COVID-19 Safety Update by Explore Minnesota

First in Fat Biking

You need to try fat biking. Fortunately, you are in (or planning to be in) Minneapolis Northwest, and we have one of the top single track trails in the Twin Cities (and the entire state of Minnesota). If that excites you, awesome! If you have no idea what it means, you’re about to be introduced to your new favorite sport!

We talked to Jesse Izquierdo, Outdoor Recreation Specialist, with Three Rivers Park District and got all the information you need to get started. Woman on fat bike in the winter

Who should get into fat biking?

Everyone! But I think the sport is a great winter activity for cross-training for summer athletes and just overall recreationalists. Anyone who enjoys biking in the summer time, whether it’s on regional trails or mountain biking on single tracks will enjoy it, because there is definite crossover. The great thing is that people don’t need to put their bikes away anymore, it is safer to continue biking in the winter on a fat bike. The fatter tire gives people more traction and stability, on and off the trails. 

So, even kids can do it?

It comes down to ability level. Kids can definitely get into this sport, you just have to tailor it to your child or provide stepping stones for them to get comfortable with it, before throwing them out on the single track trails. 

How should people get started?

I think that one of the most important things to consider before you get into fat biking is making sure you’re ready for the cold temperatures. Pick up winter biking specific clothing, it will make a big difference in your experience.

From there I would check out opportunities to test out fat bikes. Some people know right away that they want to buy, but there are great demo opportunities, like at Elm Creek Park Reserve, where you can see the bikes and try them out before you commit. Stopping into local bike shops, like Maple Grove Cycling, and checking out their demo and rental opportunities is a great starting point. 

Where are the best spots to fat bike once you’re all set to go?

Elm Creek Park Reserve is considered one of the top trails in the Twin Cities and the state of Minnesota. They have 13 miles of single track trail there that range anywhere from beginner to intermediate to advanced riding. Some people may be intimidated starting on a single or narrower track trail on the snow, so they may want to start on regional trails at Elm Creek Park Reserve. Another opportunity is Lake Rebecca Park Reserve, as this will be the first year that it’s open to fat bikers. There will be 14 miles of single track trail for people to enjoy. 

Are there any big events people can check out if they are interested?

Absolutely! Right in Minneapolis Northwest there is the Frozen Frolic Fat Bike Race, which will be held at Elm Creek Park Reserve. It’s time trial format racing a 10- to 14-mile single track loop through trees and snow. And of course there are prizes.

There are more around the Twin Cities like the QBP Fat Bike Rennet at Hyland Park Reserve, the Penn Cycle Fat Tire Loppet 35k in the Twin Cities, and the Fat Bike Birkie in Wisconsin. Check them out!


Get out there and turn our winter paradise into your biking paradise!