Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area - TRAIL

Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area - Trail, Brainerd, Minnesota

With over 30 purpose-built routes to choose from, everyone from beginner to pro can enjoy the breath-taking rides and overlooks. The trails are enhanced by the deep-red soil, turquoise mine lakes, and white bark of the aspen and birch trees. When taking a break from the exhilarating descents, mountain bikers can watch for bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, beavers and other wildlife.

User Reviews (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6  
Brian   Weekend Warrior [Jul 03, 2013]

I was in Minneapolis for meetings and drove up to ride these trails for 2 days. Easy 2 hour drive from the Twin Cities. Rented 2 bikes, a Rocky Mtn 29er and a Surly Pugsley, in Crosby at Cycle Path and Paddle, a great bike shop. The Pugsley was a blast. I stayed in the Viking Inn in Crosby one night, which was a hoot and highly recommended. They have some great microbrews on tap.

I now live and ride in SoCal, but I cut my chops mtn biking in eastern Virginia for 10 years. Smooth, sticky and with limited elevation change or roots, these trails remind me of the ones I used to ride in eastern VA and MD, and not at all like the loose-over-hard pack hills and mountains here in SoCal. I rode Yawkee and Huntington. Yawkee is mostly short, technical sections with probably a couple hundred feet of elevation change. It took me almost an hour to find the Timber Shaft "black diamond" section, much of which proved to be too technical for me, particularly with a slow-turning 29er. In total I spent probably 3 hours "playing" around in Yawkee. The rest of the afternoon and the following day I rode Huntington. From Miners Mtn down to Sidewinder is probably about 500 feet of elevation change. The trails here, unlike Yawkee, are mostly long and wide open.

I didn't notice much of a difference between the yellow and red trails; both should be rideable by all but the newest mtn bikers. Green are very easy. Black are definitely a challenge, especially Timber Shaft.

These are great trails, but I have some suggestions for improvements and additions. First, I'd love to see some optional technical challenges like log piles, teeter-totters, and low bridges, particularly to add some variety to the long sections at Huntington. Local riders have started to cut "alternative" routes, particularly over some dirt mounds, but I would like to see more. Second, some "grey diamond" sections--not quite as difficult as Timber Shaft but more challenging than most of Huntington--would be nice. Finally, a specific skills park would help less advanced rides hone their skills before hitting the trails. See the Belle Isle Park in Richmond, VA, for example.

Great trails that I definitely plan to come back and ride again.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
nstarsfan   Weekend Warrior [Oct 13, 2012]

Love this place. Very pretty to be on the red dirt, between the aspens and near the lakes. A few things to be aware of: 1) signage to get to the trails/parking areas is poor (visit morcmtb.org for direction) 2) lots of two-way sections 3) beware of poison ivy. With all the two way sections, be prepared to be exposed to poison ivy. The trails are narrow and it is busy so you will brush up against weeds when you get out of the way for someone. The two way sections are some of the most flowy sections so too bad you have to slow down to watch out for people. Hopefully, the connections can be made one-way some day.
There is not a ton of difference between the easy and intermediate sections. A few of the hill sections are a good workout and a nice ride down. However, most are two way so be careful. Different trail segments present different challenges (e.g., switchback or hills) but most are flowy with few obstacles to navigate. [I did not get a chance to ride the advanced and expert sections]. Most intersections are well marked with a couple of exceptions.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Kdub   Weekend Warrior [Jul 24, 2012]

The trails here are great! If you want some really technical terrain, you can certainly find it. For the most part it's not the most technical overall, but it makes up for it with exhausting climbs and rewarding downhills. There are trials here for all abilities.

Customer Service

Bobsled was an absolute blast to ride. It's a pretty quick route, so finish and go right back up and do it again!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Kyle R   Cross Country Rider [May 22, 2012]

Absolutely phenominal. Has a little bit of everything for a die hard cross country rider. Lots of epic down hill and tight technical riding.

I have not ridden a better trail system in my life. I drive 10 hours to this trail, and cannot get enough of it.

Highly, highly recommended.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Philip   Cross Country Rider [Mar 14, 2012]

This trail network ranks amongst the best intermediate cross country trails I've ever ridden, and I've ridden dozens of trails in MN, WI, Colorado, and Utah. I'd describe parts of the terrain as mountainous. Designed specifically for mountain biking, it provides a wonderful and beautiful glide through the forest on red soil and rocks with beautiful views of mine pits that are now shimmering emerald trout lakes and some good workouts climbing some fairly steep hills with mostly easy to intermediate obstacles. It's more about a wonderful ride and beautiful scenery than obstacles. It's worth a drive to get there, and it provides a wonderful example of reclaiming land for recreational use after mining.

Customer Service

My favorite trail was the bobsled trail which has very high banked swooping curves on descent toward Yawkey Mine Lake. All the trails are worth exploring. And the hard sections usually aren't very long and would be easy enough for a beginner to walk. If you want an aerobic workout, you can find and focus on trails that are a long uphill slog.

Similar Products Used: Mammoth in Chanhassen behind the Minnesota Landscape arboretum. In my opinion it's as good and similar to CANBA in Wisconsin. It's a mixture of public and private land and seems to have been informally created and maintained by those that ride it. You could probably spend 6 hours in the area and not ride all the trails. Some of the trail entrances are posted private; however, there is almost always a way to enter the trail elsewhere where it is not posted and poach the trail and plead ignorance. This network features hills, wood bridges, some obstacles, hills, twisted singletrack through the trees and an occasional old dump where you can rummage for stuff (found bottles, whiskey jug, 1930's or 1940's toy truck). Highly recommended. Just about 1-2 blocks west of Highway 41 on 82nd street (sort of behind the arboretum). To the north on 82nd, there is parking for Spring Peeper Meadow. Park at the Spring Peeper Meadow parking lot off of 82nd, cross 82nd and head downhill into the woods. It's easy to get lost so if you don't have lots of time, you'll need to keep track of how to get back to your car. You start on a fairly wide forest road-look for the singletrack spurs.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Go-Hawk   Cross Country Rider [Nov 30, 2011]

One of the most unique trails in the Midwest. Purpose built, flowing/surfy singletrack. 25+ miles. Worth a drive from anywhere in MN and from any of the neighboring states or Ontario. Can easily spend a couple days here. Plus with Duluth trails a little over an hour and a half away and Copper Harbor 5-6 hours away, a whole weeks worth of riding is within driving distance.

Sheds water thanks to great design. When the pavement is dry 98% of this trail ready as well. MN DNR manages this trail and the area has a fantastic pro-mountain biking land manager. Closed during MN deer hunting gun seasons.

I gave this trail a higher aerobic rating than technical rating. There is a very cool technical section on the Yawkey side, but most of the trail is not technical so to speak But if you ride it fast it will push your ability to corner and pump terrain to your limits.

Customer Service

Make sure to hit Bobsled, Sand Hog and Screamer for riding not typically found in the Midwest.

Similar Products Used: Duluth area trails (esp Piedmont). The Duluth trails are almost the opposite of Cuyuna. Cuyuna is smooth flowy singletrack. Beginners and experts can ride the same trails except for a few technical sections. Duluth trails are rocky and rooty and not as much beginner friendly riding, IMO. Great contrast. Both great fun, great views and showcase different styles of mountain biking.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-6 of 6  

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