Almost without exception, this route follows quiet, rural roads. One exception is when it passes through Itasca State Park, the headwaters of the Mississippi River. During the summer it gets heavy use from recreational vehicles. The 169.5-mile Trails Alternate to Bowlus (where it connects to the main route on section #6), is 103.7 miles shorter, but has many of the same characteristics as the main route. It includes 107 miles of converted rail-trails.
We utilized this map, #5, from Fergus Falls to Bowlus. We took a detour off map #4, and rejoined the route in Fergus Falls. This was gorgeous rail trails the whole way! Evenly spaced services, easy riding. This is an opportunity to catch up miles lost in the hard wind/weather of MT and ND. Sadly, the city park in Albany was closed (summer 2018) due to no bathrooms, and we had to add miles to get to the campground north, at Two Rivers Lake County Park, a dry camp but a nice camp. Great cafe in Bowlus, too.
Northern tier was ok
A customer from LaMoure ND USA on 8/24/10
Rum River bar was not a camping spot as indicated. Although they will let you it is right beside the beer garden and has no water or electricity. There are no tent pads etc either. Other than that everything was excellent. I recommend the bunkhouse in Dalbo. It was awesome. JB