Stunning bluff country, meandering rivers and open prairies give Southern Minnesota a wide variety of natural terrain for mountain bikers to enjoy. This region starts along the Mississippi River following the Minnesota border to the South Dakota border. Most of the most popular locations are within an hour’s drive of the metro areas yet some of the best kept mountain biking secrets can be found farther away.
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Myre Big Island State Park, Albert Lea 7 miles
Intermediate: Well-marked trail shared with hikers. Runs through forested hills, by a lake. Lots of trails to choose from. Limited access when wet.
Camden State Park, Lynd 5.25 miles
Beginner to advanced: Mixture of fire roads and singletrack rolls through hard-wood forests and prairie with a 1-mile section of rake-and-ride trail on top of the river valley. Hosts Camden Classic in August.
Mount Kato Ski Area, Mankato 7+ miles
Beginner to advanced: Mostly wooded hard-packed singletrack. Terrain is challenging and thrilling "high country" trail. Sharp, vertical descents. Novice riders may want to get experience before tackling this trail.
Seven Mile Creek, Mankato 9 miles
Intermediate: With few technical aspects, this singletrack provides an opportunity for exercise and to improve intermediate biking skills. A beautiful ride.
Kaplan's Woods, Owatonna 6 miles
Moderately difficult single track through woods. Some log jumps add challenges.
Memorial Trail, Red Wing 7 miles
Beginner to advanced: Trail has many options from which to choose-long climbs, challenging obstacles, outstanding views, twisting singletrack. Select a ride that matches your skills. Highly recommended. Trails are maintained by Red Wing Area Mountain Bike Organization (RAMBO)
Holzinger Lodge Trail, Winona 12 miles
Advanced: Some fire road, mostly singletrack. Steep periodically. Comparable to Colorado trails with less altitude. Excellent views of the Mississippi. Some winter trails. One of the areas best. Trails are maintained by Winona Area Mountain Bikers (WAMB)
Mountain Biking in Minnesota State Forests
Mountain biking is permitted on all state forest roads and trails unless posted closed, with the exception of Richard J. Dorer State Forest where mountain bikes are permitted only on designated trails. Trails are always shared with hikers and horses.
RJ Dorer State Forest
The RJ Dorer is made up of a number of larger units of state forest land scattered throughout the southeast from Red Wing to Houston and beyond. Listed are the units with mountain bike trails and their mileage. Snake Creek 20 miles, Trout Valley 7.5 miles, Kruger 7.5 miles, Bronk Tract 11 miles, Isinours 4 miles, Wet Bark 11.5 miles, Vinegar Ridge 6.5 miles, Underbakke Tract 5 miles, and Reno 17 miles. These are all multi-use trails, including horses. Snake Creek and Trout Valley also allow OHV traffic.
Sources: MNDNR, RAMBO, WAMBO, Winona and Red Wing Visitors Bureaus