Minnesota is one of the most bicycle-friendly and one of the best trails states in the country. It only makes sense that the two would combine for plenty of awesome single track trails in the Northstar state. Whether your looking for an urban oasis or off-the-beaten single track trails, you’re sure to find them here. These are a few of our favorite places to hit the trail on a mountain bike.
Crisscrossing the bluffs on St. Paul’s southeast side, the mountain biking trails at Battle Creek Park are an awesome option for residents of the Twin Cities who are Jonesing for a long ride and a short drive. Miles of trails wooded trails, many of which are dedicated single track, afford views across the Mississippi River to the downtown St. Paul skyline.
The single track trails at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area are spread across 800 acres. The 25 miles of single track (and 20 miles of groomed winter fat biking) trails serve up plenty of tight turns that burst onto panoramic views of the recreation area’s lakes.
Maintained by the Sugarbush Trail Association, the Britton Peak Mountain Biking Trails have single track for every experience levels. The 1.5-mile Short Stacker loop is a great trail for beginners to hone their skills. Advanced riders can test their lung capacity and reflexes over the two-mile Skookum Trail that launches off the two-mile intermediate Crosscut loop.
Overlooking the Mississippi River and the town of Red Wing, more than 10 miles of intermediate to advanced single track tack and jibe the river bluffs in Southeast Minnesota. Memorial Park is located in the heart of this quaint river town but often feels like a secluded forest far from the madding crowds.
More than 10 miles of technical single track attract advanced mountain bikers to Duluth’s Piedmont Trail. Extreme elevation changes, switchbacks, and tight curves give much of the trail system a black diamond or double black diamond rating over much of its terrain. There are some areas for intermediate bikers, but they’d better bring their “A” games.
Mountain bikers looking for a lot of trail (20 miles) with a lot of scenery should give Jay Cooke State Park a go. The trails aren’t too technical, but you’ll get a bit of elevation change and plenty of scenic views as you track along the St. Louis River and through the North Woods of Minnesota.
Five miles of existing technical single track and several more under development make the Pincushion Mountain system a destination for mountain bikers from across the state. Plenty of sharp turns and sudden drops combine with stunning views of Minnesota’s North Shore to make these trails some of the most spectacular in the state.
What Giants Ridge lacks in technical difficulty, it makes up for in distance and natural beauty. You can ride over 40 miles through the Superior National Forest on mowed summer double-track and over gravel trails. Lakes, streams, and North Woods forests will punctuate your ride.
Lakes, woods, and a short commute from anywhere in the Twin Cities make the dozen or so miles of mountain biking trails at Lebanon Hills Regional Park some of the best in the state. The single track is dedicated and one-way, so bikers of all skill levels can enjoy it without worrying about sharing the trail with others.
Located in Minneapolis, the heart of the Twin Cities Metro, the Brownie Lake Mountain Bike Trail offers two miles of technical trail riding—without extensive elevation change—in an urban oasis of woods and water. The trail easily connects with the more extensive, but less technical, Theordore Wirth Park trail system.