The sandy trail at the MN River Bottoms: a reliably good ride when mud and ice shut down everything else

[I posted this here in the Trail Discussion thread for the MN River Bottoms in the MORC forum tonight.]

I’ve only ridden the MN River Bottoms three times now but I notice that in the Trail Conditions thread, people only refer to the conditions of the east and west segments of the River Valley Trail but not the River Valley Trail – 77/Cedar Segment.

This a flat, sandy segment that doesn’t seem affected by the freezing/melting conditions like the main east/west segments are. And while it’s flat, it’s full of fun turns and quick ups and downs… and a wide variety of challenging technical obstacles. The sand is mostly hard packed, at least this winter, so that I have little trouble with my 29’er. It’s not just for fat bikes.

The MN River Bottoms wiki review doesn’t describe this segment in any detail so I’m wondering if many newer riders are missing it. (I discovered it completely by accident.) And when riders report on the Trail Conditions thread that "the trail" is icy or muddy, I’m wondering how many would still go ride if they knew that the ‘sandy segment’ is just fine.

Here’s a screengrab of the 77/Cedar segment from Phil Westover’s terrific Google Map that I’m referring to (red arrows are mine):

MN River Bottoms - sandy segment map