Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    770

    Trails in Minnesota? Would I be disappointed moving from utah?

    I have a job offer in Minneapolis and would be moving from utah. I mostly ride fast trails and DH. I may not accept the job just because I can't seem to figure out if there are decent trails nearby. Is there anything out there that is fast and flowy?

  2. #2
    Perpetual n00b
    Reputation: dgw2jr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    972

    Trails in Minnesota? Would I be disappointed moving from utah?

    Some good trails in the Midwest. However, they are closed for almost half the year due to snow or rain. It's dang near unbearable. This year has been especially bad. Cold, windy, and flooding. Who knows when the trails will finally open...
    If you gorge yourself into morbid obesity, you can skip everyone else in line at Disney World.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    50

    Trails in Minnesota? Would I be disappointed moving from utah?

    We have some really good trails! Granted I haven't ridden in Utah, but Lebanon, Murphy Hanrehan, and others are great trails. Check out morcmtb.org and go to the trails section.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Soupboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,045
    Plenty of fun/fast trails but much different topography. There are increasing number of technical/gravity trails but the elevation is what it is.

    And yes, we have a shortened dirt season here - that's what snow bikes and skis/snowboards are for!

    High class problem to base career decisions on riding options!
    Professional Amateur. Disagree? Submit your grievances here.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,331
    I'm from Western WI and recently rode Fruita CO. While it was really fun, and nice to have a sunny place to ride in the spring, I did leave thinking we have it really great here in the upper great lakes region. We have a tree canopy to ride under to keep from getting baked by the sun, and the trees in general make the trail more fun/interesting. I found the desert riding to be akin to an extremely bumpy parking lot.

    The other thing is the "tension". Because the terrain is so delicate out west, there's a conflict among trail users that's "mostly" absent here. I actually felt bad riding some of the trails in Fruita due to the severe erosion and not wanting to cause more. I think the soil is more stable here and the moisture and vegetation helps hold it all together.

    The downside, as someone else mentioned, is the 10 month winter followed by 2 months of poor sledding. It's especially bad this year and I'm going nuts. You won't find a lot of DH, if that's your thing.
    whatever...

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    3
    I have ridden in Colorado and downhill at White Face at Lake Placid, NY when I lived near there. Then, I moved to Savannah, GA (33 ft elevation, road bikers use overpasses for hill training...). It killed me at first to ride with no hills or terrain and 116 temp with 90% humidity, but the area grew on me.

    I am from Minnesota originally, and have rode about 1/3 of the trails in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, and I like them a lot. They are pretty well built, and they are fast and fun. I really enjoy riding there when I come back home.

    I read a few years ago, that Minneapolis was vote one of the top bike-friendly cities in America.

    I write this because I was pretty disappointed moving to Savannah, since I love mountain biking and the trails were NOT what I wanted. But, it grew on me, and now I enjoy riding in Savannah. MN is a lot better riding than Savannah, and I would say that Minnesota will grow on you as well.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    LCW
    LCW is online now
    mtbr member
    Reputation: LCW's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2,675
    OP - if you're expecting mtb riding (nevermind flow and DH) to compare to anything UT, you will be sadly disappointed.

    Although Duluth (Spirit Mtn) will be opening up a couple of lift accessed trails in May. Near Minne - Lebanon Hills and Elk River are pretty good. Cuyuna up in Crosby MN is decent, and ever improving (it's pretty new as well). Towards Detroit Lakes, there's Maplelag and Mtn View.

    But your main decision point will be mtb'ing here in MN, I dunno....
    Last edited by LCW; 04-21-2013 at 06:56 PM.
    2011 Yeti 575 - 2015 Fox Float 36 RC2 160 / Fox Float X - 31.3 lbs

  8. #8
    Perpetual n00b
    Reputation: dgw2jr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    972
    To add a little positive to my negative words above, when the weather is cooperating here it is awesome. If I ever moved out of the midwest, I would sorely miss places like Levis Mound, Nine Mile, Chequamegon, or anything in Duluth and the North Shore of Lake Superior. Tree cover can't be beat as mentioned above. Our single track is ACTUALLY only one bike wide, not the 2-4 bikes wide like I've seen in videos of anything out west. If you make a trip to any of the major trail systems on a weekend that is NOT Memorial Day, July 4th, or Labor Day, then you pretty much have the place to yourself. You'll actually appreciate seeing another trail user. Not like all the mayhem I hear about on the Left Coast with trail users at each others throats all the time.
    If you gorge yourself into morbid obesity, you can skip everyone else in line at Disney World.

  9. #9
    Afric Pepperbird
    Reputation: dirt farmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    4,494
    What you'll miss in the biking sense, you'll surely make up in the culture awakening of a vibrant, progressive state such as Minnesota (excluding the bat sh1t crazy Bachmann). Very few Mor(m)ons!!

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    180
    Elevation is the one thing Minnesota is missing vs. Utah. (Or anywhere out west.) However, Minnesota has its positives.

    I know some people complain about the weather, but really, its what you make of it. (Having grew up in Indiana, I will take Minnesota weather anytime of the day.) There is a reason a lot of the mountain bike trails up here are fat tire in the winter.

    I would say where MN shines is on trail user experience. Its fun, its varied, and depending on where you live, there is lots of variety. MN also doesn't suffer from "trail war" syndrome. Its not ongoing fights about trail access and usage. Most land managers here love them some trail.

    Cuyuna is my home trail and I would argue is a bit more than "decent". We have a lot of cool stuff coming down the pike. I would spend some time on morcmtb.org and see what you think.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SeaHag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    217
    The gravity scene here is growing too. It may be small potatoes at the moment, but the ball is rolling and a greater number of gravity advocates like myself are stepping up to expand our offerings.

    Wisconsin and the Upper Penninsula of Michigan and the Black Hills of South Dakota are within driving distance and their gravity scene is a few steps ahead with a few lift assisted riding areas and a growing DH/Enduro element. Duluth Minnesota is planning to become the Whistler B.C. of the Midwest. Combine that with Cuyuna's trails and expected expansion and Hibbing, MN is also on the fast track to convert old mines to mountain bike nirvana. Within a few years, there won't be much need to leave the state for prime riding...and as mentioned, the flowy singletrack we have here is a blast.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    15
    We have some decent trails in MN, and the gravity scene is definitely growing. The twin cities area has some really nice, flows single track with some North Shore style skinnies built in. My biggest complaint with our trails is that there are few sustained climbs or descents. But we really only have a few hills big enough to allow that. Spirit Mountain is great for MN downhill. Duluth is also becoming a mountain bike Mecca...

  13. #13
    singletracksuperfreak
    Reputation: theDeleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    15
    Yes, I think you'd be disappointed. While many others have mentioned some of the great trails in the area, there are a number of things missing from the western single track. I am a Wisconsin native/resident and former Colorado transplant. My experience with living and biking in Western CO/E UT was out of this world.

    -views-all that tree cover really screws things up a lot of times.
    -physical challenge. Nothing in the midwest can stand up to the topographic challenges of western riding.
    -technical features-I struggle to find anything here that can challenge me technically.
    -backcountry-most rides here are relatively close to towns/highways/etc...not as much opportunity for pure wilderness riding.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    24
    I lived in Minnesota for eight years plus college (Minneapolis, Winona, Rochester) and Wisconsin for four years. After moving to Colorado I would probably sell my mountain bikes if I had to go back to Minnesota. Minnesota "technical" or "all mountain" is cross country with man made log features or rock gardens every once in a while. Your best bet would be cyclocross or xc racing. Without adding the challenge of racing you would probably get bored of the trails. And be prepared to drive to another town for the nearest trail (usually in the trees of some big multi use park) or if youre one of the lucky ones you will live in a town with ONE trail system.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    3

    Trails in Minnesota? Would I be disappointed moving from utah?

    We're heading to Madison to see family this fall and planning a long-anticipated return across northern WI and MN in late-Oct and Nov. (We'll bring skis in case the season changes.) Last time we rode up there (early 90's), seemed like the best we could find was the Ice Age Trail in central WI (could serve as the definition of flat, IIRC), so this ought to be fun. We have two questions, maybe someone can help.

    How dog-friendly is the area? We ride with two 40-lb dogs off-leash. Both respond to verbal commands, the older one stays close, the younger one gets impatient if we go too slow. (We usually trade duties so one rides the Australian Shepherd hard while the other hangs back with the old Collie-Sheltie.)

    Also, how about hunters? In the Rockies, we like to know what armaments are where and plan accordingly. How does hunting season affect biking up there?

    Thanks for your help.

  16. #16
    singletracksuperfreak
    Reputation: theDeleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    15
    There are plenty of good options for biking in the North...

    1.CAMBA (hayward/cable/drummond) area (40 (ish) miles of singletrack) & tons of FS roads to loop on. Great singletrack. Low on the techie meter.
    2.Copper Harbor- U.P MI. Def. worth the trip. Fantastic views, rocky-mountain esque climbs/drops, & great features & overall construction.
    3.DULUTH-Some of the best "technical" riding in the area. 90 (ish?) miles of trails in/near town. Rocks/roots/climbs. Some of the more challenging stuff in the region.
    4.Levis (N. Central) WI. Great climbs, some tech.

    I never really see dogs on any of the trails in my area (on the CAMBA) system. But, if they're well trained, I wouldn't see a problem with it.

    WI gun deer is f/Nov. 23-Dec 1. People definitely get a little crazy this time of year trying to bag the big one. However, most hunters have better places to go in this neck of the woods then near a busy multi-use trail system.

    During archery/muzzleloader/small game/etc. (sept-nov) the hunting scene is far more relaxed, and hunters are more apt to think with their brain, then their trigger finger. I wouldn't worry about sharing the woods with these guys one bit.

    enjoy the trip!

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    180
    The thing about Minnesota is that there are actually 3 Minnesotas: Awesome Minnesota, Almost Iowa, and Almost Dakotas. @training wheels is describing the riding in Almost Iowa. Up in Awesome Minnesota, its a much different riding experience. The trails are more spread out, but you start to get some actual elevation change. Cuyuna and Duluth are the gold stars of MN, of course (both 2 hours from Twin Cities), but even the smaller trails like Movil Maze are much different than what you would find in Almost Dakotas or Almost Iowa.

    @rionapo: @Deleman has some great trails to hit. I would add to that Cuyuna, of course (see In Cuyuna, They Are Mining for Trails | All Over The Map for a good right-up and Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails for more information), and depending where you fly in and out of, a few metro trails like Lebanon Hills (see Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists ). As to dogs, at least in Minnesota most trails are in parks or recreation land that have pretty strict on leash policies. As to hunting and biking, at least all the trails I know of in MN are closed during hunting season. Archery for the cities, firearms for the northern trails (Cuyuna, etc.).

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    3
    @snowboy76 & @theDeleman: thanks for your replies. We plan on traversing Awesome Minnesota and definitely have Cuyuna & Duluth on our travel plan. We should be further west by Thanksgiving, hoping for early snow and skiing at Grand Targhee/Jackson. The dog situation sounds manageable and we'll check with the local shops on overall conditions. Hunting-wise, we're used to different schedules for different areas where you could conceivably ride safely on one side of a mountain while long rifle season is under way on the other side. Like @theDeleman says, bow and black powder folks look harder before engaging. Or, as a store clerk from South Dakota said earlier today, "Back home, ranchers write c-o-w on the side of their livestock for safety."

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BoiseBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    706
    My experience, as a person who grew up in Minnesota and now lives out West is this; Back in the midwest, they seem to want to create "sardine can trails". If they have one square mile of open space, they will try to fit in 20 total miles of trail as they will all criss-cross and run next to one another. It is kind of like riding a Ray's Bike Park without a roof. This is often how I feel around the Twin Cities.

    In the West we are spoiled because we can leave our back doors and ride several hours in one afternoon while never crossing another trail. It is nice do do 20+ miles and never have to do seven laps to attain that mileage.

    You will never have the long climbs/descents like the mountains, either. If you looking at getting in some elevation, then you will have to do that 50 foot climb twenty times.
    BoiseBoy

Similar Threads

  1. Any good trails in Utah County?
    By RebornBiker in forum Utah
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-05-2013, 06:48 AM
  2. Downhill Trails in Utah
    By NorwegianRepresentative in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 07-24-2012, 06:04 AM
  3. Trails near Sandy Utah
    By slow professor in forum Utah
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-22-2012, 05:23 PM
  4. New Trails In Utah
    By centervillecycle in forum Trail Building and Advocacy
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-31-2012, 05:06 PM
  5. Utah Trails - GPS/GPX files
    By rhale in forum Utah
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-09-2011, 07:48 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •