My son is starting Univ of MN this fall. I have Cuyuna nd Lebanon hills marked on my save list, but I would like recommendations from locals or those who have ridden southeastern MN. I will be traveling from just south of Rockford IL and would prefer to not extend 30 miles past minneapolis as my trip will already be at 5 hours. Blue intermediate to single black diamond preferred. I won’t avoid double black but I’ll probably opt for walking the bike more often as I’m 43 and don’t quite heal like I used to. Thanks Chris
I highly suggest visiting the MORC website (https://www.morcmtb.org/trail/) and exploring it a bit. Within 30 minutes of Minneapolis there’s a lot of riding, but Cuyuna will put you 2 hours outside of that ring. If you’re willing to drive that far definitely consider riding in Duluth as well.
As far as good riding within that 30 minutes, Theodore Wirth Park is right in Minneapolis. Lebanon Hills is good, as well as Murphy Hanrehan and Elm Creek. Don’t be afraid to cross the river to Wisconsin and hit the White Tail Ridge system in River Falls, and a little outside your 30 minute drive is the Woolly Trails in St. Croix Falls, WI (Closer to an hour).
The trails in Red Wing, MN would be worth looking at too as you could hit it on your way home if your route allows. And if you were exploring trails on your way home you could certainly follow the Mississippi down and ride in Winona, MN and LaCrosse, WI for some excellent views of the river. Decorah, IA wouldn’t be out of the question either, but be prepared for some fun climbs, the descents are worth it.
>Phranquy, wow thanks for the all that, exactly what I was looking for, and will most likely take a while to check all that out. I did not realize Cuyuna was that far up, must’ve got a little crazy with the searching and adding to my trail wishlist. Thanks again though.
There’re some difficult spots on some trails here in Cities but majority are Intermediate.
Definitely ride Lebanon. Also, Murphy Hahnrehan, Elm Creek, Hillside Park, Theodore Wirth. Little further from city Memorial Park in Red Wing and a very nice trail in Monticello (don’t remember name). White Tail Ridge is good too. Hillside Park is most difficult if you ask me.
There many other good but shorter trails which you can see on Singletracks’s database. And check MORC website for trail conditions – so far trails are more wet then dry.
Looks like you already have some great suggestions but here are a few more. If you are traveling on Interstate 94, there’s a cool little spot right off the freeway in Eau Claire, WI called Lowes Creek. I hit this place up when in traveling and visiting friends and family in Wisconsin. One other spot I like for some easy, chill riding is the Minnesota river bottoms. These extensive trails run along the river banks and offer some cool scenery. The terrain is pretty flat and a little sand in spots but you can really rack up the miles quick. The trails are multi use so watch it around those corners.
No problem cwiehle. If you’re up for something a little more challenging the Battle Creek trail system is good for that. I highly recommend a guide, even though it’s right in St. Paul, to find all the trails though as things have been changing and it isn’t mapped very well right now. I was out there the other day and missed a turn which totally goofed me up a few times, and I ride there pretty frequently. With enough notice I’d be more than happy to help with that too.
jeez this thread is like a candy store of singletrack. Looks I’ll have four years to check it all out. Sincere thanks to everyone’s input. I’ll give you guys a shout out when I find the time to ride up there if anyone can join me to show me around all the better.