Cuyuna Lakes, Ironton
Having been listed as the top trail in Minnesota for two years running, this became a mandatory stop for me on my Upper Midwest tour this year. The area is divided into a few geographically separated networks, each of which is rather compact, so putting together an epic ride requires some less than interesting connecting trails, but each individual collection of singletrack has a very high fun factor. The climbs are easy and the payoff quick, making this a great place to pick a network and loop laps until your heart’s content.
Brewer Park / Piedmont, Duluth
Either of these two rides alone would be a worthy addition to this list. The fact that they can be combined by merely taking a quick dirt connector under the highway which divides them makes it all the sweeter. Piedmont is a classic, old school network which wanders through the tight and twisty woods over numerous rock gardens with little concern for flow—you make your own flow here. Brewer Park is more new school, which does an excellent job of incorporating natural features into a thoughtfully-designed loop. Putting the two together offers the best of both worlds and provides the rider with a wonderfully diverse and satisfying ride.