Headwaters 100 FAQ

Is the Headwaters 100 a ride or a race?

The Headwaters 100 is a casual ride. At one time, the Headwaters 100 had a race component along with the ride. Itascatur discontinued the race in 2009.

What time does the ride start?

Registration begins at 7:00 AM, with the official ride time listed as 9:00 AM. You can start the ride at any time, but we encourage you to leave by 9:00 AM so you’ll have time to make the food stops.

How long are the stops manned?
  • The Century School: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Itasca State Park: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • Mantrap Valley: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
  • Nevis: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Where are the food stops?
  • 42 mile route: Mantrap Valley (at mile 17) and Nevis (at mile 29)
  • 75 mile route: Itasca State Park (at mile 21) and Mantrap (at mile 57)
  • 100 mile: Itasca State Park (at mile 31), Mantrap (at mile 67) and Nevis (at mile 89)
What foods are available at the food stops?

At Itasca State Park there are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cookies, and oranges with Powerade, coffee and water for beverages; At Mantrap there is wild rice soup and vegetable barley soup, peanut butter and jelly, cookies, bagels, grapes, bananas, and Powerade. At the Nevis stop: cookies, bananas, apple with caramel, trail mix, and various candy bars.

Are there bike repair stations?
  • Century School: 7:00 am – 9:00 am
  • Itasca State Park: 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Mantrap Valley: 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
  • Nevis: 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Is the route marked?

Volunteers thoroughly mark the route before the ride. You will also receive a map at registration that clearly outlines the separate routes.

Is there a separate fee to ride through Itasca State Park?

If you're registered and riding the Headwaters 100, there is no fee for you to enter the park and ride there during the day time ride hours. (Typically anywhere from 7:00 AM - 6 PM.) If you would like to enjoy Itasca State Park on any other day, there is a $7 day-use fee or a $35/ year fee that will get you into any Minnesota State Park. If you are camping in the park and registered for the Headwaters 100, you'll have to pay the fees associated with using the park's facilities.

Are the roads all paved, or are there any dirt or gravel roads?

All of the roads and trails on the route are paved.

Are there hills on any of the routes?

There are some appreciable hills on this ride- very much a rolling terrain. The MapMyRide Headwaters 100 map page has an elevation change screen where you can track the hills and gauge the gain. Basically there is an elevation gain of 1214 feet (ride starts at 1446 feet, the highest elevation is 1651 feet.)

Are there any rules regarding the equipment on my bike?

We prefer that you don’t use headphones or TT handlebars. Other than that, you’re free to equip your bike however you are comfortable riding it. Our riders bring everything from road bikes to mountain bikes to crossovers, bike trailers hauling gear or children, and more. Don't forget your helmet!

Please note that speeds on the Heartland Trail should not exceed 20mph for safety reasons, due to the size of the trail and the amount of traffic.

Can I bring my children on the ride?

The Headwaters 100 is a family friendly ride, however please keep in mind all protective equipment required for adults is also required for children, especially helmets. Also, our SAG is not equipped to transport small children so you will want to have some support available that can transport your children safely should you find you can't complete the ride.According to the Office of Traffic Safety (MN Department of Public Safety) children 8 and under and under 4' 9" must have a federally approved car seat or booster seat. (Child Passenger Restraint Law: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/laws/Pages/child-passenger-safety.aspx)

Is there a SAG (Support and Gear) group?

Yes; You will receive a wristband with the cellphone numbers of our SAG team and they will come to you. We have several vehicles monitoring the roads and 2 riders monitoring the Heartland Trail from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. SAG vehicles carry a bike pump, first aid kit and a cell phone. The SAG support vehicles are clearly marked in the windshields and on the sides.

Can I provide my own SAG wagon?

Due to advice from law enforcement, Itascatur does not condone riders providing their own SAG support. We communicate carefully with local law enforcement to make them aware of our support vehicles and can't be responsible for extra vehicles and potentially dangerous situations. Our SAG support vehicles are well equipped and trained in the routes. They can get you quickly to a repair station if needed.

Is there some place I can leave my jacket or gear if I don’t need it?

There is a drop box at the first and second stops, Itasca Park and Mantrap Conservatory. Your items will be brought back to the Century School for you to pick up after the ride. We do keep a lost and found also, so if something goes missing send us an email: webmaster@itascatur.org.

I pre-registered for the Headwaters 100 but can’t make it on ride day. Can I get a refund?

We do not issue refunds. Itascatur volunteers must anticipate resources and services based on the number of riders who sign up. That service is provided as per the contract formed at registration, and providing it costs the same amount of money whether the person rides or not. We regret that we cannot adjust every rider's fee due to circumstances beyond our control, however the club feels that our registration fees are generously low for the level of services provided. If you choose not to ride the Headwaters 100, please know that your fee directly benefits the Park Rapids and surrounding community as well as community and government projects supported by Itascatur volunteers that benefit outdoor activities in our area. We appreciate your support.

Are showers available?

Showers are available throughout the day at Century Middle School (the registration location) in Park Rapids.

Are there any organizations that host riders overnight, such as a church or YMCA?

There are currently no organizations that host riders overnight, however we do have a nice selection of hotels and local resorts. Two resorts offer our riders discounts for a two night stay: Pine Cone Lodge & Vacation Rentals and Sleeping Fawn Resort and Campground, which is right on the Headwaters route. You can also find out about hotels at the Park Rapids Chamber.

How can I register?
Can I register the day of the ride?

We do offer same-day registration. However, we strongly suggest pre-registration if you're certain you'll make the ride. Please note: Headwaters 100 logo items will not be available with late registration. Register by Sept 11 to receive your logo long sleeve t-shirt.

Why didn't I get a t-shirt on ride day?

Headwaters 100 logo items must be ordered two weeks prior to the event, and picked up on Headwaters 100 event day at the Century School. You will receive your t-shirt if you selected a size when you registered for the event, prior to September 11. Our t-shirts are printed locally, and if you would like to purchase one following the ride you may contact Camp 71 Shirts at 928-530-4053. Additional fees may apply.

Will you mail my t-shirt to me if I don't attend the ride?

Long sleeve t-shirts will be handed out to riders the day of the event. No t-shirts will be mailed following the ride.

Why do you need my email address?

SignMeUp uses your email address to send a verification of registration. Even if you mail in a registration form, your information is entered into SignMeUp for our record keeping purposes and you will be emailed a verification of registration by SignMeUp. In addition, the distributor for our Headwaters 100 logo items may need to contact you for additional information regarding your order.

All of your information is handled carefully. Itascatur does not use your email address without your permission, and only for the purpose of verification. 

What if I can’t or don’t want to register online?

We really, really want you to! If you absolutely can't, send a request for a registration form to:Itascatur, PO Box 581, Park Rapids, MN 56470. You can also email webmaster@itascatur.org with your preferred mailing address.

I can't remember if I've registered or not. Can you check?

You can confirm your registration by clicking this link: https://www.bikereg.com/

How's the weather?

Unpredictable at best! We are usually fortunate to enjoy temperatures in the 60s to 70s, however some years have seen rain (and one memorable year had a light dusting of snow!). The bottom line is that fall is usually lovely in Northern Minnesota, but the not guaranteed to be so. Please dress accordingly!

Have a question that's not listed here?

Send me an email: webmaster@itascatur.org or post to our Facebook group. You'll get a speedy reply and your question will be added to the list. Thanks!