Minnesota agency releases updated bike trail map

Published 3:27 pm Saturday, September 9, 2017

WINONA — Minnesota officials have published an updated version of the state’s bike trails map, along with bicycling highlights for every region of the state.

The state Department of Transportation’s map recognizes Winona as one of the most bike-friendly communities in the state.

The League of American Bicyclists’ website says the city has bicycle facilities on more than half of its arterial streets, promotes bike events, and has an active bike advisory committee and bike advocacy group.

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Scott Sherman is on the board of directors for the Winona Area Mountain Bikers club. He said the city has great road trails, gravel trails and mountain bike trails.

The availability of those trails and the city’s publicity of them help increase tourism, he said.

“It helps increase awareness of the area to out of town tourists looking for outdoor activities to do,” Sherman said. “It helps them realize all that we have to offer in terms of outdoor (recreation).”

While the city is highly rated, there’s still room for improvement when it comes to bikers’ safety, Sherman said. Biker Ethan Fabian died one month ago.

“The city is working hard trying to make it a safer place for people to enjoy the outdoors whether it’s bicyclists or pedestrians,” Sherman said.

State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Sue Roe said the department has worked to make road projects more accommodating to biker and pedestrian needs.

“When we develop projects, we work closely with our partners like the Department of Natural Resources and Visit Minnesota to develop trails,” she said. “So we’ve been able to develop a good network of bike trails.”