Duluth becoming a mountain bike destination

By KBJR News 1

August 2, 2014 Updated Aug 2, 2014 at 6:03 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Duluth's mountain bike trail system is expanding to over 100 miles. The buzz about the growth is bringing people here from all over the country just to ride their bikes.

"We came up here to check out the new mountain bike trails. We came all the way from Arkansas to ride 'em" said Mountain Biker, Dylan VanSandt

Dylan VanSandt is in Duluth with his dad and brother and their three bikes to rock the trails.

"It's fantastic, they look like they're straight out of a magazine, they're beautiful" said VanSandt.

"We won't be just one of the few people who show up for this, you'll have people here from all over the country just to ride this trail system, it's great" said Mountain Biker, David VanSandt.

Dylan's father, David knows because they ride all over the country and he says mountain bikers will love Duluth for many reasons.

"Mountain bikers aren't just mountain bikers, mountain bikers are also outdoors people. They're gonna be out here hiking, running, fishing, playing in the water, going down to have a beer and have something to eat. Whatever it is, Duluth has it, they really do" said VanSandt.

Mountain biking continues to grow in the Northland and there is a group who is responsible.

"Mostly because of COGGS, which is our local bike advocacy group. They are building an unbelievable amount of trails" said Marketing & Community Outreach for Continental Bike & Ski, Kraig Decker.

In fact, COGGS is building over a hundred miles of trails that stretch through the city connecting different nature areas in which to ride. It's called the Duluth Traverse and the adventure it holds is meant for everyone.

"The intent of the Duluth Traverse is to provide a very accessible trail. It's meant to be ridden by all abilities. A beginner can go out and have a great time, but it's still built in a way that an experienced rider will have an incredible experience everywhere in Duluth" said COGGS Co-Chairperson, Waylon Munch.

And by everywhere, they mean everywhere because Duluth has a unique aspect to it in terms of trails.

"You can live anywhere in this town and have a trail within five minutes of your door. That is very rare in any city" said Munch.

As mountain biking continues to grow, those in the business are seeing growth as well.

"We are setting up shop at the base of Spirit Mountain" said Decker.

And beginning in August, people won't need to own a bike to enjoy the beautiful trails Duluth has to offer.

"People can then show up at the base of Spirit Mountain, rent a bike and go and rip around on the trails" said Decker.

Which just adds to the many reasons why Duluth has been voted the best outdoor city in America.

A showcase event called the Kraus-Anderson Bike Duluth Festival will highlight much of the biking work that has been done. That event will be held August 16th and 17th.

Bryce Henry