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Run, bike, hike on our numerous scenic trails

Check out the scenery and better your health by running, biking or walking in Park Rapids this summer. There are many opportunities for experienced athletes and novices alike.

The Itascatur Ski-Bike-Run Club recommends scenic routes in the area:

• Bike around Fish Hook Lake - begin at Heartland Park. Bike along Highway 34 west to Highway 71, go north to CSAH 18, turn east. Travel along CSAH 18 until you reach CSAH 1, go south until you reach the Heartland Trail, go south back to Heartland Park. The ride is about 11 miles.

• 25-mile bike ride - begin at Heartland Park. Travel to CSAH 1, go north to CSAH 18. Go a short distance on CSAH 18 and turn left on Green Pines Road. Go north along Potato Lake until you reach Vagabond Village campground. Go east on CSAH 40 to CSAH 4 (Lake George Road), then go north to Emmaville. Take CSAH 24 east to CSAH 7, going south to Dorset. Follow the Heartland Trail back to Park Rapids.

• Itasca State Park - there are numerous trails for biking at the park. Rentals are available. The park is located 20 miles north of Park Rapids on Highway 71.

• Soaring Eagle - spring and fall are good times for running on these cross-country ski trails, about 7 miles. The trails are located about 8 miles north of Park Rapids on Highway 71.

• The Heartland Trail is an excellent place for running, biking, inline skating and walking. There are mile markers posted along the trail, which runs from Heartland Park in Park Rapids to Dorset (6.3 miles), Nevis (5.3 miles), Akeley (6.3 miles), Walker (9.4 miles) Wilkinson (12.5 miles) and ends two miles before Cass Lake (7.2 miles).

The hilly snowmobile trail alongside the Heartland Trail, with beautiful scenery and wildlife, is a great opportunity for horseback riding, mountain biking, running and walking.

• The Hubbard United Methodist Church also hosts a biking group comprised mostly of retired residents. The group meets at 4 p.m. on Mondays. and at 9 a.m. Fridays. The group meets at 5 p.m. Mondays and 9 a.m. Fridays. For more information, contact Bill or Bobbi Zigmant at 732-9293.

For those looking to quench their thirst for competition, the Park Rapids area has many events throughout the summer:

• The Fish Hook Half Marathon and 5K Walk/Run will be Sunday, Aug. 21. Half Marathon registrations begin at 6:30 a.m. and the race starts at 7:30 a.m. The 5K Walk/Run registrations begin at 8:30 a.m. and the Walk/Run starts at 9:30 a.m. in Heartland Park. Registration is also available online at or at

For more information, call the Park Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce at 800-247-0054, e-mail or go to the Web site at www.park

• The 30th Annual Headwaters 100 Ride with 100-, 75- and 45-mile rides will be Saturday, Sept. 24. Registration is from 7 to 9 a.m. Riders must leave after check in by 9 a.m. Both start at Century School on Helten Avenue in Park Rapids. Riders can also attend a spaghetti dinner at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 at Century School.

For more information, call the Park Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce at 800-247-0054, e-mail or go to the Web site at www.park

The Park Rapids Area Itascatur Ski-Bike-Run Club maintains the Soaring Eagle Cross Country Ski Area. Itascatur Ski-Bike-Run is a volunteer organization formed to promote physically healthy non-motorized outdoor recreational activity in the Hubbard County area. For more information about the organization, contact Neil at 652-2611.