By popular demand, a new 188-mile bike route connecting St. Cloud to Moorhead has a new name.
Cyclists ready to take on the new “Prairie Lakes Bicycle Route” — also known as U.S. Bike Route 20 — were almost introduced to the “Glacier Lakes Bicycle Route,” which came in a close second in a recent naming contest hosted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Voting closed July 12, and Prairie Lakes drew some 3,655 votes, or 34 percent of the vote compared to Glacier Lake’s 33 percent tally.
Other vote-grabbers included “MiddleSota Bicycle Route” (21 percent), “Rivers to Prairies Bicycle Route” (7 percent) and “Towns and Fields Bicycle Route” (2 percent).
The names were contributed by participants attending a MnDOT event last year. The small town route parallels both Interstate 94 and the Amtrak train corridor as it arches toward the North Dakota border, and it weaves through Maplewood State Park, with two-thirds of the route following paved off-road trails such as the Central Lakes and Lake Wobegon bike corridors.
In all, there are more than 18,000 miles of official U.S. Bicycle Routes traveling through 31 states. More information is online at mndot.gov/bike/routes-maps.html.