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Recreational Trails in Brainerd Lakes Country

Hike, Bike & Connect with Nature on our Multi-Use Recreational Trails

Letís pretend: There is an area in Minnesota with miles of hard surfaced public trails where you can take a stroll with a summer breeze at your back and listen to the rustling of quaking aspen leaves, observe the soaring, silent flight of a bald eagle, an osprey or red tailed hawk and find solitude, free from I-pods, tvís, the internet and cell phones. There is an area where you can in-line skate past bubbling streams and sparkling blue lakes, enjoy the good natured banter of a catbird and listen to the croaking of frogs in a wetland. There is an area where you can bike for miles and occasionally spot a white tailed deer, grouse or fox crossing your path, and roll past native grasses and wildflowers as well as majestic white, red and jack pines. There is an area where the trail leads through bustling communities with unique shopping and culinary opportunities and an area where you can snowmobile over miles of trails, kicking up your heals in fluffy snow.

Actually, whoís pretending? This place does exist. Is it heaven? It well may be, but we refer to it as Brainerd Lakes Country and we sport two world class paved public trails.

The longest of the two is the Paul Bunyan Trail, over 100 miles in length and which includes over 80 paved miles. The paved areas include 73 miles from Brainerd/Baxter running all the way to Walker and another 7 miles from Lake Bemidji State Park to County Road 20 across the Mississippi River trestle to 5th and Gould. There are at least 14 towns along the way offering rest stops and parking, shopping and eating establishments. The trail is handicapped accessible. Whether you are walking, jogging, in-line skating, biking, cross country skiing or snowmobiling this is where it is happening.

The second trail in the immediate Brainerd Lakes Country area is the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail which at this time has approximately six paved miles. It features biking, in-line skating, jogging, hiking and cross country skiing opportunities in some of the most breathtaking scenery in Minnesota. It is located in the five thousand acre Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area and winds around a number of Minnesota’s newest lakes. These lakes were created after mining operations ended on the historic Cuyuna Iron Range. Who knows, while enjoying the trail you might see a bald eagle overhead or stumble across a piece of binghamite or silkstone under foot. While you’re in the area be sure to visit the many antique shops in downtown Crosby.

Just remember, whether you’re here to visit or here for a lifetime take a moment - shut off the cell phone, the i-pod and computer and go out and enjoy the peace and tranquility of one of our local recreational trails.

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