Jul 6, 2011

Dakota Trail to Mayer and Wayzata and Back

After returning from a trip to my parent's over the 4th of July weekend, I was eager to get out and try the new bike, so I set my sights on the Dakota Trail. I have ridden this before, but the trail was extended to Mayer, MN this year. A friend had ridden it last week and piqued my curiousity, so I loaded the LHT and drove out to St. Boni to sample the trail.

The full write-up is at Cycle Twin Cities so I won't repeat that in it's entirety, instead I'll focus on some of the editorial comments that I left out of the CTC post.

Most importantly, this toad welcomed me to the new trail leg. He didn't make the CTC article, but he deserves to be on the internet after posing so nicely for me, so here he is.

As I said in the other article, it was a lovely trail and lovely ride. My hat's off to St. Boni for embracing the trail. They have a nice trailhead with public parking and a newish cafe next to the trailhead to serve the riders. They also have signage up directing trail users to their markets, etc. Mayer has a wonderful trailhead as well. The sign is up and there is free parking as well, plus a kiosk (which I imagine will get a "You Are Here" sign in the near future.

The wag of the finger goes to Wayzata, which still seems to be pretty much ignoring this trail. There is no trailhead, per se, in Wayzata. The trail starts at Shaver Park, on the shore of Lake Minnetonka in downtown. The streets around there have PERMIT PARKING REQ'D" painted in gigantic white letters all over the place. There is little to no public parking that I was able to find. For a city the size of Wayzata, there is also very little in the way of support amenities. There is a D'Amico restaurant east of the trail as well as deli (with no seating) also east of the trail.

I ended up buying a sandwich and a coke and then riding back to the park to look for a place to eat. As I rolled to a stop and unpacked my lunch, I had holes absolutely stared into me by some paunchy local wearing a green Izod shirt and white shorts on the next bench over. I finally waved at him and offered a bite of my sandwich, which got him to ignore me so I could eat in peace. Shortly after that, he left to go check up on the servants or something and left me to contemplate the Wayzata experience.

If/when I do this ride again, I'll start in St. Boni, ride to Wayzata and back, refuel in St. Boni and then hit the leg to Mayer. I believe in spending my money with merchants that support the trails, and I think St. Boni needs the revenue more than Wayzata anyway.


  1. I think you're supposed to say "prestigious Wayzata."

  2. There is a ton of demand for the public parking, with hundreds of permit free spots available at the adjoining Boatworks. You can also park at the Wayzata Bay Center and ride your bike up and down Lake Street.

    What is so great about the trail head in Mayer? A gas station half a block away?

    Thanks for visiting!

  3. Thanks for the comment, Wayzata. What's so great about the trailhead in Mayer (and St. Boni) is that it's dedicated parking for trail users, and it's free. I rode around Wayzata for awhile (twice) and never found the free parking you mention, nor did I see any trail markers or "welcome Dakota Trail Riders" type signs. Instead, I saw PERMIT PARKING ONLY stenciled on the pavement in the parking lots.

    Wayzata would do well to put in a trailhead on the west edge of town. I am absolutely certain that a coffee shop/deli would spring up and the local businesses would see a little bump in sales. The new bike shop is a start, but they only had coffee (it's good - I had a cup and bought some gloves there, too.). Because there was no food, I ended up riding over to the deli to buy some lunch, then got glared at by the locals because eating my turkey sandwich at the waterfront was some how harshing their mellow.

    Not welcoming. Step it up, St. Boni is putting Wayzata to shame on this one.

  4. I agree that Wayzata needs a good cafe near the trailhead that caters to bikers. The only decent place to eat on the Dakota Trail is the fabulous Bistro in St. Boni. Let the Wayzata locals eat cake!