Top 10 Winter Fat Tire Bike Trails in Minnesota
Minnesota continues to gain recognition as one of the top outdoor enthusiasts’ states in the Nation. Locals as well as tourists flock to the land of 10,000 lakes to enjoy endless outdoor adventures. From the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, State forest hiking, gushing waterfalls, stand up paddle boarding, boating, skiing, fishing, snowmobiling, cycling, mountain biking and even fat tire winter biking, Minnesota has proven to be a land of outdoor adventure no matter the season.
Mountain Biking in Minnesota
Over the past decade and beyond, a single outdoor adventure sport has taken root and grown substantially across the state and nation: Mountain biking. While states with actual mountains have had more attention for their trail systems, Minnesota has worked diligently to develop some of the top rated single track trails throughout the US and is now competing with the big names for trails.
Fat Tire Biking in Minnesota
Across the state, trail systems are popping up and mountain bikers are flocking to ride the beautifully groomed trails. However, when winter in Minnesota blows in, most people tend to think we hunker down and
Photo by: Paul Esch-Laurent
stay inside, waiting for warmer Spring days in order to be back outdoors. What makes Minnesota so special is how hardy we are. Winter for many people means snow and snow means epic outdoor fun. No need to store your bike over the frigid months in Minnesota, thousands hop on their fat tire bikes across the nation and ride no matter the temperature on the thermometer.
Fat bike winter biking has topped the charts for the best Minnesota winter activity and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Whether you own a fat tire bike or need to rent one, there are many beautifully groomed trails to get you out and exploring right here in Minnesota.
Here are our Top 10 Favorite Fat Fire Bike Trails:
1) Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area – Crosby, Minnesota
Located just 2 hours straight North of Minneapolis is one of the best fat bike trail systems in the state. With over 25 miles of groomed single track trails, Cuyuna tops the charts for winter fun on your fattie. Wind in and out of towering 200ft pines, next to cliffs overlooking endless mining lakes and even bike into town on Main Street Crosby for a beer and food during your mid-day break. You’ll want to stay a couple days in order to ride all that Cuyuna has to offer and attend the annual 45North Whiteout Race in February.
Photo by Joel Hartman in Cuyuna State Recreation Area.
2) Jay Cook State Park Mountain Bike Trails- Carlton, Minnesota
Located up North and close to Duluth, you’ll want to check out the 5.4 miles of groomed track in Jay Cook State Park. Beautiful scenery with a quick, yet challenging loop.
3) Mission Creek Mountain Bike Trails – Duluth, Minnesota
Mission Creek is not to be missed. The trails were started in 2014 and have since been added onto with 20 miles of trakc. Heavily wooded, this single track trail offers riders a fast flowing, fun and challenging ride. You’ll encounter berms, bridges, rollers and beautiful scenic views.
4) Split Rock Lighthouse Mountain Bike Trails – Duluth, Minnesota
Located in Two Harbors, the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park trails offer 8.7 miles of groomed trails for both fat biking as well as skate skiing located right on the shore of beautiful Lake Superior.
5) Gateway State Trail Fat Biking- St. Paul, Minnesota
The Gateway State Trail offers a beautiful winter ride in St. Paul with almost 12 miles of trails for fat bikers all the way from Cuyuga Street to Jamaca Avenue. The trail will take you through both eclectic urban scenery as well as natural landscapes.
6) Lester Park Mountain Biking – Duluth, Minnesota
This trail is another beauty to check out with stunning views of the river valley and smooth, flowing trails. It’s commonly known for an easier ride or recommended to beginners. It’s about a 4.5 mile lollipop loop with only a handful of rocky or rooted sections.
Photo by: Tim Foster
7) Elm Creek Mountain Bike Trails – Champlin, Minnesota
You won’t want to miss out on this highly rated trail system in Champlin, MN. It is about 10 miles of intermediate/advanced groomed single track. You’ll wind through the dense forests to open prairie land in the beauty of the silent winter months. Be sure to check out their 40 Mile Race that takes place in February.
8) Douglas State Trail – Pine Island, Minnesota
This is a great place to check out with your fattie. There are over 13 miles of groomed trails to explore from Pine Island to Rochester. You’ll pass through urban as well as wooded scenic areas. It is a straight trail, but you can find low traffic roads to create a loop, or simply take the trail back to your starting point.
9) Theodore Wirth Park Mountain Bike Trails – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Conveniently located, fat tire enthusiasts flock to the 7 miles of groomed, winding single track at Theodore Wirth Park. It’s loved for its forest scenery and pump track feel with views of the Minneaoplis skyline.
10) Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest Fat Biking Trail – Near Winona, Minnesota
The Bronk Unit of the Richard J. Dorer State Forest is located near Winona and offers 7.5 miles of groomed fat biking trails. Difficulty along the trail varies with stunning views of the valley below from 500 ft cliffs.