Mountain bike trails at Cuyuna Country SRA

 

 

The 30-mile long mountain bike trail system covers nearly 800 acres inside the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area (CCSRA), and has been ranked as a silver level ride center by the International Mountain Bicycling Association.

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With over 30 purpose-built routes to choose from, everyone from beginner to pro can enjoy exciting rides and overlooks. Check out the Yawkey Mine Lake, or for a great view, go west through the Miner's Mountain Rally Center to see the Miner's Mountain Overlook and the Huntington Mine Lake. The trails are enhanced by the deep-red soil, turquoise mine lakes, and white bark of the aspen and birch trees. Watch for bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, beavers and other wildlife.

When it rains, the single track trails will be immediately closed to all users (foot or bike) until trail conditions dry out or improve.

Hiking is allowed on the mountain bike trails, unless posted restricted. Hikers follow the same rules as bikers. Follow all signage and only travel trails in their intended direction. Leashed pets are allowed but must be personally attended at all times. No exceptions!

 

Trail maps

Downloadable geoPDF maps:

What is a geoPDF?

Overview map and brochure 

Difficulty rating system

This trail difficulty rating system is used to categorize the technical difficulty of single track trails in the CCSRA. This system has been adopted from the International Mountain Bicycling Association and ski resorts throughout the world. Trails are rated according to width, surface, average gradient, maximum gradient, natural obstacles and technical features. The five categories are Easiest/Adapted, Easy, More Difficult, Very Difficult and Extremely Difficult.

Easiest/adapted (beginner)

segmented green trail icon

trailhead icon   Look for this icon posted on trail markers

  • For beginner bikers with little experience.
  • Skills needed: None. Ideal for riders learning basic bike handling skills such as position on the bike, balance, and braking.
  • These are wider, obstacle-free trails with gentle gradient changes of 0 to 4 percent.
  • Suitable for adaptive bikes, including three- and four-wheel handcycles.
  • (Easiest) rated trails are only in the Miner's Mountain Rally Center Skills Area and the Sagamore Unit.

Easy (beginner/novice)

green trail icon

trailhead icon  Look for this icon posted on trail markers

  • Suitable for families and novice cyclists.
  • Skills needed: Basic knowledge of key bike handling skills such as position on the bike, balance, and braking.
  • These trails are relatively obstacle-free, with a gentle gradient of 0 to 5 percent.
  • Green trails carry a lower risk of injury; any unavoidable hazards are usually identified through notices and signs.

More difficult (intermediate)

yellow trail icon

trailhead icon  Look for this icon posted on trail markers

  • Intermediate trails require good bike handling skills.
  • Skills needed: Good balance; ability to shift body weight to overcome obstacles; ability to descend steps, ride drop-offs, and safely negotiate tighter corners; safe braking techniques.
  • These trails are on undulating, varied and rolling terrain, with gradients from 5 to 10 percent.
  • Some trails in this category may contain jumps, technical features, and switchback corners.

Very difficult (advanced)

red trail icon

trailhead icon  Look for this icon posted on trail markers

  • These trails require advanced mountain bike handling skills.
  • Skills needed: Very good balance; advanced braking techniques; ability to shift body weight to overcome obstacles; ability to ride jumps safely.
  • These trails feature tighter switchback corners and a wide range of steep climbs, step-downs and challenging descents with both avoidable and unavoidable obstacles. Terrain can have gradients greater than 10 percent.
  • Cyclists should ride carefully and look ahead at all times. Preview difficult technical features before riding them -- trails rated at this difficulty generally do not have a ride around option. Only ride trails within your skill set to avoid injury.

Extremely difficult (expert)

black trail icon

trailhead icontrailhead icon  Look for this icon posted on trail markers

  • Only expert mountain bikers with exceptional bike handling skills should attempt these trails full of extreme technical challenges.
  • Skills needed: Outstanding balance; ability to ride tight switchbacks safely; masterful braking and jumping techniques; and a range of other trail-specific skills such as shifting front/back wheel.
  • These trails feature drop-offs, step-ups, larger jumps, and challenging surfaces that can be extremely rocky. Terrain is steeper, and can have gradients greater than 15 percent.
  • Cyclists should ride carefully and look ahead at all times. Preview difficult technical features before riding them -- trails rated at this difficulty do not have a ride around option. Only ride trails within your skill set to avoid injury.
Safety

Extreme caution should be used on the mountain bike trails at all times! The State of Minnesota does not assume responsibility for injuries.

  • The CCSRA is not always staffed. Be prepared to take care of yourself in any emergency or equipment failure. 
  • Mountain bike trails can have loose and slippery surfaces. Proceed carefully as rocks and trees frequently fall, and are commonly encountered along the trails.
  • Full face helmets, full-length gloves, biking armor and a full suspension bike are recommended.
  • Do not ride alone. Give other trail users enough space.
  • Maintain control on the ground and in the air. Clear the landing area quickly after a jump.
  • Hunting is an allowed activity in the CCSRA. Trails close to all uses other than hunting during the three week firearms deer hunt in November. More about hunts in state parks and recreation areas.
  • Trail markers are shown on the map and placed in the field. If you have an emergency, call 911 and provide the dispatcher with the following: 1) Description of the emergency. 2) Number on the nearest trail marker. 3) Name of the trail you are on.
  • The skills development area contains numerous technical features (ramps, jumps, etc.) that vary in difficulty and change frequently due to weather and usage. Pay attention to the difficulty ratings and stay in control. Your speed will determine your risk of injury.
  • More mountain biking safety tips.
Trail closures

When it rains (or snows, if the ground is not frozen), the single track trails will be immediately closed to all users (foot or bike) until trail conditions dry out and firm up. Trails typically reopen a few hours after rain ends, but the cooler the temperature, the longer this may take. Wet, soft or muddy trails are extremely easy to damage, which is why we close them until they dry out. If you are leaving tire ruts or footprints in the trail or your bike or footwear is muddy, you are damaging a trail that is currently too soft to use.

All trails in the CCSRA close to all uses (foot or bike) for three weeks in November for the firearms deer hunt.

Sagamore Unit closures in 2021-2022: The Sagamore Unit will be under trail and facility construction through 2021 and into 2022. Please follow all signage, and stay out of construction zones for your own safety as well as ours. The Sagamore Unit boat access will remain open during construction.

Prohibited uses
  • Off-highway vehicles.
  • Camping in non-designated areas.
  • Riding or hiking on soft, wet, muddy or closed trails.
  • Consuming or displaying intoxicating liquors.
  • Building a fire, except in a fire ring at the campground or yurts. 
  • Target and trap shooting.
  • Horse riding on mountain bike trails.
  • Off-leash dogs or other pets. Pets must be on a leash no longer than six feet and personally attended at all times -- no leaving dogs in the vehicle while you ride. 
    • Pets and hikers are not allowed on Jump Line Trails or on trails or technical features in the Mountain Bike Skills Development Area.
  • Any activity that causes damage to the trail surface, either by foot or bike.
  • Rock collecting.
  • "Free riding" into the landscape, leaving defined trail surfaces, or unauthorized building or modification of trails and/or technical features.
  • See additional rules.
Winter trails and rules

Areas plowed:

Miner's Mountain Rally Center, Croft Trailhead, Sagamore Trailhead, Yawkey Road and yurt parking.

Permitted uses:

Fat biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing (no set tracks) and snowmobiling on designated trails. Biking is prohibited on the snowmobile trail from December 1 - April 1 within the boundaries of the CCSRA.

Winter regulations:

For groomed single track and Sagamore Unit trails

  • Bicycle tires must be at least 3.7" wide
  • Foot travel on skis or snowshoes only

Prohibited uses

  • Foot travel (except as permitted)
  • Pets on groomed trails
  • Activities which can damage groomed trails
  • Biking on the snowmobile trail from December 1 - April 1

No winter restrictions on the groomed, paved Cuyuna Lakes State Trail for hiking and biking.

State park and recreation area rules still apply.

Packed winter trails (approximately 40 miles):

Single track
2' wide
Approximately 25 miles
Mahnomen Unit, Portsmouth Unit & Yawkey Unit
Allowed uses: fat biking, snowshoeing and ungroomed cross-country skiing
 
Double track
4' wide
Approximately 8 miles
Sagamore Unit
Allowed uses: fat biking, snowshoeing and ungroomed cross-country skiing
 
Quad track
8' wide
Approximately 7 miles
Cuyuna Lakes State Trail
Allowed uses: hiking, fat biking, snowshoeing, ungroomed cross country skiing
 

Winter trail grooming:

Volunteers generally groom trails in the afternoon or evening after snowfall ends, and mark recently groomed trails with an orange cone at the trail entrance. Freshly groomed trails are very soft and easily damaged until they can refreeze and firm up. For this reason, trails close to biking immediately after they have been groomed, but are open to snowshoeing and skiing. Trails reopen to biking the first morning after they have been groomed, but it usually takes 12 to 24 hours before surface conditions are ideal for biking again.

Winter tips:

  • If you are leaving tire ruts in groomed trails, that is considered damage and the trails are closed to that activity.
  • Bring snowshoes or skis as a backup activity in case trail conditions are too soft for biking. (Most days when temperatures are above freezing.) Snowshoeing and skiing help pack the surface on freshly groomed or soft trails, which can get bikes back on the trail sooner.
  • Reduce tire pressure in your bike. 2-4 psi in soft snow; up to 8 psi in firm snow.
  • Use studded tires for variable trail conditions and added safety.
  • Check the Crosby, MN weather before you travel (ZIP 56455).