“This trail system expansion continues to build on the work we started with our Miner’s Mountain Bike Skills Area, Winze trail, and Drawpoint trail to increase trail difficulty,” said Nicholas Statz, CCSRA mountain bike trail technician for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR). “All of this advanced trail development is a result of broad support from regional businesses, the mountain bicycling community, the Cuyuna Master Vision for Trails, the CCSRA Citizens Advisory Council, and the hard work of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, whose volunteers help maintain the trail system.”
The North Mahnomen Unit expansion features three new gravity flow trails—connected by the new, More Difficult, Backcountry trail—and are intended to provide riders with a sense of remoteness and adventure. Scroll down for trail galleries.
- Backcountry trail: Intermediate, More Difficult cross-country trail featuring unavoidable obstacles, mandatory rock drops, mandatory jumps, and technical rock gardens
- Sinter trail: Very Difficult gravity flow trail with unavoidable obstacles, large rock drops, mandatory rock gardens, and big rolling jumps
- Sledgehammer trail: Extremely Difficult, Expert Only gravity flow trail featuring unavoidable rock obstacles, mandatory large rock drops, mandatory rock ledge drops, mandatory technical rock gardens, mandatory large rock jumps, mandatory steep rock staircase, and expert rock gap jumps
- Portal trail: More Difficult gravity flow trail featuring unavoidable obstacles, mandatory rock drops, mandatory jumps, and technical rock gardens
With the construction of the Advanced and Expert North Mahnomen trails Sinter and Sledgehammer, the trail ratings of previously constructed CCSRA mountain bike trails have been adjusted to reflect the difficulty of the new system. Man High Hill, Chute, and Bobsled trails are now rated More Difficult, whereas previously these trails were rated Very Difficult. Later this year, Screamer will be reconstructed, allowing this trail to retain its Very Difficult rating.
Cyclists are encouraged to pay close attention to the new and updated trail ratings, as they reflect the updated Cuyuna Country State Recreation system-wide overall trail difficulty. Signage will also be available throughout the North Mahnomen Unit providing visual reminders of the difficulty of these new trails. The “Overview trail map and brochure” on the CCSRA website has also been updated with the new trails and difficulty changes.
The CCSRA mountain bike trail system is purposefully constructed to be progressive in difficulty, allowing cyclists to start with easy trails and move up in difficulty as they successfully complete a trail. Additionally, the bike skills area within Miner’s Mountain Rally Center provides cyclists the opportunity to hone their skills before riding any mountain bike trail.
The North Mahnomen Unit trails are accessible by the Backcountry Connector trail via the Galloping Goose trail starting in the Rally Center outside of Ironton. Just under four miles onto Galloping Goose trail at Emergency Access 110 is the entrance to the Backcountry Connector. This trail eventually becomes Backcountry trail at the North Mahnomen Unit trail hub after the boardwalk and provides access to Sinter, Sledgehammer, and Portal trails.
Important to note, if a cyclist is unable to ride the rock filter into Backcountry trail on their bicycle, it is highly suggested not to continue as the difficulty will exceed the rider’s ability. Start to finish, Backcountry trail is 12 miles from the Rally Center and back using Galloping Goose trail both on the way out and back in. Planning for hydration, energy/nutrition, and time of day is essential.
Mountain Bicycle Trails within the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area (red dirt trails)
- After the rain event concludes, wait (2) hours for the trails to dry before riding.
- A good way to know if the trails are dry within the woods is to look at the pavement or asphalt on the roads in Crosby or Ironton.
- If the road surface is dry, the trails should be dry.
- If you go out to ride the mountain bicycle trails, and the trails are soft, and the bicycle tire is leaving a rut, please do not ride the trails,