Catch a Sunset at Cuyuna State Recreational Area

Cuyuna Lake Trail, Minnesota

based on 2 reviews


Added by Jordan Mileski

The sunsets at Cuyuna Rec Area are on par with the BWCAW. Calm water and tremendous reflections bring out the best in every sunset, and it's definitely worth making a fire and watching with friends on a beautiful summer night.

Cuyuna is widely known for its world class mountain biking. However, did you know it's also one of the best places to watch the sun rise and set. Not to mention it's so rarely frequented that only the locals use it as a campground.

There are two different options when going to Cuyuna to watch a sunset. The first is the easiest, and it's in the main parking lot for the Cuyuna Mountain Biking range. Off of the parking lot are two different lakes, both are excellent for seeing reflections. There is also a road off the back of the parking lot that will take you to a scenic overlook, however, it's not always open as sometimes the road gets washed out.

The second option is to drive past the parking lot entrance about a quarter mile until you see Silkstone Drive on your left. Make sure your vehicle can handle some gravel and bumps though. From Silkstone there are dozens of roads you can wander around on until you find the right spot. Each road ends in a different, unique location on a lake, and nearly every location has somewhere to set up a bonfire and pitch a tent if desired.

My personal favorite is the very first road to the Left off of Silkstone. The road will bring you to two different clearings, each is beautiful. At night you can hear the beavers splash their tails against the water and loons call to each other.

This is the perfect place to stay if you are looking for a secluded, beautiful, and peaceful place to relax. 

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Catch a Sunset at Cuyuna State Recreational Area Reviews

Whether you're stoked on mountain biking or want to get out on a canoe or SUP, Cuyuna is an awesome outdoor rec spot. There's plenty of parking and bathrooms throughout, plus handicap-accessible ramps to the water and adaptable trails (great for people with mobility devices and kid bike trailers!). I recommend stopping for the wild rice and chickpea burger at the Croft Pub in Crosby before or after your ride/paddle. The Hudson is a cafe in Ironton (even closer to the trails) that has great coffee and food. I loved the veggie wrap. Both restaurants have gluten-free options. If you want sweets, go to Victual in Crosby for some incredible ice cream made on site. Church basement lemon bar is my fave but complex strawberry is a close second!

We love to spend time in this area riding all the great MTB trails. Sunsets (& sunrises) produce some amazing colors & the pit mine lakes are usually all glass so you can get some amazing reflection photos.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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