Heading out for a day on the trails, there are few places better to explore than Cuyuna State Recreation Area. From the hollows and pits of the old mining activities, a rich and verdant forest has sprung. The landscape is dotted with lakes and pools, becoming a hotspot for everything from mountain biking, hiking, fishing and boating. Here in the great outdoors, you can do it all.
But with over 5,000 acres to explore, you're going to need a map. The paths and trails of Cuyuna weave their way through the landscape. Unless you're a seasoned local, you're likely to get lost. Luckily, there are tons of resources which you can use. Here are some of the best maps available.
First up, we have the informative leaflet compiled by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The map gives an overview of the area, allowing you to orientate yourself amongst the 267 acres of continuous water. Use this overview to plan your route, picking out parking, camping or washroom facilities.
Flick through the pages, to get a closer look at each of the separate units. The Mahnomen unit is at the heart of the park, with detailed maps of the routes as they meander through the hills and woodland. Plus, if you want to use your phone, the GeoPDF allows you to download the map.
Significantly more interactive, Trail Forks allow users to scroll through the region, focusing in on areas or zooming out to get a better perspective. All facilities and services are marked, as well as the most popular trails. Search through the various activities to see where the individual trails lead. They'll let you know the elevation, the distance and whether it is snow-covered. Alternately, chart your own route with their inbuilt route planner.
With six of the most popular mountain biking trails mapped out, All Trails provides all you need to know about your route. Find a description of the route, a list of facilities, and photos and reviews from prior visitors. They even let you know the weather. While not as versatile as other options, All Trails guarantees well-trodden routes that are safe and fun. Perfect for people new to the area.
Combining the best of both worlds: Trail Links maps the best-rated trails in an interactive and versatile map. The map's coloring is clear and straightforward, giving a much better visual picture than other resources. However, there are significantly fewer facilities marked, and the trails are much less detailed. For a clear map of your route, it's perfect. If you're planning to head off adventuring into the area, you might struggle with the simplicity.
The map at Natural Atlas is as detailed as it is interactive. Resembling the old hand-drawn maps of yesteryear, it contains all the details hikers and bikers could need. Routes are marked by distance. Facilities are clearly labelled. You're even told where best to take a picture! For most adventurers and families, this map is an ideal companion.