The Other Mike and I biked near and around Lake Pepin two weekend ago. Great riding. That’s me above somewhere in Sconie along the Eastern shore of Lake Pepin. If my memory serves me right, that’s somewhere after Maiden Rock.
Here is what we covered over two days:
Day 1: We drove to Lake City, parked Mike’s car on a side street near some folks who were sitting on lawn chairs in their driveway drinking beer. Neighborhood watch. From there, we rode uphill away from the Mississippi to Zumbro Falls (more bars than people in this cute little town) then to Mazepa (painted fake cops patrol the highways and streets of this town), and North to Red Wing through Hay Creek Township. We spent the night there, had some German food & a few beers.
Day 2: Heading out of Red Wing, we crossed the Mississippi and took Wisconsin Hwy 35 south along the Mississippi. There is a no joke hill coming out of Bay City. We refueled with Spotted Cows and quesedillas in Maiden Rock. Just north of Pepin, we stopped at a wayside rest and struck up a conversation with another biker stupid enough to ride in the heat that weekend. It turns out that he was stupider than us, having started his day in Lino Lakes (90 miles). Here is is behind me, with camp gear and a B.O.B. trailer:
We pulled him into Nelson where we all stopped for ice cream cones and discussed how lucky Minneapolis is to have a mayor who buzzes around down town on a Nice Ride bike on his way to food trucks. He brought it up. Then he continued south toward Trempealeau.
After Nelson, Mike and I crossed back into Minnesota at Wabasha and worked our way north in the shade of the bluffs along Highway 61. The highway, at that point, has a steady flow of traffic, but a wide shoulder and speed limits between 45-55, which felt very comfortable.
Both sides of Lake Pepin were very bike friendly. If you want to take your time, you can stop at a zillion biker bars on the Wisconsin side. And, there are a ton of wayside rests, historical markers, and other scenic stuff to check out.
If you wanted to foodie it up, stop at The Harbor View Cafe in Pepin for lunch, Nelson’s Cheese for a picnic of wine and cheese or an ice cream cone, Pepin Heights for some apples, and Nosh (warning, really crappy website with sound) in Lake City for dinner. That would be a very full day of riding and dining. An awesome day.