MINNESOTA STARTS HERE

Conveniently located on Hwy 210 in Carlton, MN, just 3 miles off I-35,
right on the Willard Munger Trail near Jay Cooke State Park.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bike Trails Bolster Carlton Businesses

A feature story in this month's Business North shared how the intersection of Munger and St. Louis River recreational trails helps bring business to Carlton. "You can't believe the bike traffic we have. The trails have been very good to us," said Denny Randelin, president of the Carlton Area Development Corp.

The article by editor/publisher Ron Brochu gives a nice glimpse into the local community here. Joelene Steffens, who established Carlton Bike Rental and Repair here at this hub, notes that biking is not only a very healthy activity, it is also green. Tourists passing through are possibly the community's biggest untapped asset.

The town is ideally situated in a beautifully remote setting that is moments away from Jay Cooke State Park, accessible by bike or by hike. And it is not uncommon for families camping in the park to noodle their way into Carlton to see what's where, only to discover there's more here than first meets the eye, including the Art Dimensions Gallery, Hobo Junction, Disc Golf and more.

"Its a work in progress," says Steffens, who with the help of husband Chuck, friends and family has done a yeoman's job of getting the business off the ground. As winter's icy chill blows in, the hearths keep us warm as we look to the coming spring to build on this year's foundations.

Photo: Joelene Steffens talks about her vision for the year ahead with its challenges and opportunities.