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Mountain bike trail expansion happening at Cuyuna Country SRA

Mountain bike enthusiasts will have 27 miles of new trails to ride at the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area by the spring of 2023. New trail construction at the area’s Sagamore Unit is scheduled to begin in late April and last through the fall of 2022.

Located on the southwestern edge of the complex, the Sagamore Unit expansion will feature a new trailhead facility and trails that range from easy to very difficult. The unit will include the system’s first trails designed for users of adapted bikes (three- and four-wheel handcycles).  

“This next wave of expansion of the trail system builds on the work started last year on the Mahnomen Unit,” said Nicholas Statz, Cuyuna Country mountain bike trail technician for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  “All of this development is a result of the broad support from the business and riding community, the Cuyuna SRA Citizens Advisory Council, and the hard work of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, which helps maintain the trail system.”

Construction should not require the closure of existing trails outside of the construction area. Visitors may see and hear construction equipment in the area and are asked to obey all closure signs. The public water access on Sagamore Mine Lake will remain open during construction.

Several construction projects are happening simultaneously at the Cuyuna Country SRA. Recap of current construction:

  • Mahnomen Unit (South): New gravity flow trail, Drawpoint—tentative opening spring 2021.
  • Mahnomen Unit (North): Backcountry trail—tentative opening mid/late summer 2021. Gravity flow trails—tentative opening fall 2021.
  • Yawkey Unit: city of Cuyuna connector trails—tentative opening early summer 2021.
  • Sagamore Unit: Construction scheduled to start in late April 2021 and continue through fall of 2022.

The Mahnomen Unit expansion project features four challenging new gravity flow trails, three of which will be connected by a backcountry trail intended to provide riders a sense of remoteness and adventure. New trails in this unit will range from more difficult intermediate to very difficult (expert).

Check the “Visitor Alerts” section on the Cuyuna Country SRA webpage for updates. Updates also are available by calling the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, or by emailing [email protected].

Funding for this multi-year expansion project comes from the 2017 State Bond appropriation for Cuyuna Country SRA. The adaptive trail in the Sagamore Unit is being funded by a grant from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board. When completed, the Cuyuna Country SRA will offer 60 miles of mountain bike trails in addition to the 9.6 mile paved Cuyuna Lakes State Trail.

Adjacent trails outside of the Cuyuna Country SRA boundary include the city of Cuyuna connector trails and the Cruser’s Kettle trail. For more information on those trails, visit the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew website.