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The Otter-Worldly Gravel Grind

Vergas, Minnesota , United States
66 mi




ft elev +


A Ride Story by PeopleForBikes' own Content + Design Coordinator Isaac Novak.

One of my favorite seasons to ride is autumn. Changing colors, cooler temperatures, fall treats, and quieter roads, for me, autumn brings out the best of gravel biking. Whilst residing in Moorhead, MN and finding a community of bicyclists in Fargo, ND to ride with, I grew as a cyclist only really traversing the pancake flat roads of the upper Midwest. However, it was one late September that I was introduced to the hilly "hero" gravel roads of Minnesota's lake country. As autumn came and the leaves of the birch trees began shifting pigments, I planned a group ride starting from the Otter Coffee Cafe in the small town of Vergas, MN. Over the course of the day, the ride rolled over the undulating hills, past a multitude of lakes and farmhouses, and slushed through the fallen amber and red leaves. This is honestly one of my most loved gravel rides that I've ever rode and would recommend to anyone who is looking for a fun and gorgeous day out on the bike.
The northernmost point of this route circles around the Vergas trail - a fun double track backroad. But beware! Local lore tells a tale of the Hairy Man of Vergas Trail - so keep your eyes peeled!
Break time! Time to re-nourish for the final quarter.
As the days get darker, it's a smart idea to bring a high-vis jacket as a safety precaution. This underexposed film photo shows that even when it's incredibly dark out, you can still see the bicyclist.