“2018 is going to be a busy year on the Lake Wobegon Trail,” says Jan Lasar, president of the Lake Wobegon Trails Association.
His group is preparing for their three traditional fundraiser bike rides, but there’s a lot more to come to this central Minnesota family destination trail this year.
• “The Caramel Roll Ride on June 9 marks the beginning of summer for us,” Lasar says. “Riders come from all over the state and the country to experience central Minnesota and enjoy caramel rolls at each rest stop.”
• The weekend after, on June 16, the Lake Wobegon Trails Association puts on the Lady Slipper Ride, which takes cyclists to see the Showy Lady’s Slipper orchids growing along the trail.
• Then, on Sept. 8, the Caramel Apple Ride will have riders sample caramel apple treats in Osakis, Sauk Centre and Melrose.
“This year, we thought we’d up the ante a little and add another ride, commemorative signs and a promotion”, Lasar says. “We’ve partnered with the Central Lakes Trail Association for the Rail Trails 100 Bike Tour to show off our trails in central Minnesota”.
• On Aug. 8, cyclists will have a chance to test their endurance on a 100-mile trip from Fergus Falls to Saint Joseph, riding on both the Lake Wobegon and Central Lakes Trails in one day.
The ‘I Found Lake Wobegon’ promotion is meant to get people out on the trail looking for the mythical town that gave the trail its name. “We sometimes have people contact us to find out where exactly Lake Wobegon is, and we wanted to have some fun with the concept,” Lasar says. Between May and September, trail users are encouraged to look for the ‘Entering Lake Wobegon’ sign and, using the hashtag #IFoundLakeWobegon, register for a chance to win prizes.
All of this activity on the Lake Wobegon Trail comes as it celebrates its 20th year. “The first trail segment opened in 1998 and we really wanted 2018 to be special. We added a ride, anniversary signage on the trail heads and a contest. We’re looking forward to a big celebration event to be announced later this summer,” Lasar says. “Even the town of Holdingford is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Minnesota’s longest covered bridge this year-why wouldn’t you visit Lake Wobegon Country?”