Max elevation: 1050 ft
Min elevation: 984 ft
Total climbing: 299 ft
Total descent: -315 ft
Average speed: 11.19 mi/h
The Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail runs from downtown Mankato to Faribault. Our ride was probably three miles longer than the map above indicates, because I forgot to turn on the Strava timer until we stopped at an intersection. Our trip was abbreviated because we left late in the morning, in what looked like a break in storms; one thunderstorm had rolled through and it was overcast but cool and pleasant. However, the darkening clouds to the west made us decide, very wisely as it turned out, to turn back well before my original goal of Elysian.
As in Iowa, this is a reclaimed railroad grade with a right of way wide enough to permit trees and underbrush to grow up an create the effect of riding in a large, green tunnel.
But since this was Minnesota, there were often glimpses of large and small lakes and streams.
I rode with Dan, the host of the AirBNB apartment we rented in Mankato. He and his wife Sandie exemplify Minnesota nice. What great people. And Mankato turns out to be a fascinating, vibrant, prosperous city about the size of Grand Junction. Who knew? You might think your were transported to Lake Wobegone.
Anyway, the farther away we got from the trailhead, the more ominous the dark and roily clouds to the west appeared. But Dan timed things with his weather app, and we decided that we should turn back before we had gone too far. We stopped for a moment at a bike trail-side lounge, but neither of us was in the mood for the walleye lunch special, so we headed back to Mankato, arriving about ten minutes before the heavens opened up and it rained, and rained, and rained. In the next couple of hours they received almost 2″ of moisture. It’s been a very wet July and August, and the leaves are just beginning to turn. Maybe we’ll get a chance to see more in Wisconsin.