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Minnesota's (almost) new bike route will go from St. Paul to Canada

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Minnesota is about to get its second U.S. Bicycle Route.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is finalizing U.S. Bicycle Route 41, which will use existing roads and trails to create a bike-friendly path connecting St. Paul to Grand Portage.

The route is 325-miles long – that would take the average cyclist more than 21 hours to bike the entire thing (as long as there aren't any big hills to ride up).

MnDOT's hope is to get the route officially designated as part of the U.S. Bicycle Route System. (USBRS is a network of more than 11,000 miles of numbered cross-country bike routes in 24 states.)

Help name the new route

https://twitter.com/mndotnews/status/763910513445179392

But before everything is made official, MnDOT is hoping to hear from the community one more time. The agency wants people's input on choosing a name for the route, as well as having people pick the best way to connect it to Wisconsin.

People can vote for their favorite options through this online survey – but it's not fill-in-the-blank (so no submitting BikeRoutey McBikeRouteface, sorry). Here are your options:

You can also weigh in by attending an open house in Pine City on Tuesday. (For more information on the meeting, click here.)

"They're the experts. They live here. They know the spaces that people either would like to be or already are bicycling and it really is giving us insight," project manager Liz Walton told FOX 21.

After this public input period, MnDOT plans to release a final map of the route (see a detailed map of the proposed route here), tally votes to give Route 41 a catchier name, and then submit its application for an official U.S. Bicycle Route designation.

The agency thinks this will all be completed by the fall.

Minnesota's 600-mile Mississippi River Trail, which runs from Itasca State Park to the Iowa border, was the first route in the state to be named part of the U.S. Bicycle Route System, and MnDOT says Route 41 will connect to the Mississippi River Trail.

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