The Greater Minnesota Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) has compiled an inventory of designated mountain bike trails in Districts 1 and 2, comprising twenty-four northern Minnesota counties. The inventory is a snapshot of current and planned facilities that are officially designated for mountain bike use.
As the sport of mountain biking increases in popularity, the demand for purpose-built, sustainable trails continues to grow. The GMRPTC undertook this system inventory to better understand the current and ongoing level of investment in the areas of highest growth in Greater Minnesota.
Land managers, funding agencies and trail advocates can use this information to understand the distribution of trails of varying function and difficulty levels. While not designed as a tool for riders to locate their next riding experience, the inventory may be helpful to marketers who are incorporating that information into their messaging and recreation packages.
The GMRPTC was established in 2013 conduct system planning and provide recommendations to the legislature for grants funded by the Legacy Parks and Trails fund to counties and cities outside the seven-county metropolitan area for parks and trails of regional significance. A total of 62 parks and trails are currently included in the Greater Minnesota regional system statewide. More information about the Commission can be found at gmrptcommission.org.
Below are links to the report and associated maps.
REPORT: Mountain Bike Trail Inventory in Districts 1 and 2
MAP: District 1 Overview
MAP: Aitken Mille Lacs Pine County Area Systems
MAP: Cook County Area Systems
MAP: Lake County Area Systems
MAP: Upper St. Louis County Area Systems
MAP: Lower St. Louis County Area Systems
MAP: District 2 Overview
MAP: Beltrami Crow Wing County Area Systems
MAP: Itasca County Area Systems
MAP: Roseau Polk County Area Systems
There is no doubt that volunteer organizations are helping to make many Greater Minnesota parks and trails a reality. Whether helping raise funds for construction or organizing clean up work crews, many of our facilities wouldn't be what they are without dedicated local volunteer support.
Minnesota Public Radio has shared this fantastic look at how volunteers are making a difference at several parks and trails statewide, including many regionally significant partners of the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission. A shout out as well to our Executive Director, Renee Mattson, who was interviewed for this article.
MPR: In Duluth, skiers (and bikers, hikers, climbers and others) step up to build trails
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