The best mountain bike trails in Minnesota is open for the season. Trail Maps
The Cuyuna Lakes Trail Association also maintains paved bicycling trails connecting various communities in and around the area known formerly as the Cuyuna Iron Range. Visit CuyunaLakesTrail.org for more information.
“Moabesque red dirt” is how Josh Klauck, owner of Angry Catfish Bicycle Shop and Coffee Bar in Minneapolis, describes the 22 miles of trail opened last summer on a former iron-mine property. Ore excavation created steep hills; 500-foot-deep pits have turned into emerald lakes; and the trails are some of the most exquisitely flowing stretches of dirt in the Midwest. The Best Bike Ride in Every State by Bicycling Magazine.
Working in close partnership with the Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC), IMBA recently helped open a major new cycling facility, the Cuyuna Lakes Ride Center. Located near the town of Crosby, the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area now offers more than 20 miles of purpose-built mountain bike trails.
During the opening ceremonies on June 12, IMBA's Executive Director announced that Cuyuna is the first cycling facility in the nation to be recognized under IMBA's revised ride center recognition program. "We use the term 'ride center' to celebrate large-scale projects that offer outstanding trail design," said Van Abel. "You'll hear more about the ride center program in upcoming months, but for now Cuyuna stands as the first location to be recognized under IMBA's new evaluation process."
Mountain bike legend Hans Rey attended the opening ceremonies and later had a chance to sample the trails (see photo). "The Cuyuna Lakes trails are among the best XC trail network I have ridden — super flowy and fun," said Rey. "It's good to see the Cuyuna trails spearheading this evolution of the sport. I loved the trails and riding and I'm sure it will do wonders for the local community, and beyond. Everybody who helped this project can be proud of themselves," said Rey.
Many partners were involved, over a multi-year period, in creating the Cuyuna ride center. Read a detailed account of the history behind the trails provided by Gary Sjoquist, Advocacy and Government Affairs Director for Quality Bicycle Products: Cuyuna history (PDF download).
IMBA's Van Abel offered a recap of the partnerships and key players that helped make Cuyuna a reality in a recent blog post. IMBA Midest Regional Director Hansi Johnson contibuted another blog entry with praise for MORC, Minnesota DNR and other important players.