Minnesota state parks and trails launch ‘I Can Mountain Bike!’

(Released July 7, 2014)

Experience the fun of mountain biking during three introductory “I Can Mountain Bike!” programs on Saturday, July 26, at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area in Ironton, about 140 miles northwest of the Twin Cities near Brainerd.

These are part of a series of skill-building programs offered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Parks and Trails Division.

“We are excited to be able to pilot this all-new program in partnership with the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Club at Minnesota’s premier mountain bike park,” said Pat Arndt, communications and outreach manager for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “It’s a great opportunity for anyone who has ever been curious about mountain biking to give it a try.”

Participants will practice shifting, braking and body positioning in a wide open setting. They’ll also take a guided ride and explore the single-track mountain bike trails.

The programs will be from 9 to 11:30 a.m., noon to 2:30 p.m. and 3 to 5:30 p.m. Use of bikes and helmets will be included with the $25/person registration fee.

Reservations are required. Participants must be at least age 10, and participants under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Reservations can be made online or by calling 866-857-2757 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily).

The mountain bike trails at Cuyuna Country opened in 2010. The area features 25 miles of single-track trails for bikers of all skill levels, from beginners to experts. The trails wind through 800 acres of deep-red soil, birch and aspen forests and scenic vistas overlooking turquoise mine lakes.

More information about the recreation area, including a map and video tour, is available online. Information is also available by calling the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Other programs in the “I Can” series introduce camping, rock climbing, fishing, paddling and archery to beginners.

The “I Can!” programs are made possible with support from the Parks and Trails Fund, created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008. The Parks and Trails Fund receives 14.25 percent of the sales tax revenue and may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.