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If you had two days to hit the most advanced trails within a couple hours of drive of Minneapolis, what would your itinerary look like?

Also, bonus points if you can recommend a bike shop for a mtn bike rental.


Thanks!
 

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If you had two days to hit the most advanced trails within a couple hours of drive of Minneapolis, what would your itinerary look like?

Also, bonus points if you can recommend a bike shop for a mtn bike rental.

Thanks!
One-on-one to rent the bike. Ride Battle Creek, Lebanon Hills and Theodore Wirth. If you are here in a weekend hit Welch Village bike park.

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If you got 2 hours, consider heading north to Duluth...Piedmont and others have advanced (depending on how you define advanced) trails and there is also downhill at Spirit Mountain. Continental Bike and Ski and Spirit rent bikes.

If you need more info, let me know.
 

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If you are specifically looking at Minneapolis and surrounding Metro, Battle Creek, Lebanon Hills, or Theodore Wirth as voghan mentioned. If you want to drive 2 hours North to Cuyuna, you will experience multiple days on one system of the perfect red dirt clay and flow trails in the Midwest. Cuyuna also provides crystal clear lakes this time of year. Beautiful country up there, and not too far from Minneapolis for the level of trails there.
 

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So Cuyuna is beautiful and has great flow but isn't an advanced trail. Duluth is more like 3 hours from the twin cities. If you want really advanced stuff, Piedmont is the place to go.

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You got it. Cuyuna does have a jump park. One drop is maybe 12 foot make or break gap, and a few good rollers to launch with big landings. I've been meaning to shoot up to Piedmont/Duluth this Summer. I rode Spirit mountain 2 years ago, but didn't do the lift service. I raced xc there in the mud. From what I've heard, its the best place to go for 3-4 different choices of well maintained, and machine built trail.
 

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So Cuyuna is beautiful and has great flow but isn't an advanced trail. Duluth is more like 3 hours from the twin cities. If you want really advanced stuff, Piedmont is the place to go.
I tend to agree with this and Cuyuna is my home trail. You want maximum puckerage in MN, its Duluth. You want fun and want to something the whole family can enjoy, Cuyuna. As the OP wanted advanced, that isn't Cuyuna.
 

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If you had two days to hit the most advanced trails within a couple hours of drive of Minneapolis, what would your itinerary look like?

Also, bonus points if you can recommend a bike shop for a mtn bike rental.

Thanks!
Not sure if you've already made the trip but I would echo what those have said about Duluth, it is really in a league of its own in MN. There is a lot of love for Cuyuna, and rightfully so, but it is xc riding with little in the way of truly advance trails.

For sticking around the metro, Battle Creek has the best natural terrain with Goat trail being the best stretch of singletrack in town (use trailforks to locate it) but can be difficult to navigate and takes a few trips to know how to string together the best segments for a fun ride. They are building a ton of new trails at Battle Creek and adding signage so this is getting better and will be the best trail in town in short time IMO. The best comprehensive trail network with the best flow and variety of terrain (all XC but fun man-made rock gardens throughout and some fun jumps that will test your skills) is Lebanon Hills. Theodore Wirth also deserves a shout out for it's skyline views and variety but has many shorter loops that are somewhat segmented from each other.

If you have the time to drive, Duluth is a must and is 2.5 hrs from the metro. Best rides there are the Piedmont/Brewer Trail if you want to peddle up with the NIMBY cluster (trails: Bones of the Beast (B.O.B.), DM, Medropolis, Valley Girls) being the closest thing we have here to out west riding. Kissing Booth on the Brewer side is also a great descent. If you live for the descents then check out Spirit Mountain. The chairlift is fast and you can get tons of laps in riding some great trails ranging from flow trails (Candyland and Happy Camper) to steep and technical (Anvil, Greenman). When I make a trip to Duluth I like riding Piedmont/Brewer in the morning and heading over to Spirit after lunch (lift doesn't open until 11am).

For rentals in the metro you can check out NOW Bikes, they offer santa cruz rentals/demos. For Duluth check out continental ski and bike for rentals.
 
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