Hillside Park in Elk River: technical heaven among the switchbacks

I rode the all the trails in Elk River’s Hillside Park last Friday and I was stunned at how fun it was. The DirtWirx crew has packed a huge number of challenging technical areas into a twisty 7 miles of fast , switchback-infested singletrack.

Hillside Park in Elk River Fee station: Hillside Park in Elk River Fee station: Hillside Park in Elk River Fee station: Hillside Park in Elk River
The $4 daily fee is a bargain.  I don’t understand why more city/county parks don’t charge a usage fee for mountain biking.

And to paraphrase what I wrote yesterday, while Elk River is about 90 minutes from Northfield, it’s very close to the mountain bike park at Elm Creek Park. So a day trip that consisted of a few hours at each park would be saaaaaweeet.


MTB development at Hillside Park in Elk River MTB development at Hillside Park in Elk River MTB development at Hillside Park in Elk River
And guess what they’re building?

See the large slideshow (recommended) of 30 photos of Hillside’s technical obstacles (taken with my Android’s crappy camera) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:


Tina by Sue Seeger Tina by Sue Seeger Tina by Sue Seeger
And about halfway through the ride I met Tina, a most amazing sculpture by Sue Seeger:

Sue Seeger with Tina at Hillside ParkTina was created from an old stock car found here in the woods of Hillside Park. She took over 2 years to make, using my own time and supplies, and is for everyone who enjoys this park and trail.

Please be cool and help look out for her. Thanks — Sue Seeger.

More info and pics can be found by googling: suelandia — tina’s home

See Sue’s November 2010 blog post that chronicles (with many photos) the entire process of creating Tina.


  1. sue seeger said:

    Super cool Griff. The feature pics are awesome. So nice to see them photographed so beautifully with a bike for frame of reference. Rich Omdahl (Zilla), the Dirtwirx founder and our trail steward has put his heart and soul into this trail, (as well and a lot of sweat and some blood too, heh heh). Our whole crew is super proud of this place. Thanks for the wonderful tribute!

    May 4, 2012
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    You’re welcome, Sue. The heart and soul that the Dirtwirx crew has put into Hillside’s trails is evident. The heart and soul that you put into creating Tina and then blogging about it honors their work in a way that’s just stunning.

    Long live Tina!

    May 4, 2012
  3. Frank Stanton said:

    It’s definitely been too long since I’ve been up there. I may need to make a trip out the next few weekends just to play on their features.

    Are they building a dual slalom course?

    May 7, 2012
  4. I grew up in Fridley, and Pex woods was our playground…This is quite a patch of woods…nice..!

    June 6, 2015
  5. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks for the history update, Steven. Have you ridden Hillside lately?

    June 12, 2015

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