FATMAP by Strava

Pedal Classic Midwestern Singletrack at Levis Mounds

Sample three of the best routes in the classic Levis Mounds Trail System.

Mountain Biking Easy, Difficult

Levis Mounds: Front Mounds
Photo: Greg Heil


Levis and Trow Mounds (referred to as “Levis Mounds” or simply “Levis” by locals) could quite possibly be one of the first trail systems in the world built by mountain bikers, for mountain bikers. While most other historic trail networks began life as hiking trails that cyclists began to explore on improvised offroad bicycles, the first singletrack at Levis Mounds was constructed by mountain bikers in the mid ‘80s shortly after the Specialized Rockhopper was released.

Since those early beginnings, the singletrack network at Levis has continued to grow and change, developing into a roughly 25-mile trail system that not only functions as a local hotspot, but also as one of the premiere mountain biking destinations in the Midwestern USA. Perusing the Levis parking lot will reveal license plates from all over the nation. Whether it’s mountain bikers making the pilgrimage from the nearby population centers of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, or Chicago in Illinois, or riders from far-flung corners of the nation stopping through in the middle of a road trip, the name “Levis” is well-established in the mountain biking lexicon.

In this guidebook, you’ll find the top three recommended routes through this iconic trail system. Up first, the “Long Loop” heads to the far corners of the trail system on cross country-focused singletrack. For a more technical challenge, stick to the Front Mounds for rocky, rooty, steep singletrack. And for a truly epic ride, combine both of these routes together! Finally, if you’re a beginner rider just looking to get your tires wet, consider this 3.7-mile Beginner Loop with a mere 197 feet of climbing.

Routes included

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