It was a day of surprises. In fact, the title of this post could be, “The Day My Kids Got Ticketed by the Cops in Two Harbors.” Let me explain.
A few months ago, Daley spied a bike path while we were driving through Two Harbors. Along the paved path, he noticed permanent exercise equipment. Being a kid that loves all things mechanical, he asked if we could come back to check them out.
Not being a local, I contacted a few Two Harbors friends (thanks!) to learn more about the trail that seems to be known only as “the trail by Shopko.” This is what I learned: park at the Shopko parking lot, follow the path around to the ball fields, weave through a residential area, and connect back to Shopko. With that, the surprises ensued.
Leaving the Shopko parking lot we found that the trail had a slight incline, requiring steady peddling. Finley immediately got tired, but then perked up when we saw the Cedar Coffee Company sign just a few minutes from our start, as we planned to have lunch there. While we waited for our sandwiches, Daley test rode a fat tire bike at the adjacent Spokengear bike shop. He’s now saving his summer lawn mowing money for one.
Refueled and back on the trail, we stopped at the five separate exercise stations. Approaching each one was a thrill, as we didn’t know what to expect. Coach Daley helped Finley learn the different exercises.
At one point, a small bright blue object on a bench caught Finley’s eye. It was a rock from the Two Harbors Secret Rock Society. Here’s our conversation.
Finley: What does it say?
Mom: Follow your dreams. What are your dreams, Finley?
Finley: I don’t follow my dreams. Some of them are scary.
She hid the rock in a new place for another person to find. Daley too was gifted the experience of finding a specially painted rock.
Another surprise occurred when we came upon an unexpected playground. Both kids are still at an age in which playgrounds bring immense joy.
Surprise #5: The Biggest Surprise of All
The most unforeseen event of the day was when a police car pulled over along the path and the officer approached us. Then he “ticketed” the kids for wearing helmets. The ticket was a coupon for a free ice cream at the local Dairy Queen. You can imagine the pure delight this exchange brought them.
After, I pondered aloud why I didn’t get a ticket too since I was also wearing a helmet. Daley responded incredulously, “They are trying to teach kids. You are an adult. You should know by now.”
When we arrived in Two Harbors via 61, we took a left at Super One and parked in the back corner of the Shopko parking lot. We followed the paved path along CSAH 26. When we reached Antonich Drive, the path split. We took a right here (if you continued straight, you’d make a bigger loop). Antonich Drive passed by soccer fields and turned into 8th Street. Somewhere in this area the designated path ends and we biked on the side of the street (the shoulder was quite wide). After stopping at the playground, we followed it until 11th Ave at which point we took another right continuing through a residential area. Near the end, it turned to gravel where Daley had to carry his scooter. We found the short tunnel that connected back to the original bike path by Shopko.
This route was 2.25 miles with steady inclines and declines — totally do-able for little legs because of all the surprise breaks along the way.
Have you explored the bike paths in Two Harbors? Share your experiences in the comment box below. Thanks!