MTB Project Logo

blue Cuyuna Lakes Big Tour

  4.7 ( 38 ) Favorite


20.8 mile 33.5 kilometer point to point
95% Singletrack


Ascent: 1,060' 323 m
Descent: -1,060' -323 m
High: 1,397' 426 m
Low: 1,210' 369 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 16% (9°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Leslie Kehmeier


Getting forecast...

Current trail conditions

All Clear 20 days ago See History

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store

A grand tour of the Cuyuna Lakes Trails; Shred the Red!

Leslie Kehmeier

E-Bikes Allowed

Features -none-


The Cuyuna Lakes Trail System is an IMBA Silver Level Ride Center. It's the kind of place that has infinite possibilities for routes. This grand tour is a great way to sample most of what the area has to offer.

Need to Know

The main parking area has a few nice facilities, including access to swimming in Pennington Mine Lake.


Start at the Mahnomen Parking Area and pedal on Easy Street all the way out to Mucker Mountain. Pedal up the front and then wind around the back to a mellow descent to Little Sidewinder. This is a short trail connecting to Sidewinder, a favorite at Cuyuna Lakes.

Gain the hillside and descend slightly to reach lake level. Through the flatter sections, the trail gets fairly twisty. The trail will keep you engaged but listen for loons trumpeting on the lake.

As it rolls west, Sidewinder contours up on the hillside and traverses a few open-area hillsides and one that has seen a slide recently. There are good views of Alstead Mine Lake through here.

The far east end stays along the contours and ends at Crusher. From here, you can bear right to access Miner's Mountain, a winding trail that takes you to another good view of the area. Miner's Mountain has some fun and challenging option lines to practice your technical moves over big rocks.

Continue around the west side of Miner's to an advanced descent down Chute. At the bottom, you'll connect with Trammer and then pedal back out towards Easy Street.

Stay right to do another lap in the area, this time on Hopper Hill. The route is directional going clockwise. The west end climbs gradually up the hill in a circuitous fashion. The canopy is open here so on a summer day this is an area where you'll feel the heat.

Near the top of the first climb, there's an intersection with Screamer. Stay right to continue on Hopper Hill. From here, the trail climbs again, twisting to the top of the mountain, passing a great viewpoint to Alstead Mine Lake. Roll along the top of the grade through a few more turns before heading down quickly past a junction with Trammer and then on to the end at Easy Street. Stay left here and pedal back to the parking area for the transition to the next segment of this ride.

Head east now via Switchback, a trail that provides a remote-feeling route and connects to the new Drag Line South trail. The western side climbs through a couple of switchbacks to get up along a small ridge. The vegetation is fairly dense and you're likely to see some sort of wildlife, maybe grouse or deer. About half-way through, you'll descend a few switchbacks to get to lake level. From here, cruise for a bit in the trees and then break out to nice views as you cross a bridge. Roll out to the road and then stay right to get to Drag Line South.

This brand-new trail was just completed and provides a very playful experience with lots of berms and rollers. If you're able, you can pump your way through the whole trail. At the end, stay left to ride a short section of 3rd Ave to a right turn on the Haul Road out to the Yawkey trails.

This is a fun area to do multiple laps. Pedal the right side first on Man Cage and Manuel Drive before looping around to the left side via Trout. Bobsled is a good loop here with a short, slightly steep climb followed by a ripping descent. At the bottom, stay right to start heading back west on the Haul Road.

Cross back to Portsmouth Lake, this time staying right on Drag Line North. Work your way around the lake and veer left on Man High Hill for a short but constant mix of climbing and switchbacks.Merge back with Drag Line North and then cross the road to re-connect with Switchback. From here, you'll retrace your steps back to the start of the route.

History & Background

Cuyuna is the first in the Minnesota State Park system created specifically for mountain biking.

The area provides more than 25 miles of purpose-built trails wind through a landscape created by 70 years of iron ore mining. Nature has reclaimed the area over the years: water has filled the pits and turned them into deep lakes. Lush vegetation has taken root on the rocky, rugged landscape.

Biked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:


Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow riders know what's here.


Rate This Featured Ride

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Ride

Check In


Jun 26, 2019
Thom Parks
Sep 22, 2018
Mark Endres
Sep 19, 2018
Elliott Beaty
Sep 18, 2018
Ross Levin
As of September 2018, the trails have changed considerably from this route description. Most all trails are directional, check the local trail maps. 30.1mi
Aug 19, 2018
Ron Major
Jul 28, 2018
Dave Wells
Jul 27, 2018
Kyle Trepanier
Jul 13, 2018
Kevin Wallen
Friday and Saturday. 20.6 Friday; 30.5 Saturday (Had to repeat a couple trails!)

Stewarded By

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 38 votes


  4.7 from 38 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Featured Ride Rankings


in Minnesota


196 Views Last Month
8,198 Since Jul 7, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate



MTB Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Mountain Bike

MTB Project is supported by

Support Your Local IMBA Chapter