Good alternate route from south (Twin Cities area):
Instead of heading N on 371 from HWY 10, stay on 10 west, then get off (right) near Randall, Mn and go north on county Hwy 1 (Dove Rd), through Pillager, left on 210, then right to get back on Cty Hwy 1. This will take you to Pine River, where you can get back on 371 north.
Google maps with Pillager or Randall as kewords can show you the route.
I use this route often because it has minimal traffic, has some nice scenery and some nice areas for testing the performance/speed of your ride. Just watch out for deer and county law enforcement.
This is close to the same distance/time as 371.
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