Mountain Biking in the Midwest

Nov 28, 2014 at 13:38
by Higher Base Media  
While we have no true "mountains" that has not stopped the Midwest from creating some of the finest riding destinations!

Take Duluth, MN for example. Within the last few years Duluth has gained a lift accessed bike park at Spirit Mountain, and is in the process of creating a 100+ mile trail system that will reach across the entire city. This system of trails is already well under way, with 60 miles completed, spread throughout many different trail systems all over the city. People are taking notice of Duluth. Outside Magazine recently held a contest for the best outdoor town in the United States, and Duluth was crowned the victor.

Views: 5,219    Faves: 18    Comments: 3


Trailforks.com


Next we have Cottage Grove, MN. Cottage Grove Bike park recently won the Bell Built Grant for a bike park in the midwest. FlowRide Concepts out of Colorado did an excellent job creating a jump park that really caters to every level of rider. The Cottage Grove bike park is definitely a new favourite in the area!

Views: 1,472    Faves: 5    Comments: 0


Trailforks.com


Only a few hours away from Duluth, another city is creating an amazing scene for mountain biking. Copper Harbor, located in the upper peninsula of Michigan, has become nationally known for the riding community that has developed there in the last few years. The trail Overflow in Copper Harbor was created using funding from winning a Bell Built grant as well.

Photo by Hansi Johnson

Trailforks.com


With the way the mountain biking is growing here in the midwest, it is hard to deny that we are gaining some great new riding destinations. My dreams of moving to the mountains may just be forgotten due to the unbelievable riding that we are beginning to have right in my own back yard. Next time you find yourself daydreaming about beautiful ribbons of dirt flowing through every forest near your home, take a moment to realize that you can make that dream a reality.

Photo by Hansi Johnson

Higher Base Media
www.spiritmt.com
Cottage Grove BP
www.copperharbortrails.org
www.universalklister.blogspot.com


53 Comments

  • 19 1
 The first video reminded me of some old school riding videos from the 90's. Didn't get a single bad vibe from it either, it looked like a bunch of guys having A LOT of fun together. Maybe their video production skill aren't quite at the blockbuster level yet but they're better than 99% of what any other person can do. Major props to this whole crew.
  • 4 3
 They looked like joeys even though they rode pretty well.
  • 15 2
 Not to discount any of the riders here but, as a Midwesterner, I would not call that a representation of Midwest riding that highlighted our better qualities...
  • 1 9
flag n1ck (Nov 30, 2014 at 18:24) (Below Threshold)
 This video is a good example of "run what you got". Not very impressed by the riding but trails do look decent.
  • 5 0
 @ n1ck. That's a very stupid comment. Should they have been pulling backflips to satisfy you?

Those trails are far more impressive than I would expect out of the midwest. They look very fun!
  • 8 0
 I havent read every other comment; if Im repeating something, Im sorry.

Every trail system I have seen so far has been a lot better than no trail system. Not everyone looks for the same thing; many riders go away satisfied no matter where they ride. Indeed, I'd suggest that the very talented, very skilled rider that desires the top-echelon trail system isnt necessarily the target market. There's a lot more of us in the middle-ranks.

So, yeah. The Midwest is awesome. Its all awesome.
  • 6 0
 Stoked to see the midwest getting some props! Yeah the riding may not be up to par but thats because it was the first rides of spring and we had a short deadline to make the edit but as others have said, were all just having fun. The area has expanded so much just this year since this was made, I really want to put another one together showing the more advanced dh trails in the area that weren't featured in this edit. A lot of that being in Copper Harbor / Marquette, Michigan and Duluth, MN.
  • 4 0
 Copper Harbor is on my bucket list - bet its beautiful country too. IMBA Epic trail designation as well I think.
  • 1 0
 I grew up in the area. the harbor is truly world class.
  • 6 0
 No love for Marquette, MI?! Just as good as Copper Harbor and 3 breweries to boot! Don't miss the Harlow Lake trails there either. There's something about the terrain around Lake Superior that makes you feel like you get more in vs the 3 hour climbs to get in 20 minutes of descending you find out west.
  • 4 0
 most of that footage is Marquette!
  • 3 0
 A lot of it is. I definitely saw Hardtail Pride McLovin (or maybe Bareback) and Your Mom in there.

Fun video!!!
  • 4 0
 Yeaaaaaahhh!!! So stoked on how the midwest biking community is growing. My small town recently got it's first dirt jumps and a flow trail. It blows my mind to see people doing more than standard xc riding. I just wish we could buy full face helmets and pads at the LBS.
  • 2 0
 I wish that were true too. You should see the looks I get when I show up to local trails in a full face. Way too much Lycra going on, it's still a lot of roadies dominating the scene.
  • 2 1
 DEEP PURPLE RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)
  • 7 0
 Standard pink bike comment: that cool but pardon me while I shit all over your efforts.
  • 5 0
 "I've never made a video myself, but your production and editing sucks" ...hate seeing those comments, especially since this video got me stoked!
  • 3 0
 Pretty rad to see the Midwest starting to get some play time! While as many have said we might not be world wide destination ride locations there are spots that are starting to become regional destinations for sure! There are definitely some quality level riders but when making a film with little to no budget you have to film the riders that show up! Great work!

Here is maybe a little better sampling of some talented riders, at least at CGBP, www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFXPoPQVwbE

check the park out on facebook: www.facebook.com/cottagegrovebp?fref=nf
  • 6 0
 there are even great trails in Kansas City Missouri And the Ozark Mountains
  • 4 0
 You can't mention the Midwest without including the CAMBA trails of NorthWest Wisconsin, no plans for 100s of miles of trails....because it already exists!
  • 2 0
 Great trails for sure! But the Midwest has so much more to offer, mostly along the lines of trail/AM riding. I'd love to see Pinkbike do more features based in the Midwest, or really any areas of the country that don't get the spotlight nearly often enough.
  • 3 0
 It looks like Marquette, MI got left out of the credit pool. It just got IMBA bronze status and is featured in the first video a fair bit. Good things are happening around the big lake!
  • 5 0
 Totally missed marquette. Incredible fr/dh trails built by dedicated, hard working people with hand tools.
  • 3 0
 Both of these spots are spot on good times. If you ride bikes, you will not be disappoint. Spirit mtn and CGBP much goodness!
  • 1 0
 The people at cottage grove really redid the jump line/4x track since I was there in late August
  • 1 0
 Nice videos, pictures and write up! Great to see any coverage of the regions riding scene! And just because Copper Harbor has a higher rating from IMBA than Marquette does not mean it's better! Half of the riding in the first video is from Mqt. They are both great and there are many more that are not even mentioned. Heck we don't even have the time or space to cover all of the great riding in the region! Way to go to all the clubs, builders, and supporters of the sport!
  • 4 0
 Copper Harbor is amazing I recommend it to anyone near the UP.
  • 2 0
 Thanks. Those are a lot different than what I'd expect. Looks flowy and fun.
  • 2 0
 damn first vid was sick... Deep Purple super cover - Check gripless grimer - Check Sweet speed lines - Check Cut off nipple check chesty - Check
  • 1 0
 I'd have to disagree with the first statement, unless you don't consider the Black Hills (the name is deceiving but it's an actual mountain range) part of the Midwest. The biking here is amazing too.
  • 3 0
 Pretty slick for being in Minnesota.. nice work.
  • 3 1
 Not bad...Dh bikes seem a little unnecessary but the trails look pretty damn fun
  • 3 2
 while it is sick biking, I'd never pay money to trip out there. Why go to flyover states when I could go to anywhere on the west?
  • 3 0
 I agree with what you're saying to a degree, but I think you may be missing an aspect of these riding areas that make them successful. They are most definitely the best riding zones in our geographic area, and although to an extent they can cater to a world stage they are built to be the stuff mountain bikers dream of in cities like Chicago, Madison, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and many others. These cites have a large population base and I know a lot of riders who plan vacations around mountain biking in the U.P, so while their build quality may be up there with some of the best trails around I don't think many of these places expect a whole lot of riders outside of the midwest. It would be cool to become a destination for mountain biking though, I think the whole northern part of the midwest could do great with enduro as a sport because of our terrain for example. Reading through my comment I largely agreed with you, I just wanted to try and expand some on why these areas are successful.
  • 6 0
 Someday you might find yourself with a job in or near one of these places. Or maybe you meet a nice girl (or guy) who's parents live there and you find yourself there for Thanksgiving or the winter holidays or the fourth of July (which the Midwest does better than anyplace else, hands down). Or you get tired of the west coast granny gear climb for an hour and then mobbing 20 minutes down. Or you ride something else besides a 6" AM bike.
  • 7 0
 andnyleswillriot I have ridden in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and much of Socal and I have to say that the trails in the Midwest are as good or better then any in these areas. Way better dirt, better trail management, cooler forests, and really narrow single track. You don't have the sustained downhills there or the high level of stunts and jumps everywhere I will grant you, but great trails nonetheless. The xc in the midwest is far superior to the west I can assure you, and you can get plenty of elevation with the rolling hills. Any area around lake superior is as beautiful country as you can find to boot. (no disrespect to the west intended, I live in San Diego and the trails here are sweet)
  • 2 1
 Part of the draw to the trails around the upper Midwest are quality of trail you get and there's really not enough people around to make them crowded. So let's keep people outsiders under the impression that the trails around Lake Superior are not up to par with any of your "out west destination riding areas"
  • 1 0
 I second thebigschott, stay home or go to your "out west" break bump Heaven. I love Whistler, Trestle, Highland, but none of them have the variety and quality of trails found around our beloved Lake Superior. Let's keep our secret!
  • 3 0
 While watching the first vid "It" moved a little, is that weird?
  • 1 0
 Now if only we could get a trail like that here in STL. Plenty of potential, but very few willing to build and maintain a DH style trail.
  • 1 0
 I learned how to ride mountain bikes in Wisconsin back in the day but I sure am glad I live in the Pacific North West now. Very spoiled.
  • 3 1
 Am I the only one who actually laughed when the Muscle Head wearing Canadian Body Armor went down?
  • 2 0
 Love these parks! The Midwest has some diamonds in the rough to say the least.
  • 1 0
 If you're ever in Southern Wisconsin, make sure to check out Little Switzerland ski hill / bike park in Slinger, WI. Lift-accessed four packs, cannons, and road gaps await!
  • 1 0
 3:24, thank God for full face helmet, and now I want to see a clip of someone with half face helmet eating dirt.
  • 1 0
 well damn, never thought the fly over states could have so much sick riding! haha
  • 1 0
 This article left out so many gems:

Levis Trow Mounds
CAMBA
Cuyuna
Brown County
  • 1 0
 boyne highlands bike park is shaping up nicely
  • 8 11
 Is this for real? I have no doubt in my mind that trails in the midwest are pretty good, but these two videos most definitely did not tell the whole story about the midwest and it even felt like I was watching something that someone made with a go pro 1 in about an hour. The riding was alright and the fact that this is supposed to make people want to come to the midwest kind of hurt my being. Being from South Dakota I'd love to see more people come see and ride the trail systems throughout the region but this made me actually want to leave. I know I'm sounding like a dick and if down votes are a must I understand but I just wish that someone would have more time on this article/videos to portray the midwest in a more respectable manor.
  • 8 2
 then you should post a video and show us your sick riding and stop complaining. i am not from the midwest and i enjoyed this very much.
  • 1 0
 Those trails look fun as hell!
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