If you’re a reader of my blog, you’ll know I love to go adventuring on a my Townie bike. (If you want to, you can read about another bike ride, the Central Lakes bike trail, my husband and I took in September 2013.)
Last week, I had some time to gallivant with my husband, Rick, so we drove to Cannon Falls to bike part of the Cannon Valley Trail. I’ve been many times to the Country Kitchen in Cannon Falls to meet my writing friend, Joy DeKok there for our brainstorming sessions, but I never knew there were falls in the city.
Here’s a picture of them. I can’t believe for the past 20 years that Joy and I have visited this city, that we have missed these falls!
Rick and I spied the Cannon River Winery right away, but because it was still early in the day, decided to bike first and then take a tour.
The trail is virtually right at the winery. We simply biked the short block to its start and headed down the bike trail. There’s a short jaunt through a couple of city blocks and then you’re on the trail. The way to go is clearly marked.
Before there’s even a proper sign stating such, though, you’ll come across a reconstructed barn/studio (owned by Benjamin Leatham who creates truly beautiful woodturned pieces at his Cannon River Bowl & Spoon)
as well as a still standing reason as to why the trail exists at all: the train depot
I would love to see what some creative types could do to restore this Humpty Dumpty again.
The trail is a former rail bed for the Chicago Great Western Railway and runs 20 miles from Cannon Falls to Red Wing.
About the trail. If I can do it, you can do it. While you’ll descend about 105 feet if you bike all the way to Red Wing, you will be fine on this grade of trail. It was a beautiful day, and the trail eventually meanders right along the Cannon River, where people canoed down the river.
While I’m glad to have seen the falls, I’ve wondered why “Cannon”? According to Lakesnwoods, Cannon Falls was not always named such. Zebulun Pike first came upon the falls in 1806, with Joseph Nicollet calling on his 1843 map the falls “Riviere aux Canots,” or “river of canoes” because of canoes left on the river’s banks by Native Americans on hunting expeditions. Somewhere along the way, the name changed to “cannon” though no cannon was in sight.
All in we biked about 15 miles. My two favorite parts of the ride were right next to each other.
First, a sign, letting me know how many miles I had to go before I could sleep if I was headed to any of the post’s places.
and next to it, a little borrowing library.
I opened it and was delighted to find one of my favorite books, Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier, whose narrator is never once named. You either love this story, or you don’t. I love it. Loved PBS’ adaptation of the novel as well.
I don’t know who built this library, but I’m thinking that person has a love of school – and the hard work of making perfect sentences, hence the clasp on the lending library, colored and designed to resemble an old-fashioned eraser.
The Little Library Guest Book was so charming!
Clearly other people besides me, thought this library was a wonderful idea.
Once we completed the trail, we headed to the winery but I’m afraid we were more in the mood for a meal, rather than a glass of wine and some cheese and crackers. We headed across the street to the Mill City Tavern and found creativity there too.
If you get the chance this summer to go for a bike ride, treat yourself to a lovely couple of hours along the Cannon River Valley. And make sure you see the falls!
Note: I’m running a small sale and free shipping special on everything in my shop from July 1 through July 5. Hope you can find something of interest to you. Hope you have a wonderful 4th of July as well!