Fatbike Trail Condition Resources for Freeze/Thaw Season

As we head into March the weather will become warmer bringing freeze/thaw cycles to winter singletrack.  Below freezing temperatures overnight quickly become above freezing during the daytime turning a hard packed groomed trail into one that is soft and easily rutted.  To prevent this, trail managers use their discretion on whether a trail should close or remain open.  Closures are going to happen and knowing before you head out for a ride can save you a trip if your favorite trail is closed.  It's better to know beforehand than finding out once you get to the trailhead.

Twin Cities

The Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC) have made it easy to get updates on the latest winter trail conditions for the trail systems they manage.  The one way that has been around the longest and that most people are familiar with is the MORC Trail Conditions Forum.  MORC Forum members keep this page active with reports on trail status with a brief condition description for your favorite Twin Cities area trails as well as several others around Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Another way is to get the MORC Trail Conditions app for IOS and Android.  Both apps are free and use data that is populated from the MORC Trail Conditions Forum giving the user instant access to the latest updates.

The MORC Trail Conditions Twitter page is updated from the MORC Trail Conditions Forum.

MORC Trail Conditions

And finally, trail status updates can be found on Facebook at the links below.

Central Minnesota

Cuyuna Lakes

The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew regularly updates trail conditions in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area via Twitter and their Facebook page.  Know the trail status and get tire pressure recommendations for freshly groomed sections beforehand.

Jail Trail/Plum Creek

The Mid MN Cycling Club posts trail status updates and conditions reports for Jail Trail and Plum Creek on the Mid MN Cycling Club Facebook page.

Duluth Area

C.O.G.G.S. (Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores) updates trail conditions for several trails in the Duluth area via Twitter.  These include Hartley Park, LesterPark/Hawk Ridge/Morning Side, Mission Creek, and Piedmont/Brewer.  You can also visit the COGGS Trails Status Feed page on their website.

Spirit Mountain

Spirit Mountain has winter lift-served, downhill fat tire biking Sundays with bonus days in February and March depending on weather and trail conditions.  Visit the Spirit Mountain Snow Report page for the latest updates.

Northern Minnesota

Detroit Mountain

Detroit Mountain Recreation Area updates trail and grooming conditions for its Nordic and Fatbike loops on their Detroit Mtn-Trail Report on Twitter.  Follow at @DMRA_Trails.

Donald D. Ferguson Demonstration Forest

The Donald D. Ferguson Demonstration Forest located just north of Two Harbors has eight miles of  non-motorized, multi-use trails that are groomed in the winter for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and fatbiking.  Get the latest trail updates by visiting the Lake County Mountain Bike Trails Facebook page.

Giants Ridge

Giants Ridge in Biwabik offers 60 km of Nordic trails and introduced lift-served downhill fatbiking this winter.  Check the Giants Ridge Snow Report for the latest status and trail conditions.  Reports are updated daily during the season.

Laurentian Divide/Lookout Mountain

The Laurentian Divide Recreation Area located near Virginia has groomed singletrack in both the Laurention Divide and Lookout Mountain areas in Superior National Forest.  Visit the Mesabi Outdoor Adventures Facebook page for the latest grooming reports and trail status.

Maplelag Resort

Maplelag Resort grooms 20 km of trails for winter fatbiking on their property in Callaway.  For trail status and grooming updates visit the Fat Biking Trail Report page.  Additional reports can be found on the Maplelag Resort Twitter page and Maplelag Resort Facebook page.

Pincushion Mountain

Just a short trip up the Gunflint Trail from Grand Marais sits the Pincushion Mountain trails.  These trails with overlooks of Lake Superior are groomed throughout the winter season for fatbiking.  Visit the SCA Trail Conditions page and Superior Cycling Association Facebook page for the latest updates and recommendations.

Tioga Recreation Area

The Tioga Recreation Area has groomed singltrack throughout the winter on its 500 wooded acres in Cohasset.  Regular updates on grooming and trail status can be found on the Tioga Recreation Area Facebook page and GRIMBA Facebook page.

Southern Minnesota


Rochester Active Sports Club Facebook page regularly posts grooming updates and trail reports for both Gamehaven and Oxbow trails.

Heath Creek/Sechler Park

If you're looking to ride Heath Creek or Sechler Park in Northfield visit the CROCT Facebook page for the latest updates and recommendations.

Kaplan's Woods

The Owatonna Trails Association grooms the trails at Kaplan's Woods Park and regularly posts trail updates to their Owatonna Trails Association Facebook page.


The Mankato Area Mountain Bikers post regular updates on the six miles of trail at Kiwanis Recreation Area on the MAMB Facebook page.

There are still plenty of opportunities elsewhere to ride if the trails are closed.  For a list of these places please visit my post, Alternative Winter Fatbike Riding Opportunities and keep on riding.

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