On this section of the route, you will be riding on paved state trails and two-lane roads with varying shoulder widths. The country is open with rolling wetlands of dense trees and shrubs along the lake shores. At Dalbo, the route turns east and traverses slightly rolling countryside through farmland to Osceola, Wisconsin. There is a steep climb into Osceola from the St. Croix River valley. In Wisconsin, riding near the river means hillier country along the bluffs. There is a steep descent to the St. Croix River, and a steep ascent after the bridge into Stillwater, Minnesota. This map section includes a spur into the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
We used this section, #6 on Northern Tier, to connect with the North Lakes route. As we used map #5 to do the southern rail trail route, we used this map only from Bowlus to Taylors Falls, which required a bit of a detour on hwy 95 as it was easier to navigate to the North Lakes route through Taylors Falls. This bit of Minnesota is beautiful farmlands, with sleepy roads and sleepy towns.
Midwest tour in May
Nancy, the sage tourist on 6/12/19
I had planned to begin using the section 8 maps beginning with Map 100 back to map 96. My solo self-contained tour began on May 26th, 2019. Unfortunately, the lodging in Orion, Illinois was not avaialable due to the flooding of the Mississippi and Rock River valleys. Fortunately, I was very familiar with county roads and proceeded north and then west through Wyanet, Walnut, and Prophetstown. I was able to camp at a beautiful state campground in Prophetstown. I then continued on county roads until I approached Clinton, Iowa. I crossed the Mississipppi and picked up Rte. 136. Then, I was able to get back on the Northern Tier, section 7 at Cascade, Iowa. It was a very good, low traffic route. The locals are glad to help send you on bike friendly, safe county roads.
This map connects to the North Lakes #1
Roderick Young on 5/16/10
Until I got this map, it wasn't clear that there would be good instructions for connecting to the North Lakes route. In fact, there are, right on the map. If you're going to do the Northern Tier, but using North Lakes too, then the sequence is Northern Tier #6, North Lakes #1-3, Northern Tier #10-11. And if you take the Erie Connector, you still need all the above maps (unless you go with Google maps or AAA to make up part of your route).
In general, the Adventure Cycling maps have everything a cyclist would be interested in, except possibly internet access. They do indicate where the Libraries are, which, along with Motel locations and town population, allow a guess at where there will be access.