Nordic Cuyuna Getaway

August 10, 2022
Must See in Minnesota

Everything you'll need to know for your upcoming Nordic Cuyuna getaway!

Most of us know Cuyuna for its nationally ranked red dirt, single track mountain bike trails. There are over 55 miles now and counting! The mountain bike trails are busy all Summer long and riders enjoy the colors into the Fall.  After the Fall leaves fall and hunting season passes, we enter into one of our favorite Cuyuna seasons of all: Winter. We are lucky to have endless access to year round adventure right here in Cuyuna, MN and Winter does not disappoint!

Once the ground freezes and we get a good amount of snowfall, the groomers (who are all volunteer based… THANK YOU!) hit the mountain bike trails to begin grooming. Not all 55 miles are groomed all Winter, but many miles are. The local bike shops (Cykel and Red Raven) can help point you in the right direction for which ones are open and groomed during your stay.  You can also get trail updates and trail conditions from Cuyuna Lakes MTB Crew via their website and twitter. Click this link for the latest trail condition updates:

You can rent a fat tire bike from either bike shop in town (or bring your own) and ride the snowy, beautiful trails to your heart’s content. But for this blog, our purpose is to guide you to the snowshoe and cross country ski options in the winter in and near Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area. Snowshoes are included in your stay at Cuyuna Cove and we connect directly to the groomed MTB Cuyuna trails.

NEW: Rent HOK skis from Cykel and use them on the groomed mountain bike trails...right from your cabin!

You cannot cross country ski the groomed mountain bike trails, but as of 2021 you can now rent HOK skis from Cykel here in Cuyuna and use them on the trails! These skis are shorter, fatter and you can use your own boots in them. They are a combination of skiing/snowshoeing. CLICK HERE to watch quick video made by Cykel explaining what HOK skis are and how to use them on the trails!

Please remember: walking/cross country skiing on these trail is NOT allowed. You can cross country ski the paved trail that connects directly to Cuyuna Cove or drive to designated Xcountry ski trails (Larson Lake is 10 mintutes away). Please see the following information for details.

Snowshoeing in Cuyuna, MN

First on our list are the snowshoes. We (Cuyuna Cove) provide 2 adult sets and one child set for free during your stay. They will be stored conveniently in your secure bike locker next to your cabin when you arrive. Or, if you want additional sizing you can rent them from Red Raven up the street as well. Snowshoes are actually encouraged on the mountain bike trails in the winter since they help pack the snow down and help out the volunteer groomers who are working hard to pack the snow for the fat tire bikes.  NOTE: Walking on the MTB trails is not allowed in the winter, so if you want to explore them on foot, you'll need snowshoes strapped on. If you’re staying with us and are lucky enough to experience a good snowfall, you won’t be able to fat tire bike right away. You’ll have to wait until the groomers hit the trails (check that link above for trail updates).

So, in the meantime, grab the snowshoes provided and leave right from your cabin to explore miles of trails on foot. You can head directly to Yawkey Unit trail head or Portsmouth Trail from your cabin. On both routes you’ll find 100ft pines, views of the mine lakes, rolling hills and of course the crisp, beautiful silence of a Northern Cuyuna Winter.

Snowshoeing in Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area

Be sure to pack a backpack with extra layers, water, hand warmers and snacks. This way, if you work up a sweat you can also take layers off and store them in your pack. Don't forget to pack a thermos filled with your favorite hot beverage to enjoy on your breaks! We recommend hot chocolate with a dash (or several dashes) of Baileys (if you’re 21 and over of course). Bring your camera to snap some photos, you’ll want to document the stunning winter wonderland scenery.

After your snowshoe adventure, head into town to warm up at Cuyuna Brewing or head to Iron Range for lunch or dinner, you’ll be hungry after all that walking and fresh, crisp, outside air!

Nordic Cross Country Ski Rental Information:  

You can use Cross Country skis on the paved trail that connects directly to Cuyuna Cove! Or keep reading to be pointed in the right direction for designated Xcountry ski trails near Cuyuna.

Where Can I Rent Cross Country Skis near Cuyuna, MN?

Martin’s Sport Shop in Nisswa:

Unfortunately there are no rental options in Crosby/Cuyuna (yet) for cross country skis, boots and poles. However, if you don’t have your own and do need to rent, there is Martin’s Sport Shop located in Nisswa. They rent out cross country skis/boots/poles and snowshoes for $20 a day. It is about a 30 min drive to their store depending on weather conditions. Nisswa is always a fun little area to check out as well if you’re heading there to grab skis!

Hoigaard’s in St. Louis Park:

Another option for cross country ski rentals (if you’re coming from the cities) is to pick them up before you head North to Cuyuna. The rental place we recommend is Hoigaard’s.

They are located in St. Louis Park and you can do longer rentals (for example, a 3 night rental including skis, boots and poles for an adult is $45, based on Oct 2020 pricing).

Note the days they are closed below and be sure to get them before Mon/Tues if those are the days you’ll need them! Click the link below to check their updated pricing and to make a reservation:


Address: 5425 Excelsior Blvd. Miracle Mile Shopping Center St. Louis Park, MN 55416  Phone: 952.929.1351


Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Wednesday through Sunday

         Closed on Monday and Tuesday

The Top 4 Cross Country Ski Trails near Crosby, MN

There are a few amazing designated cross country ski trails near your cabin at Cuyuna Cove, some of which are only a 7 minute drive away! There is also the paved trail that packs down and you can ski right from your cabin at Cuyuna Cove.

(Head to for more detailed xcountry ski trail information).

**Ski-In and Ski-Out from Cuyuna Cove:

Depending on snow and snow pack, you may cross country ski the paved trail that is across the road from Cuyuna Cove. To access this trail, you need to walk to the end of our driveway, turn right on the trail (you'll see the black 'MTB Trails' sign). Then, when you get to the paved trail, turn right and go under the tunnel. Here is a great place to start and you can go for miles. This is not a designated Cross Country Ski Trail so there are no tracks for the skis. However, it is a great packed snow option (depending on recent snow fall) if you want to explore right from your cabin on a flat trail.

1) Larson Lake Trail

Distance from Crosby, MN by car: 11 minutes

Trail Length: 7.2 Miles total (can choose shorter routes) Located in Deerwood, MN

Trail Features: Rolling Hill Terrain, Mixture of oak forests and red and white pines, gorgeous wetland views.

Trail Safety Info: Click Here

Trail Map: Click Here

Trail Conditions: Click Here

Address/Hours/Phone Number on Click Here

Directions: Larson Lake Trail is located south of Deerwood. Follow State Highway 6 south, turn left on Co. Road 10

[caption id="attachment_2404" align="alignnone" width="225"]

Larson Lake Cross Country ski Trail

2) Wolf Lake Trail

Distance from Crosby, MN by car: 16 minutes depending on weather

Trail Length: 5.6 Miles total

Trail Features: Varying terrain from level to hilly.  Mixture of hardwoods and mature pines.

Trail Safety Info: Click Here

Trail Map: Click Here

Trail Conditions: Click Here

Address/Hours/Phone Number on Click Here

Directions: South of Deerwood Shortcut turn south on Tower Road, turn right onto N. Nelson Road OR follow State Highway 18 east from Brainerd, turn left on Co. Road 159, stay straight onto N. Nelson Road.

3) Nordic Ridge Trail

Distance from Crosby, MN by car: 28 minutes depending on weather

Trail Length: 13.7 miles

Trail Features: Mixture of scattered old pines and young conifer and aspen growth. Connections to the City of Crosslake recreation trails and facilities including snowshoe trails, hiking, and more.

Trail Safety Info: Click Here

Trail Map: Click Here

Trail Conditions: Click Here

Address/Hours/Phone Number on Click Here

Directions: From Brainerd, head north on County Road 3 for 24 miles. Stay straight (north) onto County Road 66 in Crosslake. Take a right onto Daggett Pine Road, go 0.5 miles. The trail head is located at the Crosslake Community Center on the left(north side of road), with parking available next to the building.

4) French Rapids Trail

Distance from Crosby, MN by car: 18 minutes depending on weather

Trail Length: 5.9 miles

Trail Features: Groomed Trails for classic and skate ski. Primarily small pine trees. Scenic views of the Mississippi River.

Trail Safety Info: Click Here

Trail Map: Click Here

Trail Conditions: Click Here

Address/Hours/Phone Number on Click Here

We hope you have a wonderful time exploring the beauty of the area from the trails. You'll have to let us know which trails you tried and what ones were your favorite. Winter truly is magical here in Cuyuna.


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