Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area and Cuyuna Lakes State Trail

Snapshot virtual tour

Explore the eight-mile ribbon of the paved Cuyuna Lakes State Trail, or the heart-pumping singletrack mountain bike trails inside the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.

Photo of visitors admiring the overlook at Miner's Mountain is the tallest point in the recreation area.


Miner's Mountain Trail

The overlook at Miner's Mountain is the tallest point in the recreation area. It was created by miners, one dump truck at a time, disposing of glacial till and low grade ore. Mountain bike trails cover most of this beautiful hill. There is also a road leading to the top, making it one of the most accessible overlooks in the area. Huntington Mine Lake is in the foreground and is 258 feet deep. This is a great location for observing sunrises, sunsets, star gazing, changing weather conditions, or just catching a cool breeze.

Captioned video: Miner's Mountain Trail
(1 minute 36 seconds)

Photo of bicyclists using the Sand Hog Trail.


Sand Hog Trail

This exhilarating trail won the International Mountain Bicycling Association's 2012 Flow Country Trail Award. Just four trails in the world have received this tremendous honor! Sand Hog offers wonderful overlooks on the uphill climb and maximum excitement on the super-long, twisting, berm-filled downhill.

Captioned video: Sand Hog Trail
(1 minute 24 seconds)

Photo of the Drag Line Trail, located on Portsmouth Mine Lake.


Drag Line Trail

Located on Portsmouth Mine Lake, this trail meanders through the Portsmouth Campground and  swimming beach before taking you to one of the tallest hills in the recreation area. The Portsmouth Mine Lake is 395 feet deep. An interpretive kiosk on the east side of the mine lake.

Captioned video: Drag Line Trail
(1 minute 12 seconds)

Photo of the hilly Ferrous Wheel Trail.


Ferrous Wheel Trail

This 360 degree downhill bermed turn will compare favorably with your favorite carnival ride. Ride it fast or ride it slow, the outcome is the same – hoots, hollers, smiles, and great memories.

Captioned video: Ferrous Wheel Trail
(1 minute 24 seconds)

Photo of the Bobsled Trail, named because it resembles an Olympic bobsled run.


Bobsled Trail

The Bobsled Trail was named because it closely resembles an Olympic bobsled run. Twists and turns on a long, downhill run define this fan favorite. This trail is a “must ride” and you will most certainly want to ride it several times.

Captioned video: Bobsled Trail
(1 minute 32 seconds)

Photo of the Timber Shaft Trail as it winds around and on top of iron ore boulders and specially-built wood riding features.


Timber Shaft Trail

The Timber Shaft Trail is one of the most advanced and technically challenging  trails in the system. The trail winds around and on top of iron ore boulders and specially-built wood riding features, and provides an in-depth look at the Man High balloon launch which occurred here in 1957.  The event set a world altitude record and conducted valuable experiments for the space program.

Captioned video: Timber Shaft Trail
(1 minute 46 seconds)

Photo of some divers wading into the Alstead Mine Lake which is 140 feet deep.


SCUBA Divers

The recently filled mine lakes provide some of the best visibility for SCUBA divers in the Midwest. The pictured divers are in the Alstead Mine Lake, which is 140 feet deep and loaded with a wide variety of fish to observe. Approximately 50,0000 rainbow and brook trout are stocked annually for anglers. Mahnomen Mine Lake is the deepest mine lake in the recreation area at 525 feet.

Captioned video: SCUBA divers
(1 minute 56 seconds)

Photo of the the parking lot and the entrance of Cuyuna Lakes State Trail - East.


Cuyuna Lakes State Trail - East

This is a great place to explore the history of the Cuyuna Range and start your outdoor adventure. The parking lot serves as a trailhead for the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail. Kiosks provide in-depth orientation and maps for visitors.

Captioned video: Cuyuna Lakes State Trail
(1 minute 37 seconds)

Photo of the the parking lot and the entrance of Cuyuna Lakes State Trail - West.


Cuyuna Lakes State Trail - West

The Cuyuna Lakes State Trail is one of the state's best kept secrets with an eight-mile ribbon of pavement that winds through the recreation area, passing six lakes, streams, stock piles, overburden piles, iron ore boulders, and mining relics.

Photo of the historic site called Croft Mine, which offers a museum, simulated mine shaft, and authentic mining artifacts.


Croft Mine Exterior

The Croft Mine is an underground mine that operated from 1914 – 1934, producing 1,770,669 tons of iron ore. The old concrete cap with the steel buckets on top is the original Croft Mine shaft. The white building with the green doors is the original dry house. The building is no longer open.

Captioned video: historic Croft Mine
(1 minute 27 seconds)

Photo of the Portsmouth Campground, located on the northwest shore of the Portsmouth Mine Lake.



The Portsmouth Campground is located on the northwest shore of the Portsmouth Mine Lake (395 feet deep), and has both shaded and open/grassy campsites. It has a mix of electric and non-electric sites, a group camp that accommodates up to 25 people, and a swimming beach.

Back to top