Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area flourishes as mountain bike mecca

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 19, 2014 - 6:33 PM

“Some people think that’s crazy,’’ said Aaron Hautala, 38, of Cuyuna, president of the 75-member local mountain bike club. “But winter ri­ding has grown every year.

“It was 16-below one time when I was out there,’’ he said. “The key is dressing right.’’

Hautala is a relative newcomer to mountain biking, taking up the sport in 2011 after moving to Cuyuna.

“I got on these trails and said, ‘Holy cow.’ It gave me the same experience as downhill skiing in the mountains. I fell in love with it. It’s become a lifestyle; I just want to ride. I used to golf with some guys; now we all mountain bike.’’ A novice explores

One of the allures of Cuyuna is that its 25 miles of single-track trails cater to a diversity of skill levels. They are rated easiest, more difficult, most difficult and extremely di­fficult. (There’s also the 6-mile paved Cuyuna Lakes State Trail.)

While hard-core mountain bikers love the challenging trails, beginners and novices can find good riding, too. “You don’t need to be an expert,’’ Hautala said. “I’ve come a long way, but I’m still very much learning.’’

I’ve ridden some mountain bike trails over the years, with a 25-year-old bike that has no suspension. But I consider myself a novice, and, at 61, I wanted to explore the backcountry without wrecking myself. So I bo­rrowed a better bike from a friend, and we headed to Cuyuna last week. He’s an experienced mountain biker who has biked Cuyuna several times.

“We’ll start on the easy trails,’’ he said.

But it wasn’t long and I was tackling more advanced trails, and even the ‘most difficult’ black diamond trails like “Ferrous Wheel’’ — a nod to the area’s mining past — and “Bobsled” — aptly named for a series of banked curves on an exhilarating downhill run.

Along the way, we encountered a group of 10 women, with two female leaders, on a two-day adventure outing. Only two of the 10 had mountain biked before, but all were smiling.

“We’re so happy to get new people out here,’’ said Katie Seipp-Deblock of Ironton, one of the group’s leaders.

After exploring the area for a couple of hours, we later biked with Hautala and McCarvill. The well-marked twisting trails offered a variety of experiences, from harrowing to serene. The scenery is spectacular, and if you didn’t know the history of this land, you might never guess this is a reclaimed mining area. Some of the trails follow the steep edges of the former ore pits, and the overlooks provided views that rival those of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The uphills will take your breath away.

So will the downhills.

 

Doug Smith • 612-673-7667





 

  • related content

  • Photo gallery: A mountain biking mecca

    Thursday June 19, 2014

    At Cuyuna Country State Recreation area abandoned mines have been reinvented as a prime mountain bike destination.

  • Cuyuna Country: If you go

    Thursday June 19, 2014

    IF YOU GOConstruction of new parking and other facilities at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, which began this week, will...

  • Sea kayaking in the Heartland

    Thursday June 19, 2014

    A local family heads to the south shore of Lake Superior for their first encounter with this captivating sport.

  • Cabin Country: A newspaperman's legacy

    Thursday June 26, 2014

    In 1964, my grandfather, Bower Hawthorne, was a rising newsman and editor at the Star and Tribune, a civic leader...

  • Katie Seipp-Deblock of Ironton, Minn., helped lead a group of 10 women on a mountain bike adventure. Most of the riders hadn’t been mountain biking before.

  • Duane Lee of Lindstrom, Minn., navigates a rocky stretch of mountain bike trail at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.

  • A visitor checked one of many posted trail maps. Cuyuna’s trails are well-marked and labeled by level of difficulty.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

New Orleans 28 FINAL
Carolina 10
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 105 FINAL
Orlando 98
Detroit 91 FINAL
Minnesota 97
New York 95 FINAL
Cleveland 90
Utah 102 FINAL
Dallas 120
Oklahoma City 90 FINAL
LA Clippers 93
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 2
Winnipeg 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Chicago 5 FINAL(SO)
Ottawa 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Arizona 1 FINAL
Florida 2
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 4
Anaheim 0 FINAL
St. Louis 2
NY Islanders 0 FINAL
Colorado 5
Montreal 2 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Hamilton 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close