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Headwaters 100 marks 38th anniversary this Saturday

Last year's Heartland 100 riders faced drizzly weather. As of Tuesday, the National Weather Service was predicting mostly sunny conditions and a high of 64 degrees for this Saturday. (Enterprise file photo)

The Itascatur Outdoor Activity Club's premier event — the Headwaters 100 — attracts hundreds of bicyclists every year.

Kickstands go up this Saturday, Sept. 22.

The Headwaters 100 is a casual, non-competitive and family-friendly ride. Participants can choose between a 45-, 75- or 100-mile tour.

The 100-mile ride follows U.S. Highway 71 through Heartland lakes area to Itasca State Park, then proceeds through Lake George, Emmaville, Dorset and Nevis. The 75-mile ride also runs through Wilderness Drive in Itasca State Park, but loops through Lake George, Emmaville and Dorset. The 45-mile tour, considered an ideal ride for bikers desiring a shorter route, heads through Emmaville and Nevis before returning to Park Rapids along the Heartland Trail. All routes begin and end at the Century School.

As of Sept. 11, 173 people had registered for the event. Between 360 to 400 total riders are expected.

Same-day registration runs from 7 to 9 a.m. at the Century School. Riders may depart any time after checking in. Leisurely riders are encouraged to start early.

Food and beverage stops are located along the course, such as Nevis Muskie Park, Mantrap Conservation Club and Itasca State Park. New this year: biodegradable soup bowls, spoons and cups.

About 70 volunteers make the Headwaters 100 possible. Law enforcement will assist by keeping bikers safe at major intersections.

Visit for rules, routes, map and more.

Proceeds from the Headwaters 100 will be used by the Itacatur Outdoor Activity Club to build and maintain cross-country ski trails at Soaring Eagle, plus acquire ski equipment for public use. The club will also purchase youth bike helmets to distribute at the Minnesota Bike Opener, held annually in Park Rapids; purchase 30 cross-country skis for the Century School's physical education classes, community education and after-school programs; purchase a bike rack for Calvary Lutheran Church; and donate to the Nevis track team for their work at the food stop.