With a name that piques immediate interest, the gravel grind biking concept is taking Minocqua by storm! In fact, Minocqua Winter Park is hosting their first annual Dirty Squirrel Gravel Grind race this October, open to all those crazy nuts (get it...squirrel...) looking for an adventurous ride! So with all this buzz, we had to ask ourselves, what in the world is Gravel Grind Biking and why are guests at our resort going head-over-pedals for it?
What is Gravel Grind Biking?
Riders of all ages and skill levels agree that to define "gravel grind biking" or simply "gravel biking" is to already take away a fundamental piece of its meaning. To gravel ride is to be free on the open terrain, with no limitations, no restrictions, nothing defining you or the course. While gravel is found in the language used to describe this "indescribable" form of free riding, it doesn't necessarily mean to ride on gravel or rocky conditions. Some agree that riding on smooth, open road can be considered gravel riding, others would argue that steep, uncharted, mountain backs define what a gravel grind course looks like. What we've determined after hours of reading and watching videos on the sport is that whoever chooses to ride on whichever terrain they ride, does so with the spirit of adventure at their feet.
Minocqua's 1st Annual Gravel Grind Race
From the race overview, "We are happy to present the first annual Dirty Squirrel Gravel Grind [October 2, 2021]. Taking its name From Squirrel Hill this gravel bike race mixes the vast trail system here at Minocqua Winter Park with some of Oneida County's beautiful gravel roads to bring to you a truly unique race experience. We are offering two distances; the Little Nut is 12 miles with 500ft of elevation change and the Big Nut is 30 miles with 1250ft of elevation change. Both races begin and end in front of the Minocqua Winter Park chalet."
WinMan Trails Offers Perfect Opportunity to Get Your Grind On!
WinMan Trails of Westchester, WI (just north of Birch Trail Resort, in Minocqua, WI) "is a non-profit trail system spanning 1,300 acres of private and public land. [Their] Mission is to inspire adventure and strengthen community by sharing an exceptional outdoor trail-related experience." (source) What WinMan defines as fast/flowy trails and technical downhills can also be defined as Gravel Grind Trails by those in the counter-bike culture. Riders from all over the Wisconsin area can enjoy serious grind riding all season long at this impressive resource to the area.
While I think I'll leave the hard-core, deep-slope, gravel grind biking to the professionals, after learning about this exciting genre of adventure biking, I'm ready to head to one of the gentle-grind kind-of trails to give it a try. Hope you join me soon!
Are you interested in participating in the Dirty Squirrel Gravel Grind this year? Want to check out the WinMan trails? Need a place to stay while you're up here? Great! Birch Trail Resort has the perfect accommodations to settle your bones after a day of gravel riding adventure. Give us a call today to book a cabin. 715-588-1962.