Planning that Minnesota Summer Biking Vacation: Cuyuna Lakes

Image Credit:  Griff Wigley

The Cuyuna Lakes Area in Crosby/Ironton has become the mountain bike destination in Minnesota.  In addition to the world class mountain bike trails at the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area there is the 6.1 mile paved Cuyuna Lakes State Trail and the Paul Bunyan State Trail that can be accessed from the Cuyuna to Brainerd segment of the Mississippi River Trail Bikeway (MRT).  If you are a cyclist that enjoys riding on some of Minnesota's most scenic trails, then the Cuyuna Lakes Area is a must for your next bicycling vacation.

Image Credit:  Aaron Hautala

There are quite a few resources that will make planning your getaway to the Cuyuna Lakes Area easy.

The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew (CLMTBC) has an Eat, Sleep, Ride page that lists the best restaurants, lodging and bike shops in the Cuyuna Lakes Area.  Support these businesses because they support the CLMTBC.  The Crew also has a Trails page that will link you to trail maps, trail conditions and a 5 day weather forecast for the area.

The Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce website has plenty of information for dining, lodging, shopping and outdoor activities in the area.

The Brainerd Lakes Vacationland website will put you in touch with bike maps, bike rentals and lodging options for the area.

The Cuyuna Lakes State Trail website has plenty of information for the area trails with maps and area attractions.

The Minnesota DNR's Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area webpage will connect you with information on trails, maps, camping & lodging, recreational facilities and reservations.

Trail Highlights

Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails

Image Credit:  Griff Wigley
The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area are spread out over 800 acres and include over 25 miles of singletrack.  There are trails for all experience levels from easiest to extremely difficult (experts only) making it a great destination for families, the occasional mountain biker, the enthusiast and the serious expert.  Come and see why Cuyuna Lakes has become the premier mountain bike trail system in the Midwest.  To learn more about the partnership between the Parks & Trails Council, the Minnesota DNR, MORC and IMBA that made the mountain bike trails at Cuyuna Lakes possible, watch this episode of Parks & Trails TV.
Trail Map

Cuyuna Lakes State Trail

Image Credit:  Jakesbikes.com
The Cuyuna Lakes State Trail is a 6.1 mile paved trail that connects Crosby at the Croft Mine Trailhead to Riverton passing through the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.  The trail will take you past some beautiful scenery and several former mining pits that are some of Minnesota's newest lakes.  Trail Map

Mississippi River Trail (MRT)
Cuyuna to Brainerd Segment 

The Mississippi River Trail (MRT) runs through the heart of Cuyuna Country.  Follow it Northeast towards Aitkin and beyond or Southwest to connect to the Paul Bunyan State Trail in Baxter.  The MRT utilizes paved/gravel roads and existing trails.  Trail Map

Paul Bunyan State Trail

The Paul Bunyan State Trail begins in Baxter and meanders north through the woods and lakes of the Brainerd Lakes Area. Pass by the towns of Brainerd, Merrifield, Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Jenkins and Pine River on the way to Backus.  In 2011 it was inducted into the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy for its scenic value, trailside amenities and excellence in management and maintenance.  Trail Map


Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew Events
These events benefit the CLMTBC. 

June 7-8, 2013

For Glory. For Honor. For Cuyuna.
A weekend of rides, racing and fun.  Get the Cuyuna Pass for the Friday night spaghetti feed and night ride, Saturday's Trailblazer Bikes Cross Country Race and Easyriders $250 Poker Ride and a festival t-shirt.  The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival is a collaborative fundraiser planned by and for the Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce and the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, an IMBA Chapter in an effort to continue to foster the growth of mountain biking as a sport in Minnesota and the community of Cuyuna Lakes.

Image Credit:  Aaron Hautala

Image:  C L Klunker-Facebook Page
September 14, 2013  

Just say ‘No!’ to Carbon Noodle Bikes. 
Old Bikes, Good Friends, and Denim.

 Other Events
Annual Events at the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails.

MN Rusty Ride
August 10, 2013

26, 50, 100 mile race, ride or tour ulitizing Cuyuna singletrack, fire roads and some of the paved bike path.  There will be a Friday night Pasta Feed August 9th.
Squirrel Fest III:  Trampled by Squirrels
September 20-22, 2013

From the Squirrel Fest Facebook Page, "In case anyone was wondering Squirrel Feast 3 is on like Donkey Kong!!  The direction of this years Squirrel Fest is lower entry fee less swag, more fun, and a lot more riding. Because in the end it's about riding with new and old friends, not getting some free stuff you throw in the corner when you get home!  Looking forward to seeing you all again this fall!"

Fun Group Rides 

Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew Group Ride

First Thursday of the month group ride to follow Crew membership meeting at Hallett Center in Crosby.
Membership meeting starts at 7:00pm, ride follows membership meeting, weather permitting.
Open to everyone, need not be a member of the Crew to participate!
2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Thursdays of the month, weather permitting, 6:00pm
Meet at the Mahnomen Unit – Demo Trail Parking Lot (Natural surface parking lot to the left of paved boat landing parking lot on the Pennington Mine Lake)
Open to all skill levels, genders, and ages!
More info, email: info@cuyunalakesmtb.com

Image Credit:  Aaron Hautala

Ladies Group Ride
Every Wednesday, weather permitting
6:00pm – Meet at Cycle Path & Paddle in Crosby
Bike rentals available for $10.00
Open to all skill levels
More info, call Cycle Path & Paddle at 218-545-4545

Annual Rides in the Cuyuna Lakes Area

Tour of Cuyuna Bicycle Ride
September 7, 2013

The 2013 Tour of Cuyuna Bicycle Ride is a recreational ride for cyclists of all abilities.  There are two routes to choose from, approximately 40 and 70 miles.  The ride will begin at Rutgers Bay Lodge near Deerwood.  For additional information call 218-545-4545.  Ride Brochure

Plan to take your Summer biking vacation in the Cuyuna Lakes Area and see why it is becoming the hot-spot for cyclists from all over the Midwest.

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