For local adventurers who like the feel of their wheels spinning over rugged terrain, you’re in luck. Our great state has a bounty of mountain biking spots so you can hit a variety of trails. No matter the location or skill-level, we’ve scoped out the scene statewide. Read on for some of our top spots for mountain biking in Minnesota.
9500 Mountain Place
Duluth, MN 55810
For downhill mountain biking, Spirit Mountain in Duluth is consistently top-ranked. After you’ve whisked down the rugged hills among breathtaking views of Lake Superior, you can head back up the hill again via chairlift service. Four trails give first-timers and experienced bikers a variety of options. Safety is priority here with mandatory bike helmets and seat inspections. Spirit Mountain also boasts skiing and snowboarding in the winter and a seasonal alpine coaster and zip line for thrill-seekers.
Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve
15501 Murphy Lake Rd.
Savage, MN 55378
Ten-miles of terrain through glacial bluffs, rolling hills and bird-spotted forest make for a mountain bikers dream. This undeveloped park located in northeast Scott County covers many skill-levels and is even open for winter biking. Regular races are held here and are organized by the Three Rivers Park District. Camps, classes and open houses are also available from the park for biking enthusiasts. The reserve is a great place for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, taking your dog to the dog park and many other activities as well.
Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area
307 3rd St.
Ironton, MN 56455
Near Ironton and Crosby in the middle of Minnesota, you’ll find 25 miles of mountain biking heaven. Cuyuna boasts 30 different bike routes ranging from easy to very difficult. Most of the trails consist of packed red clay earth in this once-popular mining area and paths are well-maintained. Pause during your journey to take in wildlife such as bald eagles and beavers or admire the beautiful lakes and wooded area surrounding you. A bonus is the easy access to refreshments in nearby communities.
29409 170th St.
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501
This brand-new trail system in the Detroit Lakes area caters to riders of all levels and ages. A special adventure area for ages 1 ½ to 5-years develops the bike handling skills and confidence of young ones. Older mountain bikers can check out the downhill wooded trails, natural contour flow trails or the skills course. Season passes, discounts and rentals are available seven days a week. Detroit Mountain also hosts races, events and musical acts, such as the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band who perform live on Aug. 26.
Duluth, MN 55805
This singletrack trail continues to be added upon with an anticipated 100-miles to span the beautiful lakeside city of Duluth soon. The multi-use system is natural surface and connects to many local parks. Easier trails include the St. Louis River and Lester River Trails. The difficulty slightly increases with the Lollygagger and Hawk Ridge Trails and most of the rides roll and wind with only mild climbing. The collection of trails are available for other sports such as snowshoeing, hiking, and running as well.
Related: Best Hiking Trails In Minnesota
Cortney Mohnk is a freelance writer covering all things Minnesota. She is also a public relations and event planning professional. Her most important job is mother to her young son and daughter, who are her partners-in-crime when checking out the family entertainment scene in the Twin Cities. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.