Ride the Range: A Minnesota Mountain Biking Collaboration

Jul 2, 2021Mountain Bike Trails, News

In a region traditionally known for the veins of iron ore that run through the land, a new, 21st-century trail has been blazed from the Cuyuna Range to the Laurentian Divide of Biwabik—in the form of 100-plus miles of purpose-built, destination-class mountain bike trails.

Ride the Range represents a trail and cultural immersion of four northern Minnesota mountain bike destinations—Cuyuna (Crosby), Giants Ridge Bike Park (Biwabik), Redhead (Chisholm), and Tioga Recreation Area (Cohasset). Each of these communities represent Minnesota’s pioneering and current stakeholders in America’s iron-ore mining effort—one that helped the United States declare victory in both World Wars, and continues to fuel our country’s infrastructure growth today.

Tioga Trails

Tioga Mountain Bike Trails

“This is a large-scale collaboration across community, county, and Range lines,” said Max Peters, Tioga. “Ride the Range is able to showcase all four destinations to a greater mountain biking audience, both nationally and internationally.”

In total, Ride the Range includes more than 100 miles of lift-served downhill, gravity flow downhill, cross-country, and soon, the Iron Range’s first adaptive handcycle trail. Ride the Range isn’t just for experts, it was purposefully designed and built to provide trail experiences for beginners to Olympic champions.

Redhead Mountain Bike Park

Mountain Biker on a path by a lake

“We know cyclists want a full week of riding, best-in-class riding, and riding that isn’t exactly the same at each destination,” said Jaimie Niska, Giants Ridge. “Ride the Range was funded, designed, and constructed to fulfill those needs, and we as Minnesota’s Iron Range can’t wait for you to shred our red.”

The signature features of Ride the Range are the red dirt trails, crystal clear water, giant boulders, and elevated views. The red dirt comes from the iron-bearing dirt of Minnesota’s man-made mountains: former open-pit iron mines now filled with crystal clear water, and red overburden hills now home to Minnesota’s newest forests.“You’ll experience overlooks and lakescapes that are hard to believe were created by mining,” said Aaron Hautala, Cuyuna. “Ride the Range is at the intersection of reclamation and rejuvenation. It’s a region-wide purpose-built product showing how two seemingly opposing forces—mining and outdoor recreation—have successfully worked together to create an experience like nowhere else.”

Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area

Cuyuna Mountain Biking

Ride the Range is also the result of the grit and pride that powers the Range ‘can-do’ culture. “Like Rangers do, we dreamt, we innovated, we connected, and we built. Now we’re delivering one incredible destination for mountain biking enthusiasts,” said Jordan Metsa, Redhead. “When you visit our communities, you’ll love our trails, and you may also fall in love with our story. You’ll see first-hand how America and our region were forged in the industrial revolution and how a pioneering partnership between industry and community is showcasing mineland restoration at its finest, today.”

Ride the Range is a collaboration of Cuyuna Adventure Town USA®, City of Cohasset, Tioga Recreation Area, Visit Grand Rapids, Iron Range Tourism, City of Chisholm, Minnesota Discovery Center, Redhead, and Giants Ridge Bike Park. To learn more about Ride the Range and the mountain bike destinations within it, visit RidetheRange.com.

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I’m Jan, the publisher of Minnesota Trails Magazine. I’m looking for that one trail, the next ride, a new discovery and other reasons never to sit still in Minnesota.

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