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There are plenty of opportunities to walk and bike around Willmar this summer

Willmar has become a great place for those who like to walk or bike. City trails and bike routes offer a unique vantage point of the city including both its natural and historic resources. Newly marked bike routes will make it easier for people to get around and more are on the way.

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Beth Fischer of BikeWillmar walks a bike out from the hub at Miller Park in Willmar in this 2019 file photo.
Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune
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Willmar has become a great place for those who like to walk or bike. City trails and bike routes offer a unique vantage point of the city including both its natural and historic resources. Newly marked bike routes will make it easier for people to get around and more are on the way. Willmar is also home to the trailhead for the Glacial Lakes State Trail, connecting people to the much larger state trail system.

Bicycling in Willmar

A bike share program through the KoloniShare system provides a fun and cheap way for people to see the city. Bikes are available at 10 bike docking stations across the city. For a low fee, riders can rent a bike to ride, whether they need it to get to work, do errands or just want to take a leisurely bike ride around town.

Once you have a bike, Willmar offers miles of trails and roads marked as dedicated bike paths, with some of them connecting to larger trail systems like Glacial Lakes. The BikeWillmar group — along with Willmar and Kandiyohi County Public Works — has created new, marked bike routes across the city. The first two completed routes are the Green Norway Pine and Brow Turkey, located on the northwest side of the city. Several more marked routes are planned. More information on biking events can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/BikeWillmar .

The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota has named Willmar a Bicycle Friendly Community due its advocacy of biking and a vision to create bike connections throughout the city and the surrounding area.

Willmar Walks

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Signs like this at landmark sites in downtown Willmar are the latest feature to be added to the Willmar Walks program. The QR code uses smartphone technology to connect the user to a website filled with information on the past and current history of each site.
Anne Polta / West Central Tribune file photo

Established in 2010, Willmar Walks comprises three marked routes through downtown Willmar. The routes take walkers by some of Willmar’s historical sites, like Bethel Church, the Frost House, the old Tribune building and 310 Third Street Southwest, the oldest commercial building in town. There are a total of 18 points of interest on the walks.

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Each of the three routes start at Selvig International Park, which is dedicated to Willmar’s two sister cities. A banner at Selvig Park shows the Willmar Walks routes and where the points of interest are located. Brochures on Willmar Walks are also available at the Willmar Public Library, LuLu Bean’s and Rick’s Cycling & Sports Center.

The Red route is one mile long. It heads west for one block on Becker Avenue, then south on Fifth Street to Minnesota Avenue, then west two blocks to Seventh Street, north to Becker Avenue, then jogs east and north to Litchfield Avenue and south back to Selvig Park.

The Green route, which is one and a half miles long, follows the Red route to Seventh Street, then south to Kandiyohi Avenue, east to Second Street, then jogs north to Becker and west to Selvig Park.

The Blue route is the longest, at two miles. It also follows Red and Green to Seventh Street, then heads north to Ella Avenue along Foot Lake and east to First Street, then south to Litchfield Avenue. At Litchfield, the route heads west for three blocks, then south one block to Selvig Park.

Willmar Walks is a joint effort between Rice Memorial Hospital, Kandiyohi County Public Health, Willmar Design Center, Willmar Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and the Kandiyohi County Historical Society.

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email slindrud@wctrib.com or direct 320-214-4373.


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