Photo by Hansi Johnson.
The Cuyuna signature is a cycling experience for families and experts alike that provides, without a doubt, overwhelming fun. More than 25 miles of purpose-built trails wind through a landscape created by 70 years of iron ore mining. Nature has reclaimed the area: water has filled the pits and turned them into 15 deep lakes, and trees and shrubs have taken root on the rocky, rugged landscape. It’s the perfect canvas for crafting year-round trails to conquer by bike, with all the riding skillfully cared for by the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew.
Cuyuna is the first in the Minnesota State Park system created specifically for mountain biking. Purpose-built singletrack trails, ranging from moderate to extremely difficult, were carved into the rocky terrain, circling mine lakes and winding over hills, through the woods and across bridges over small ravines.
New developments include a trailside yurt, camper cabin and campsite lodging. The recreation area also has a 6-mile paved bike trail, and the lakes are popular for trout fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding and scuba diving in their clear waters.
With another $800,000 earmarked for expanded singletrack development, Cuyuna is well positioned for the future. Local riders and advocates believe they have only scratched the surface of what this Ride Center will become.