Mountain Bike Trails in Minnesota

Are you ready to hit the trails? Minnesota is the best place to consider. This area features several ridges shaped by glaciers and lush woods, making it excellent for outdoor biking. The trails range from the adventure-rich area of Duluth to the multiple trail networks encircling the Twin Cities. Biking in this area offers several advantages since there are many trails you can choose from. Whether you want to go downhill, cross-country, or take a leisurely ride after work, there is something for everyone. Additionally, the trails accommodate riders with different skills, including beginners, intermediates, and experts. All the biking trails in this region are maintained by volunteer and non-profit organizations like The Cyclist of Gitchee Gumee Shores and Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists, ensuring they're always in good condition. Well-maintained biking trails improve your outdoor biking experience and also reduce the likelihood of getting involved in accidents.

Best Mountain Bike Trails in Minnesota

Quick FactsDistance: 5 milesLevel: IntermediateRoute Type: Loop with a partial alternate forkCity: Duluth, MinnesotaIntroduction: Where Flow Meets ChallengeThe Brewer Park
5 mi
Moorhead, located in Minnesota's picturesque Red River Valley, houses the MB Johnson Bike Trail - a gem for enthusiasts seeking a blend of smooth terrains and intriguing
2 mi
The Thrill of the RideNestled beside the tranquil riverscape of Moorhead, Minnesota, the Riverbank Trail is an experience waiting to be unraveled. This loop trail, spanning 4
4 mi
OverviewCuyuna Lakes Trails is a versatile haven for mountain biking enthusiasts looking to take on the expanse of 25 miles of trails. Situated in the scenic city of Ironton,
25 mi
OverviewTucked away in the charming city of Duluth, Minnesota, Spirit Mountain offers some of the Midwest's most exhilarating downhill mountain biking trails. Spanning a total
3 mi
Introduction: The Premier System You've Been Waiting ForBikers seeking adrenaline-pumping challenges and a taste of Minnesotan wilderness, behold the Piedmont trail system in
10 mi
An OverviewNestled within the confines of Duluth, Minnesota, Mission Creek Bike Trails beckon cyclists with a melodic blend of berms, flow, and scenic wonder. Initially slated
7 mi
Quick FactsDistance: 5 milesLevel: IntermediateRoute Type: NetworkLocation: Duluth, MinnesotaHow to Get There: Convenient Access PointsFrom East Superior Street, either go up
5 mi
Quick FactsDistance: 9 milesLevel: IntermediateRoute Type: LoopLocation: Duluth, MinnesotaGetting There: Easy Access from Two Parking AreasTo reach the east parking lot at
9 mi
The Brownie Lake trail is a worthy addition to the Minneapolis trail system. The trail is extremely difficult and a thrilling choice for advanced mountain bikers. The
1.24 mi

Minnesota: Area Description

Minnesota is located in the Upper Midwest part of the US. It is bordered by Lake Superior and Wisconsin to the east, North Dakota and South Dakota to the west, Iowa to the south, and Canada to the north.

This state has an area of 225,163 km2, making it the 12th largest country. Its minimum elevation is approximately 602 ft, while its maximum is around 2,301 ft.

The northern region of this state contains dense forests and a rocky terrain and dense forests. The wooded areas have different types of trees, including maple, white and red pine, birch, and oak. They're also home to wild animals such as Black bears, wolves, moose, and deer.

The central and southern regions are primarily agricultural. They contain fertile soil perfect for growing crops like wheat, corn, and soybeans. Western regions comprise Great Plains, covered by grasslands and prairies.

Minnesota contains more than 10,000 lakes which allow locals to enjoy boating, fishing, and other water sports. Examples of these lakes include:

  • Mille Lacs Lake
  • Leech Lake
  • Lake of the Woods
  • Lake Itasca
  • Buffalo Lake

Besides lakes, this state also contains several rivers which provide locals with water for various activities. One of the notable rivers in this area is the Mississippi River, which flows through the southeast section of Minnesota.

Out of all states in the US, Minnesota contains many state parks and recreation spots. It also has beautiful byways like the North Shore Scenic Drive along Lake Superior.

Land area (sq. m; sq. km) 225,163 km2
Minimum Elevation  602 ft
Maximum Elevation 2,301 ft

Demographics of Minnesota

Minnesota has approximately 5,717,184 and a population density of 67.1 people per square mile. Of these people, 50.4% are female, while 49.6% are male. Also, approximately 23% of the population is under 18, while 16% are above 65, and the age median is about 38.8.

The racial composition of this state is quite diversified. White people make up the majority racial group in Minnesota, accounting for around 78% of the state's population. The second largest group is the African American people, accounting for 6.9% of the total population. Asian are about 5.6%, Native Americans are 1.2%, and Latinos are approximately 6.1%. Additionally, Minnesota is home to many immigrants, including those from Mexico, Somalia, India, Laos, and Vietnam. According to research, they account for 8% of the state's population.

The people in Minnesota are well-educated, with approximately 90% of adults having a high school diploma and above. Also, more than 36% of the people in this area have a bachelor's degree or higher. This figure is higher than the national average, which stands at 33%, meaning the state is doing quite well.

Minnesota's median household income is $74,593, which is quite high compared to the national median of $68,703. However, there are notable differences in wealth and income across various racial and ethnic groups, much like in other states.

When it comes to Religion, Minnesota contains many Christians, making up about 68% of the population, with Catholicism and Protestantism being the major denominations. Other religions, such as Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism, comprise about 5% of the population, while 27% don't identify with any religion.

This state is mostly rural, with about 61% of the population living in urban regions and 39% in rural areas.

Total population (thousands, million) 5,717,184
Population density (persons per sq. km)  26.6/km2

Climate of Minnesota

Minnesota has a continental climate with hot summers and cold, snowy winters. Nevertheless, every part of this state has different climate,  temperature, and precipitation levels.

The temperatures in Minnesota are quite high during summer, ranging from 70 to 80°F in the southern areas and 60 to 70°F in the northern regions. The hottest months are July and August, with some areas of the state occasionally experiencing daytime highs of up to 90 °F. Winters are typically cold and snowy, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 20°F in the southern parts and -10 to 0°F in the northern region. The coldest months are December, January, and February.

This state receives approximately 30-35 inches of precipitation annually, most of it being the rain that falls during the summer and snow during the winter. June and July are the wettest months, featuring heavy rain and occasional flooding. According to research, the southern region experiences more precipitation than the northern parts.

Generally, Minnesota experiences heavy snowfall in the winter months. This condition is quite intense in the northern regions where the temperatures are extremely cold. In some cases, it may receive up to 100 inches of snow annually.

Minnesota is also susceptible to severe weather, such as blizzards, tornadoes, and thunderstorms. This area may receive about 37 tornadoes annually, especially in the southern region. The tornado season lasts from April through September, with June and July having the highest frequency.

Northern regions experience blizzards more frequently, leading to power outages due to strong winds and thick snowfall. These conditions also make it difficult to drive. Typically, the blizzard season lasts from November through March, with December and January experiencing most of them.

The best time to go biking in Minnesota is during spring and fall when the temperatures are low, allowing you to enjoy. Also, fewer people bike during this period making it the ideal time for people who like biking in areas with fewer crowds.

If you prefer biking in warm and dry weather, visit the Minnesota trails during summer, which starts in June and ends in August. Consider biking during the morning when the temperatures are quite low to avoid getting fatigued quickly.

Average Temperature by Months and Seasons

Month Average Temperature
January  16°F
February  20°F
March 33°F
April 47°F
May  59°F
June  69°F
July  74°F
August  71°F
September  62°F
October  49°F
November  34°F
December  20°F


Minnesota's infrastructure is well-developed. It features a big network of highways connecting the state's main cities and states comprising of Interstate 35, Interstate 94, and Interstate 90. The area also has county roads allowing you to access the rural areas quickly.

This state's public transport system is well-developed and quite reliable. The Metro Transit system in the Twin City Metropolitan area offers bus and light rail services. Other areas like Duluth, Rochester, and St. Cloud only have bus service.

Minnesota contains several airports, including:

  • Duluth International Airport
  • Rochester International Airport
  • St. Cloud Regional Airport

These facilities support local and international air travel, making the area easily accessible.

Using non-motorized transportation like bikes in the area is not a problem since it features many trails and pathways. Larger cities have bike lanes, bike-friendly streets, and a wide range of state parks with long bike trails.

When you visit the state, you'll notice it features several hotels in urban and rural areas. Examples of the popular hotels that you're likely to come across in the region include Marriott, Hilton, and Radisson. These hotels have several facilities like pools and fitness facilities. They also offer accommodation services allowing you to stay in the area for as long as you want and explore many trails. Order local cuisine during your stay and get the opportunity to enjoy new culture. Depending on your tastes and preferences, you can also ask for other international cuisines. The hotels in this state charge different rates. Therefore, you should do your homework well and choose one that falls within your budget.

Refueling is not a problem since this area has several stations located in urban and rural areas. These gas stations have convenience stores where you can buy anything, including snacks and convenience items.

Sights and Landmarks in Minnesota

Minnesota has many scenic and historic landmarks attracting local and international tourists. Here are some of the popular sights you're likely to come across when biking in the region.

  • Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness- This beautiful wilderness area in northern Minnesota has over lakes, and most people like using it for activities such as fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and camping.
  • Minnehaha Falls- Minnehaha Falls, located in Minneapolis, is popular for hiking, picnicking, and photography activities.
  • Pipestone National Monument- This is a national monument in the southwestern part of Minnesota. It contains quarries which Native Americans have been gathering pipestone from.
  • Voyageurs National Park- Located in the northern regions of Minnesota, this park has beautiful lakes and woods ideal for outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and camping.
  • Mississippi River- Visitors can explore the banks of the Mississippi River, take boat tours, and travel to historic villages along the river.
  • Minnesota State Capitol- The Minnesota State Capitol is a remarkable structure with beautiful architecture and significant historical relics located in St. Paul.
  • Como Park Zoo and Conservatory- Como Park Zoo and Conservatory near St. Paul is a famous family attraction site that offers a zoo, a conservatory, and lovely gardens.
  • North Shore Scenic Drive- It's a scenic drive along Lake Superior's northern side offering stunning views of the lake and the neighboring wilderness areas

FAQ about trails in Minnesota

Are dogs allowed on Minnesota's trails?

Different trails in Minnesota have different rules concerning dogs. Some trails allow you to bike with dogs, while others don't. Therefore, confirming from the trials' official websites is always important. You should also check if the dogs need to be leashed or unleashed to avoid problems. Be mindful of other trail users when biking with your dog to avoid accidents.

 Are Minnesota's trails open year-round?

Most trails in Minnesota are open all year round. Nevertheless, some of them are dangerous during winter and rainfall seasons. Remember to check the trail's condition before heading out to avoid getting involved in an accident.

Do I require any fees to use Minnesota's trails?

Fortunately, most trails in Minnesota don't require you to pay any fee. Even so, some of them require you to pay an entry fee. The entry fee typically varies from one trail to another. Always check each of the trail's official websites to know how much you need to pay.

City trails and maps in Minnesota