5804 Neal Ave N
Stillwater, MN 55082
Need a way to enjoy some nice scenery and quiet roads while getting prepped for the Ironman or catch up on your training after the long winter? This 74-mile (119Km), moderately hilly cruise up both sides of the St. Croix River route starts at the Stillwater High School parking lot, just across from the Super America at 5804 Neal Ave N, Stillwater, MN 55082.
Starting in Stillwater, the route heads north over some mild rollers and good pavement through Scandia then across the St. Croix River to the first checkpoint in Osceola, Wisconsin at mile 27. From Osceola the route gets more serious with fairly continuous rollers and dips into small valleys on very quiet country roads as it works south to Hudson and the next checkpoint. You will pass numerous small streams, remote farmhouses and pass through several forests. Roads are generally very good, but there are some bumpy parts and one ½ mile section of packed gravel. There are no services on this 35 mile leg so be sure to stock up on food and drink in Osceola.
The checkpoint in Hudson is the lunch stop in Riverfront Park, on the St. Croix in central Hudson. Enjoy a nice lunch and take in the river scene before crossing the St. Croix River again on the sidewalk along the I-94 bridge on the way to the finish a short 13 miles away. There are two blind corners on the bike trail getting onto the bridge so be careful and take it easy.
This route is NOT Western Minnesota flat prairie, but it is also not the major hills encountered in the Menomonie-Knapp-Ellsworth area of Wisconsin. There is one tough, low-gear, stand up and grind it out, climb about 12 miles past Osceola. To balance this out there is one legendary downhill, Trout Brook Road, just before Hudson. This is a very pretty section and it can be a very fast descent so take it easy and enjoy the scenery.
Because it is early in the season and these are mostly lightly traveled back roads you could have some sand on hills and corners. Be aware and be careful.
Files for this Ride: