First ride at Hillside- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    bhc
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    First ride at Hillside

    I recently moved to Cambridge, MN from the Bullhead City, AZ - Laughlin, NV area. If you have been to the desert, you realize that the riding here is quite different. So after some searching, I found some good reviews for the trails in Elk River.

    So after one time out there, I give it the

    Though quite the contrast to riding at Bootleg Canyon in NV, it did have a few similarities to desert trails, that being you always found some one's junk out in the desert, so I appreciated seeing the junked fridge, and there was always a junk car along some trail, so the car door was a nice touch to make me feel at home.

    So though the climbs are not like the 10 to 15 mile climbs we had in our valley, there are enough climbs to give a good workout.

    So a big thank you to all that have a had a part in carving out those trails.

    Also, any other suggestions for riding near Cambridge. I read about Cuyuna to the north about 90 miles, and the various locations in the metro, anything closer?

  2. #2
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    The trails in Bootleg Canyon would be hard to match just about any where...glad you found some relief.

  3. #3
    bhc
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    Yes, Bootleg Canyon is not going to be matched in the midwest. But it is a change to be riding under the cover of trees, and not having to worry about rattle snakes on the trail as you come around a corner. The ground is also a lot more forgiving if you were to have a crash. I am not as concerned about slicing a tire either.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhc View Post
    Bootleg Canyon is not going to be matched in the midwest.
    Ride Cuyuna and let me know what you think of it versus Bootleg Canyon.

  5. #5
    bhc
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    What I meant in my last point was in comparing the terrain. The desert versus the forest. I imagine the fun factor could be the same.
    Looking forward to getting up that way.

    I am not trying to start some war of which trails are better. All trails are good, some better at some things. I am a MN native, been away from the state for 15 years, and glad to see some good trails have built since I was last here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bhc View Post
    I am not trying to start some war of which trails are better. All trails are good, some better at some things.
    I'm not trying to start a war either. But Cuyuna is strange terrain. Its rocky and crunchy like out west but with trees and green everywhere. Sounds like it would be the cats meow for you.

  7. #7
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    I consider Hillside the best trail near the Twin Cities metro. It has a good variety and is actually is good workout.

    As far a Cuyuna goes, it's pretty awesome! I was just up there last weekend testing the Prototype f-bom frame and had a blast. Cuyuna was mostly IMBA designed and built....so it's got the newer style flow to it that we are accustomed to seeing out west, especially the North Shore.

    Cuyuna has a lot of berms, rollers that you can pump and catch air on, and some good climbing. It also has beginner level (green) trail for those who are newer to mtbing...yet it has a bunch of good fast and hard stuff. Make sure you ride the farthest east part. The advanced trail there is called Bobsled.....good stuff indeed.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowboy76 View Post
    Ride Cuyuna and let me know what you think of it versus Bootleg Canyon.
    It's been a few years since I rode Bootleg Canyon but,
    with all the sharp and shattered mine slag, Cuyuna really does have some similarity. It's completely different as far as surroundings but the trail and surface reminded me quite a bit of BC - the XC loops of BC anyway.

    Unless your idea of a great ride is pointing to the clouds and climbing until the air is too thin to breathe, Cuyuna has something for everyone.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by taiter View Post
    but the trail and surface .
    Speaking of trail surface. I love my Small Block 8's down here in the cities, but up in Cuyuna.....they sucked! I am not sure why, but my girlfriend had on some Nevegals and she had no issues. I lowered pressure and raised pressure and couldn't get a good grip on those tiny little bits of slag. It might also simply be that the surface is going to move around no matter what, but I will definitely try different tires next time I go to Cuyuna. Maybe they make some that are already red since they will become that way anyway....;

  10. #10
    bhc
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    This is a wonderful surprise to hear about Bootleg type riding in MN. Thanks for all the input.

    For those that have been there, is there just one trail head? And does someone locally there have a good map?

  11. #11
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    Here is a link to the map they distribute at the trailhead.

    http://brainerd.com/bikemaps/maps/pd...trails-map.pdf

    I've heard they were/are still magically showing up in the boxes even during the state shutdown.

    And, there a couple options for parking / trailhead but my favorite is the Pennington boat launch at the middle of the area. It's on the right side of map inset B. This spot has a pit toilet and you can cool down with a dip in the cool clear water of the lake. There's also the campground once the state opens back up.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by taiter View Post
    I've heard they were/are still magically showing up in the boxes even during the state shutdown.
    Kind of like how the downed trees where magically removed during the shutdown too.....

  13. #13
    bhc
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    Thanks for the info. Now for it to cool down and make a trip up that way. Can't believe I said that coming from the desert. Actually if the air would just dry out.

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