Take A Little Trip: Pine Island


{Throughout the summer, Rochester MN Moms Blog contributors will be sharing their best day-trip ideas to help you find local fun, good eats, and places to play for your kids.  For other posts in the series, please click here.} 

Take a Little Trip: Pine Island, MN | Rochester MN Moms Blog

A stone’s throw from Rochester, just 15 miles north on Highway 52, Pine Island is a quiet town with plenty of activities for the adventurer! Grab the kiddos, your favorite stroller, and head to Pine Island for a charming change of scenery this summer.

The Douglas Trail
Perfect for walking, jogging and biking; this paved 12.5 mile trail was developed along an abandoned railroad track. The trail crosses outstanding scenery, setting sight to some of the agricultural land in Minnesota.  The trail begins in northwestern Rochester, travels through the small town of Douglas (for which it is named), and ends in Pine Island.  There is a nice park (City Park/Trailhead Park), with a shelter and bathroom for public use.

Borrow A Bike
Located right across the parking lot from City Park, in the old Butter Factory building,  you will find “Borrow A Bike”. Here you can, of course, borrow a bike! The whole family can borrow bikes.  They have a wide variety of mountain, road, youth, tandem and reclined bikes available for loan.  Open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM to 6 PM or during the week by calling Roy Larson at 507-696-8453 or Jerry Vettel at 507-993-4860. Borrowing bikes is always FREE!

Rainbow Cafe
This little gem of a restaurant was featured recently in my Gluten Free Guide, but I love it so much I am giving them another shout out.  There is not many things better after an evening bike ride than a hard cider and cheese plate, that I can think of.  With a new daily special and locally source ingredients, every visit offers a surprise on the menu.  Make sure you get there early enough to get the fries! They have run out near the end of the day, and they are my toddler’s favorite.

Pine Island “Saturday Nights”
Once a month, all summer long you can attend this event put on by The City of Pine Island and the Island Classic Car Club.  Within walking distance of historic main street (where you will find Rainbow Cafe) in City Park, the American Legion sets up a Beer Garden with live music, and the classic cars line the parking lot. The Pine Island Girl Scouts offer activities for children of all ages, or they can play at the park.  The event runs from 5-9pm on June 25, July 16, August 20 (tractor show) and September 17.  Admission is free, as well as entry of your car, truck, tractor, or cycle.

I happen to call Pine Island home and have found this town to have much to offer, especially during the summer months.  In addition to the activities mentioned above, Pine Island has many city parks, public pool, golf course, BMX bike path, frisbee golf course, farmers market and more.

I invite you to come explore!