MMM’s second in a series of Rides and RoutesPrairie Ride Where: Wright & Meeker Counties Length: 83 miles Time Needed: Two hours minimum
by Sev Pearman
While city riding is part of our testing, we love rural county roads, especially while aboard a lumbering cruiser. This is one of my favorite test routes and features gentle curves, pretty scenery, livestock, wildlife and very little traffic.
Get yourself to Delano via US 12. At the west end of Delano, US 12 bears to the north. Instead, continue west on Wright CR 30. CR 30 climbs and meanders past farms and marshland. There is a nice series of sweepers that follow property lines. Keep an eye out for implements and manure.
Stay on CR 30 as it first pairs up with CR 6; then CR 5. At odometer 21.0 (approx) CR 30 pairs with CR 3 (north). This is a nice section of curves that snakes between ponds and marshes. I have seen Egrets, Great Blue Herons and a variety of ducks through here.
Turn west with CR 30 into Stockholm. This is a beautiful town with a stretch of road made for a cruiser. The magnificent church and tidy cemetery date from the 19th century. After departing Stockholm, stay on CR 30 until you cross into Meeker County. The road is now signed Meeker CR 29.
Take CR 29 to CR 15 and turn right, heading north. Immediately look to your left for the stone footbridge. I don’t know why it is there, nor what purpose it serves. I like it because it is solid, like the machine I am riding. Stay on CR 15 north until it ends at a Tee intersection. Turn left (west) on CR 6. Follow CR 6 until it tees to the left. At this point, do not turn. Continue straight ahead on what is now marked 730th Ave. Continue on 730th until you reach US 12.
Here you have a choice. If you are pressed for time, turn right (East) and return to Delano via US 12. If you have more time to explore, turn left (West) into Dassel. Dassel has plenty of food and fuel options.
The best part about this area is that even without a map, you can’t get lost. No matter where you are, if you head north you’ll cross US 12. If you daydream your way past that, you’ll eventually connect with Minnesota Highway 55. If you drift south, you’ll bisect MN 7. All three of these thoroughfares will get you back to the Twin Cities.
After you leave Dassel, turn north on MN 15. This can see a fair amount of truck traffic especially during harvest, so be forewarned. When you reach CR 27, turn right into Kingston. This is a sleepy agricultural town that now sprouts new home construction. If you are in a pinch, fuel is available at the intersection of MN 15 and CR 27.
The road opens up after leaving Kingston and follows the contours with gentle dips and curves. I like this section because I always ride it in the afternoon and the sun will now be behind me. You’ll re-enter Wright County and the road changes to CR 37. Follow CR 37 to a Tee intersection and turn left. Stay on CR 37/CR 2. After CR 2 splits off, CR 37 climbs and follows the hill contours. You’ll motor through the tiny crossroads of French Lake and West Albion.
Watch for your next turn, CR 6. Take CR 6 south past Albion Center to CR 35. This road will bring you to CR 9 and another right. The sun will be sinking on your right side as you head south on CR 9 and approach Waverly, MN. Waverly is one of the many towns that prospered from traffic, first due to the railroad, then the car and commercial truck traffic from US 12. If either you or your bike need fluids, there are several options in this pretty town.
Turn left heading east on US 12. You’ll pass Montrose and its delicious Bayrischer Hof. As you approach Delano you’ll pass by the only motorcycle shops on this loop, Donahue H-D and Delano Sports Center.
If you haven’t filled up yet, Delano has many excellent restaurants. When riding alone or testing, I like the Peppermint Twist Drive-In. It’ll be on your right hand side as you enter Delano. Order something cold and sit back and admire your motorcycle. Spring is finally here.
Ride along with our driving directions—it’s easy! The appx. odometer reading is printed after the written direction. Example: on the second leg, at odometer reading 14.7, you would make a right turn (heading north) and continue on Wright CR 30 (west)/Wright CR 6 (north) Have fun!
- START Delano, MN US Hwy 12
- Head West. Straight through the traffic light on Wright CR 30 0.0
- Turn Right. Follow CR 30 W/CR 6 N. 14.7
- Left Continue CR 30 W. 15.3
- Left. Continue CR 30 W/CR 5 S 18.7
- Right. Continue CR 30 W. 18.9
- Right. Continue CR 30 W/CR 3 N 21.0
- Left. Continue CR 30 W 22.7
- Continue . Turns to Meeker CR 29 W 27.3
- Right. CR 15 N 28.1
- Left. CR 6 W 31.2
- Continue N. Start 730th Ave. to US 12
- Left. US 12 W 33.1
- Right. MN 15 N 34.4
- Right. Meeker CR 27 E 42.5
- Continue. Turns to Wright CR 37E 46.0
- Left. Continue CR 37E/CR 2 N 46.7
- Right. CR 6 S 56.1
- Left. CR 35 E 60.3
- Right. CR 9 S 66.3
- Left. US 12 E 72.6 • Continue US 12 E to Delano 82.6