Cuyuna Lakes State Trail Plans To Extend Into Brainerd
The Cuyuna Lakes area is mostly known for their mountain biking trails, but a group in Brainerd is now looking to extend Cuyuna’s paved biking trail.
“When we’re done getting this trail paved from here to Riverton, I think it’s going to be not one of the best trails in the state, but one of the best trails in the country, if not the world.” Dan Hegstad, a Cuyuna Lakes State Trail Association board member, said.
The Cuyuna Lakes State trail is currently eight miles long, and it runs from Crosby to Riverton passing by several lakes along the way, making it one of the more scenic trails in the area. This summer the trail will be extended to Deerwood, and the trail association is now run by a group in Brainerd looking to bring the trail to their city.
“This would just enhance that opportunity for bikers to come off the Paul Bunyan Trail and connect up onto Cuyuna,” Steve Barrows, the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail Association President, said. “The mountain bikers that enjoy the life over in Crosby right now can come this way and still be able to ride their bikes.”
Barrows said the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail extension is all about connecting communities, and it will hopefully bring some added economic activity to the area.
“There’s a lot of opportunity here for economic growth in this area,” Barrows said. “Making these connections brings all of these communities closer together, the people closer together.”
With so many trails already connecting in Brainerd, once the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail is extended, the possibility for bikers will be endless.
“Once these trails are connected, a good rider can come here and ride for hundreds of miles without having to ride on a road at all,” Hegstad said.
Bikers will even be able link up with other trails in different cities.
“People can follow it just like highway signs,” Hegstad said. “You can get all over the place; once we are done, it’s going to be a big deal.”
“This isn’t going to be a short-term fix,” Barrows said. “But, if you don’t start today, tomorrow will just be one day longer.”
The Cuyuna Lakes State Trail has been approved to extend into Brainerd, but no timeline has been set up for construction. Once it is complete, Brainerd will become a biker’s paradise.
After the Brainerd connection is complete, the trail association will look to extend the trail east into Aitkin.