Considered the "crown jewel" of the metro area, Raccoon River Park is home to the 3 mile crushed rock trail circling Blue Heron Lake. Out on this trail you quickly forget you're in the city. This quiet location and the wide limestone path is a perfect spot for kids to ride their bikes. The trail is a popular place for walkers and runners so plan for a slow relaxing ramble on the bike.
A playground, beach, nature lodge, sport complexes, and fishing pier nearby there are lots of ways families can have fun.
Calling this a ride is a bit overzealous. While there was pedaling involved, my bike merely served the purpose of toting me and breakfast around the lake. The goal: to find a pretty spot for a picnic and bird watching.
There wasn't much for mileage nor there was much effort, only meandering. It was perfect! A cool breezy morning, sunshine, a thermos full of coffee, breakfast, and birds. What was missing was binoculars! A pair would have come in handy to get a better view of the Mergansers fishing for their breakfast.
I enjoy using my bike for errands and exercise. But, my favorite way to put my bike to work is for transport to a peaceful out out of the way spot.