Take Mountain Biking to the Slopes

Minnesota has a lot of great mountain bike trails statewide, but if you want to add some challenge to the ride in the form of altitude and gradient, head to the ski slopes.  Once the ski season is over, the snow is long gone and the ground has dried up, several Minnesota ski resorts open up to mountain biking come late spring.  These trails will test your abilities with their tough climbs, fast descents, hairpin turns, rocks and roots to create a technically demanding ride.

The ski slope mountain bike season generally runs from May through October and most ski areas charge a trail fee which can be purchased for the day or the season.

Afton Alps

Afton Alps, located in Hastings, has over 7 miles of intermediate to advanced singletrack running throughout the ski area with great views of the scenic St. Croix River Valley.  The trails are open from sunrise to sunset and $9/day trail fee and helmets are required.  A season pass is also available for $110.

Mountain Biking Afton Alps from Wingman Productions

Buck Hill

While riding at Buck Hill in Burnsville is not open to the public, Penn Cycle holds Thursday Night at the Races here.  There are two series of races on Thursday nights, the first runs in May and June and the second in June through August.  There are three classes to race in, Beginner is about a 20 minute race, Recreational is about a 40 minute race and the Advanced race lasts about an hour.  There are lots of door prizes handed out and bring the kids for a free kid's race after the finish of the advanced race.  Dates for 2013 have not been set yet, but I will post them as soon as they become available.

One lap at Buck

Giants Ridge

Giants Ridge in Biwabik has over 24 miles of beginner to advanced singletrack, cross country ski trails, snowmobile trails and abandoned logging roads to ride May through October.  Mountain biking here is a great deal, only $5 for the day or $50 for the season.  Mountain bike rentals are also available at the Summer Rental Shop.  Trail Map

John Filander talks about mountain biking at Giants Ridge

Mount Kato

Mount Kato in Mankato has over 7 miles of beginner to advanced mountain bike trails of which 80% are wooded singletrack.  The trails will be open in late April through October and trail hours are sunrise to sunset.  A trail fee of $8 and helmet use are required.  Payment drop off is available so bring correct change or a check.  A mountain bike season pass can be purchased in the area office for $110 and is also good at Afton Alps.  Trail Map

Mountain Biking Mount Kato

Spirit Mountain

Spirit Mountain in Duluth has new mountain bike trails set to open on May 23rd, 2013.  These are flow trails which will test and develop your gravity-based mountain bike skills.  The two trails that will be opening are Candyland, a 1.5 mile beginner/intermediate downhill flow trail and Smorgasboard, a 1 mile intermediate freeride/downhill mountain bike trail.  The trails will be open Thursdays 4-8 pm, Fridays 1-8 pm and weekends 10 am-4 pm.  Spirit Mountain has installed the new "Spirit Express II" chairlift that will take riders and their bikes back to the top of the mountain after a ride down the trails.  Chairlift rates are $8 for a single ride or $20 for an all day pass.  Aaron Rogers, IMBA Midwest Trail Specialist has declared this to be the best flow trail in the Midwest". 

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