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InAnd The Red Loving It

Getting The Dirt On A True Success Story THERE WAS A TIME WHEN THE REDDISH DIRT WAS A N U I S A N C E , an almost-impossible-

to-get-out indicator that you had, for some reason, been roving around the Crosby-Ironton mine pits.You couldn’t get it off your vehicle tires, mud flaps, hiking boots, even your clothing. You were branded. That started changing in a big way a year ago, when the highly anticipated mountain bike trails opened within the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area. Now, with the second Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival this weekend (June 9; the fi rst festival kicked off the opening of the trails), red dirt is worn with pride on bikes, bike tires, clothes, knees, shins, elbows. A sort of red badge of courage. Or, at the very least, of participation — that you had done the Cuyuna lakes mountain bike trails. And everything muddyred continues to turn to gold. “All of a sudden we have something in the area, and not just in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, (CCSRA)” said Steve Weber, DNR park manager for CCSRA. “Now we’re the story.” While in the works for years, the story ultimately began in late May 2011, when 14.2 miles of the 25-mile trail system debuted. But the grand opening came about two weeks later with the festival, when the remainder of the trail system opened. And it’s been nothing but grand since then. Despite not getting started until late last May and a government shutdown that lasted for 21 days in July — while it didn’t shut down the trails it definitely hindered numbers, Weber said — the trails drew 15,552 bikers the fi rst year. Photos provided by Brian S. Peterson / Brainerd Dispatch

Bike tires covered in reddish dirt are a thing of beauty on the mine pit mountain bike trails.

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Outdoor Traditions Magazine - Summer 2012  

In The Red - And Loving It...5, Fishing with Confidence...8, Restoring A Shoreline Will Make A Difference...10, Treading Local Waters: Gull...

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