State funds Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails Expansion
St. Paul—The Minnesota Legislature passed a $988 million bonding bill earlier today, including $3.6 million for the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area Mountain Bicycling Trails (CCSRA). Governor Mark Dayton is expected to sign the bill in the next week.
“We are thrilled with this result,” said Aaron Hautala, volunteer president of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew (CREW) a chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). “Our regional chambers, economic development organizations, businesses and citizens made this a top priority for funding last year and again this year. Your emails, letters, and phone calls helped get this project across the finish line in St. Paul.”
“We appreciate the leadership of Representatives Dale Lueck, John Poston, Josh Heintzeman and the critical support of Senator Carrie Ruud and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka. They fought hard to make sure CCSRA was included in this year’s bonding bill. We are grateful for their advocacy.”
“With state bonding dollars, we will be able to implement the Master Vision for Trails,” Hautala added. “And look forward to a growing dynamic economy based in Cuyuna.”
In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Master Vision expands the trail system from 27.5 miles to 75 miles, adds true expert trails, increases capacity to host major events and races, and creates easier access to the trail system from surrounding communities.
CCSRA was established in 1993 and contains pristine mine lakes and overburden hills, supporting a variety of vegetation. It offers 21st century human powered outdoor recreation opportunities, including scuba diving, kayaking, paddle boarding, paved trail cycling, mountain bicycling, and winter fat bicyling.
Cuyuna is known for its growing status as an international destination for tourism and its role in the regional economy of Crow Wing County. The mountain bicycling system was developed and opened in 2011 with a combination of federal and state dollars, and the surrounding communities have recognized the opportunities and economic benefits that the CCSRA has created for the region.
Improvements coming soon to the popular 25-mile mountain bike trail system at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area will add trail miles and skill-building features and improve traffic flow.
Three projects will take place within the trail system’s Mahnomen Unit, located along the shore of Huntington Mine Lake and adjacent to the Miner’s Mountain Rally Center.
Construction is anticipated to begin in August 2017.