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Bike route stretches 700 miles

The Mississippi River Trail officially runs the entire length of the Mississippi River in Minnesota. The trail -- also known as U.S. Bicycle Route 45 -- received national recognition when federal officials Friday announced approval of the connecting route through the Twin Cities.

The Mississippi River Trail officially connects 700 miles of existing shouldered highways, low-use roads and off-road paths for bicyclists and closely follows the Mississippi River from the headwaters at Itasca State Park to the Iowa border. Some sections have route options on both sides of the river.