Cuyuna Country State Park



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Cuyuna Country State Park is located in the Heartland region of central Minnesota near the towns of Crosby and Ironton. This dormant iron mine was, at one time, a major contributor to Minnesota's economy. The mine closed in 1984 and seemed to be abandoned for good until creative people reimagined the former mine as a unique state park site featuring mountain biking trails and fishing holes. 

The best family vacation destinations in Minnesota include beautiful family vacation resorts, dozens of state parks and many other top family vacations spots.

Cuyuna Country State Park

Biking enthusiast Natalia Mendez says "they made lemonade with the lemons they were dealt after mining left the town." (Quoted in the winter 2018 - 2019 edition of Minnesota Explorer.)

How to Get to Cuyuna Country State Park: Drive north from Ironton on County Road 30 for 0.7 of a mile. Turn right into the park.

Park Highlights:

  • Cuyuna Country State Park is Minnesota's newest state park. Until recently the area had been closed to the public because of the abandoned mine pits. 
  • The area now designated as the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area was once dotted with mining pits. These deep pits are now filled with clear north woods water. The result is 25 miles of natural shoreline and lakes that are perfect for fishing, canoeing and scuba diving.
  • The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has stocked these created lakes with game fish including bass, northern, sunfish and crappies. The park has yet to be discovered by many.
  • Cuyuna State Park is also a perfect destination for mountain biking and fat bike biking with approximately 25,000 bike riders enjoying the park every year. There are bike trails for bikers of every skill and ability.
  • You can rent bikes, including fat bikes, at the Red Raven bike shop and cafe in downtown Crosby.
  • If you want to stay for a while in this area, you can find lodging at the True North Base Camp, or for a rustic experience, rent one of the DNR lakeside yurts.

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Cuyuna Country's Natural Attractions: The area features six natural lakes as well as the 15 deep lakes that were created in the former mine pits. Surrounding the lakes is a vast area of forest and marsh. This habitat provides a home for many species of wildlife and birds.

The excess rock piles left from mining operations are now covered with trees and vegetation. Some of these are as much as 200 feet high. From a distance they appear as natural features of the landscape.

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Things to Do in Cuyuna Country State Park: World-class mountain biking (with more than 25 miles of single-track trail), and hiking are both available. The Cuyuna Lakes State Trail winds through the park and provides more than six miles of paved biking and hiking trail. Scuba divers have discovered that the clear lakes make exciting places to explore. Canoe enthusiasts will enjoy the short portages between lakes that allow for a variety of canoeing experiences.

A picnic area, fishing pier and boat ramp are available in the park.

Snowmobiling is popular in the park in winter.

Cuyuna Country State Park Camping

Camping in Cuyuna Country State Park: The park has 25 drive-in campsites on the shore of Portsmouth Mine Lake. 18 sites have electrical hookups and 7 do not. One group site accommodates up to 25 people and is near the swimming beach. Picnic tables, fire rings, and vault toilets are provided. All campsites are available on a first come, first serve basis with self-registration at the campground.

More Attractions in This Region: Visit the Croft Mine Historical Park in Crosby to learn about the history of mining in this area and see some of the old mining equipment. More mining history and artifacts can be seen at the Cuyuna Range Historical Museum.

If you visit the second week of June, go to the village of Cuyuna to take in the Wood Tick Races.

Other State Parks in This Region of Minnesota: Crow Wing State Park > Savanna Portage State Park

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Contact:

307 3rd Street
Ironton, MN 56455
Phone: 218-546-5926
Fax: 218-546-7369
Email: cuyuna.statepark@state.mn.us

Related Pages:

Minnesota Camping

Minnesota State Parks Maps, Reservations and Reviews

Campgrounds in Minnesota

Minnesota Campgrounds

Minnesota RV Campgrounds

Minnesota Campground Directory

Camping List

Back to Minnesota State Parks

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