

Note: Option to extend biking after lunch 12.6 miles.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at Cottage House Inn. Optional stretching prior to breakfast.
 Morning: Van to Peterson about 14 miles from Lanesboro. Ride east with a snack stop at 13 miles, finishing in Houston for a total 17.4 miles.
 Lunch: Trailside buffet lunch at the Houston Nature Center. Owl Soap Opera talk by naturalist and owl researcher Karla Bloem, with a visit by Alice the great-horned owl.
 Afternoon: Optional biking extension of 12.6 miles back to Rushford. Late afternoon van tour of historic Lanesboro with commentary on the town's rich history.
 Dinner: Group dinner at a local restaurant. Your meal will be chosen by you at the time of check-in.
 Evening: Slideshow of Bicycling in the British Isles by Terry and Joyce Grier.
   
Accommodations: Cottage House Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Bicycling 23 miles on the Root River Trail and presentation on Basics of Bicycle Maintenance and Repair.
(Wednesday, September 18)

Note: Option to extend biking after lunch 10 miles.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at Cottage House Inn. Optional stretching prior to breakfast.
 Morning: Bike two blocks to the trail and head west. Snack stop in Fountain at 11.2 miles. Ride back to Lanesboro for a total ride of 22.4 miles.
 Lunch: Buffet lunch at the Cottage House Inn in Lanesboro.
 Afternoon: Optional out-and-back bicycling extension for one hour. Late afternoon discussion at the Commonweal Theatre.
 Dinner: Group dinner at a local restaurant. Your meal will be chosen by you at the time of check-in.
 Evening: Presentation on Basics of Bicycle Maintenance and Repair by Terry Grier.
   
Accommodations: Cottage House Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Bicycling 23 miles on the Root River Trail and theater performance of The Memory of Water.
(Thursday, September 19)

Note: Option to extend biking after lunch 12.3 miles.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at Cottage House Inn. Optional stretching prior to breakfast.
 Morning: Bike two blocks to the trail and head west 4.7 miles, then south toward Preston for 10.2 miles, where there will be a snack stop. Continue riding to Harmony, for a total ride of 22.5 miles. Optional SAG ride around hilly section.
 Lunch: Trailside buffet lunch by the Harmony Visitor Center.
 Afternoon: Optional biking extension 12.3 miles back to Preston.
 Dinner: Meeting to share trip experiences, followed by group dinner. Your meal will be chosen by you at the time of check-in.
 Evening: Attend Commonweal Theatre performance of The Memory of Water with a chance to talk to the director and actors after the play.
   
Accommodations: Cottage House Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Goodbyes and departure.
(Friday, September 20)

Note: Bikes On Wheels shuttle to Rochester leaves 8 a.m. or as needed.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Optional stretching prior to breakfast.
 Morning: Farewells and check-out. The shuttle to Rochester leaves at 8 a.m. or when needed. Individual departures at your leisure.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Lanesboro, Minnesota Lanesboro Chamber of Commerce
Your guide to historic Lanesboro. For additional information, visit www.lanesboro.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Lanesboro, Minnesota Historic Destination


Author: Don Ward and Ted St. Mane


Description: This book is a history of Lanesboro told largely through pictures taken by the 3 town photographers, Hanson, Bersagel, and Bue, from 1870 to 1946. The photos are accompanied by stories and commentary by Don Ward and Ted St. Mane which breathe life into the history of the town of Lanesboro.





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