Downtown Crosby Winter Pic

Mining to Mecca-Crosby, MN

In Antiques, Cabins, Canoe and Kayak, Community, Fat Biking, Lake Life, Outdoor Recreation, Skiing, Small Town, Small Town Culture, Snowmobiling, State Parks, Travelby My Town TodayLeave a Comment

Crosby banner over Main Street

My Town Destination: Crosby, MN Crow Wing County

Trip Type: Weekend Trip

Date of Visit: 3/8/19-3/10/19

Town Ambassador/Contact: Jessica Vukelich Phone: (218) 546-8131
Driving into Crosby on Highway 6, you see the scenery change as the road transforms into beautiful expansive lakes that span for miles. You begin to see signs for fisherman and outdoor outfitters, welcoming you to the Cuyuna Lakes Region, fueling excitement to get outside the car and explore.

Crosby is part of the Cuyuna Lakes Region encompassing over 500 lakes and 60,000 residents in a beautiful outdoor playground offering spin and ice fishing, kayaking, mountain biking, hunting, skiing, snowmobiling, fat biking, and so much more! You have many lake choices including: Serpent Lake, Natural Lakes and the upper Mississippi River. Cuyuna is affectionately named after the founder of the region, Cuyler Adams, and his dog Una. Now 100 years later, the Cuyuna Lakes Region has become a unique culture all its own.

The Cuyuna Range used to be home to one of the largest mining operations in the U.S. and Crosby, once a mining town, is now a recreational haven to its 2,400 residents and annual visitors.

Two of the greatest attractions are the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails and the Mine Lakes. The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails are comprised of 28 miles and 30 red dirt trails. The trails travel through Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, Crosby, Ironton, Cuyuna and Rivertown. The Mine Lakes were created from the second phase of mining the Cuyuna Range after World War I. The method used large pits and machinery to move mass amounts of earth to reach the Iron Ore. When mining ceased in 1986, what remained were rock piles and minerals that created natural lakes so clear you can see over 20 feet down! The Mine Lakes are famous for their pristine water and trout fishing.

Cuyuna History

The Cuyuna Range is an iron range that lies predominantly in Crow Wing County. The Cuyuna Range is a large part of shaping the history and current events in Crosby.

Crosby, founded in 1910 as a mining town, was named for George H. Crosby, a businessman in the mining industry. Mining with tunnels and shafts were a familiar site before World War 1, but after the War the mining industry changed. During the war over thirty underground mines were active on the Cuyuna Range, but after only a few remained, including the Milford Mine. On February 5, 1924 water rushed in from an adjacent lake into the Milford Mine, killing forty one men in minutes. It was Minnesota’s greatest mining tragedy. You can learn more about the mining disaster and the history of Crosby at the Soo Line Depot Museum. Make sure to ask for Don, you may see him working in the gardens out front! Also, check out the Croft Mine Historical Site to see mining artifacts, and take a simulated mining tour!

During the changes in the Mining industry, a Crosby businessman was also making a name for himself. Ernest W. Hallett was an  industrious businessman who’s accomplishments include starting the First National Bank in Crosby. His name is on several sites including the Community Center and Library.

Hallett House

His home, now the Hallett House Bed and Breakfast, is a beautiful place to explore. Stay when you visit Crosby, and learn the history of Crosby’s most famous philanthropist.

Outdoor Destination

Ice Fishing at Red Rider Resort

Crosby and the Cuyuna Lakes Region have become an outdoor destination due to its natural beauty, the Cuyuna Range Lakes, and most importantly, the communities investment in theses resources to create trail systems that now draw outdoor enthusiasts nationwide. As a visitor, it’s a memorable experience to rent a snowmobile or a fat bike and head right to a trail for hours of fun. The snowmobile trails are part of the culture in the Cuyuna Region. You can travel from town to town, have lunch and venture across the frozen lakes. For more information about the trails click here.

Snowmobiling from Hansen Sports

There are so many outdoor experiences to be had in Crosby, its hard to know where to begin. Here are several wonderful places to service your recreational needs:

Red Raven Bike Cafe

Red Raven Bike Cafe– Not only can you rent a Fat Bike here, you can pick up trails on site, and grab a great sandwich or soup afterwards. Or if you rent from Cycle Path and Paddle shuttle service is available. Hansen Sports on Bay Lake offers marine and powersport sales, rentals, and maintenance year round! Hansen’s is family owned and operated for over 70 years, take advantage of the general store including live bait sales, gas docks, and the smallest liquor store in Minnesota located on site. Red Rider Resort– Amazing cabins outfitted for hikers, bikers, and outdoor enthusiasts, located on the mine lakes. This location is also right in the heart of biking trails, and minutes from downtown Crosby.

A New Chapter

Iron Range Eatery

Crosby is a town that is booming with growth.  As you walk through town, you can see several buildings that are in complete renovation, bringing in new businesses and patrons to its main streets.  Investment’s continue to steadily be made to accommodate the growing outdoor destination that Crosby has become. Locally owned Red Rider Resort, Iron Range Eatery and Cuyuna Brewing Co. are a few of the entrepreneurs catering to the growing need.

Cuyuna Brewing Co.

In addition, there are several local favorites you don’t want to miss. When is the last time you went bowling? Stop in at Cuyuna Lanes and enjoy some small town fun. Looking for a great breakfast? Stop in at North Country Cafe or the Croft Pub and Grub. Special dinner plans? Check out the Iron Range Eatery and stop in at the Crosby Bar and Grill for an after dinner drink.

Wood Tick Inn

The unique environment of the Cuyuna Lakes Region and Crosby creates wonderful experiences for visitors. Events such as The Wood Tick Races, and the Ice Fishing Contest and Scorpion Snowmobile Homecoming give you something so unique you can only experience it here.

Scorpion Homecoming-Picture by: Randy Harrison

Crosby’s a place where you can walk into an antique shop, and to your surprise and delight, also meet the Mayor who owns the store. A place where you can walk down the street to the market, or to the local watering hole and sit with life-long friends. But even with the growth that is turning Crosby into a beautiful and charming destination, it has not altered its presence as a small town. The friendly residents and welcoming feel, truly make you slow down and unwind. It makes you remember the values a small town brings to quality of life, and that a small town is a great place to visit.

MTT Antique and Market Finds

Hallett Antique Emporium

Great Antique Shops and Farmers Markets are familiar sights in small towns. This can include Thrift Shops, Local Eats, and the like! Crosby’s famous for their Antique shops, and has become a Minnesota destination. Here are some great MTT Antique and Market Finds from Crosby.

Pine Cone Antiques, Hallett Antique Emporium , Gifts Galore, Cranberries on Main, 202 Antiques on Main, Crow Wing Antiques

MTT Referral

My Town Today has started a referral section of each article. It’s based on the fun of visiting a town, and finding out what town the majority of its citizens would recommend for My Town to visit next.

The referral for this entry is: Aitkin, MN. Stay tuned for My Town Today to pop up there soon.

Crosby Photo Gallery: Click Here

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