#ForCuyuna Raises $670,000 for Trail Expansion
According to a press release from the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew (CREW), a chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) announces the CREW and the community have raised $335,676.00 to date. This amount added to the Hallett Trust matching grant of $335,000 equals a total of over $670,000 raised for the continued expansion of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails. Individual donations ranged from $5 to $50,000 with a total of 128 donations being made to raise $335,676.00 to date. Donations primarily came from donors in Minnesota with additional donations received from North Dakota, Wisconsin, California, Georgia, Colorado, and Switzerland.
Crew Volunteer President Aaron Hautala comments;
“I’d personally like to thank the Initiative Foundation, Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Inc and the Cuyuna Range Economic Development Inc who were able to point us in good directions at the onset of this campaign. We also heartily thank the Hallett Trust for joining us on this amazing movement. Their vision allowed our dream to come to life”.
The #ForCuyuna funds will be utilized for the design and construction of three specific trails. These all- new, purpose-built, one-way (one-direction), mountain bicycling trails will connect the City of Cuyuna with the current mountain bicycle trail system allowing the economic opportunities that have positively impacted Crosby and Ironton to also be enjoyed in our region’s namesake, Cuyuna (City of). Here are additional details of these exciting new trails:
Yawkey Unit Connecting Trail
The Cuyuna Connecting Trail would be a 4-mile one-way, looping trail featuring flow, rollers and berms, ideal for adventurous families and new cyclists to experience. This trail will connect the Yawkey Unit of trails to the City of Cuyuna and the Pumptrack, which is currently not accessible through the trail system. The Cuyuna Connecting Trail would also provide Cuyuna residents the option of mountain biking to and from Crosby-Ironton schools, without riding on the highway. This new trail will enable safe commuting, convenient access and a fun way to travel!
Manual Mine Single-track Gravity Flow Trail
This intermediate-level gravity flow trail, located north of Crosby and south of Cuyuna in the Yawkey Unit of the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, has an estimated plan of 1.5 miles in length. The addition of this gravity flow trail to the trail system will contribute to the goal of advancing the current IMBA Ride Center ranking of Silver, placing Cuyuna among the top single-track mountain bike trail systems in the world.
The Cuyuna Hills Trail is planned as an 8-mile trail unlike anything currently within the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area. Currently the longest individual single-track trail in Cuyuna is less than 2 miles. Cuyuna Hills will be located on Crow Wing County Recreation Land, adjacent to the city of Cuyuna. Once constructed, this will place the city of Cuyuna within the single-track system, providing expanded cycling opportunities and enhancing accessibility to the city’s Pumptrack.
Now that the funds have been successfully raised, the Crew will continue collaborating with Crow Wing County and the State of Minnesota on the trail application process for the Cuyuna Hills segment. Updates will be shared as that process continues forward.
As the 2017 Minnesota legislative session resumes, the Crew’s focus moves to St. Paul where our region continues our advocacy work towards bringing home the remaining funds to complete the Cuyuna Master Vision for Trails. Aaron Hautala shares, “It’s a lot of work, it’s difficult, and there are no guarantees. The Crew and our region at large believes in what this investment will do economically for our entire state when fully constructed. We thank Representatives Lueck and Heintzeman, and Senators Ruud and Majority Leader Senator Gazelka for the Cuyuna advocacy in this upcoming legislative session”.
In closing, Hautala adds; “We as the CREW also thank our entire region, state, country, and even Switzerland for making this happen. When we released the #ForCuyuna campaign the largest response we received was “it’s impossible, it’s too big, not here.” Turns out it was possible, very possible, and it encourages us all to think big to create the best possible product and work together to make it happen”.