Construction of the new trailhead is underway at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area (SRA) in Ironton (north of Brainerd). Most of the recreation area will remain open throughout the construction season, however the Pennington Mine Lake public water access, Huntington Mine Lake carry-in canoe access and the road to Miner’s Mountain Overlook will be closed temporarily for visitor safety.
Signs will be posted and trail users will be directed to the Croft Mine parking area.
“There will be some inconvenience this summer, but the end product will be worth it,” said SRA manager Steve Weber.
The new facility will provide 96 additional parking spots, changing stations, picnic shelter, vault toilet and new walkway with waterfront access to Huntington Mine Lake. The project is expected to take 8-10 weeks, and managers are optimistic the new facility will be open for use before Labor Day Weekend.
The 25-mile mountain bike trail system will remain open throughout construction, as will the Yawkey trailhead area, the paved Cuyuna Lakes State Trail and the campground.
The SRA will also be getting three yurts this summer. Yurts are round tents set on wooden platforms and furnished with bunk beds, tables, chairs and a wood stove. The yurts, each of which will sleep up to six people, are being built on the west side of the Yawkey Mine Lake. The yurt location is northeast of the existing campground, which has 25 first-come, first-served campsites and a group camp, with showers and flush toilets typically available from April through October.
Funding for the new facilities is from bonding and the Park and Trails Fund, created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008. The Parks and Trails Fund receives 14.25 percent of the sales tax revenue and may only be spent to support parks and rails of regional or statewide significance.
For construction updates and more information including a map showing where the new facilities are being built, visit www.mndnr.gov/cuyuna or contact the DNR Information Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-6157, 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.