Minnesota School of Diving Inc.

Since 1959







Local Diving

Crosby - Ironton Cuyuna Mines


Located just 12 miles from our Brainerd location near the towns of Crosby and Ironton, is the Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area - home to some of the best diving in the Midwest.  This beautiful park with its crystal-clear water filled mines boast submerged mine shafts, building foundations, vehicles, road beds, forests, shear walls and depths of up to 530 feet. The mines have been stocked with trout, bass and northern pike. Its also not uncommon to see loons swimming by. The main attraction though would have to be the visibility which ranges from 30 to 60 feet.    

The Minnesota School of Diving has created over 50 unique dive sites in the Cuyuna State Rec. Area - appropriate for all levels of experience. Our experienced staff of dive masters would love to show you some of their favorites. We sponsor group fun dives to the area up to three times a week in the summer.  Dive masters can also be hired to lead you on individual dives. If you would rather go it alone, stop in the store for some suggestions and pick up some of our dive maps of the rec area. They describe what you'll see underwater at each of the different dive sites, and are the only ones that accurately depict the often confusing roads.

Diving Activities

Fun Dives


Fun dives are conducted in the Cuyuna State Rec. Area one weeknight and every Saturday per week from May through October (often two weeknights per week in July and August). Fun dives offer up a BBQ with hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, cookies, water and soda; half price on rental equipment; and (at least) two experienced MSD PADI Dive Masters for help and guidance. 


Our fun dives were created for both the experienced diver and those who are either new to diving or have been out of the sport for some time. Experienced divers often appreciate the chance to get to some of the more obscure sites that fun dives afford, and the fact that they are commonly buddied up with experienced local divers - who can show them where all the cool stuff is. For those with less experience, a dive master will be available underwater for guidance during the dive. Another will be on the surface for help with logistics, getting in and out of the water, and most importantly - manning the grill. Fun dives are also a great way for snorkelers to get in the action. Many of the best things to see are close to shore and easily visible from the surface.


MSD has created over 50 shore entry dive/snorkel sites in the Cuyuna Rec Area. Each of these has at least two directions and a multitude of depths in which divers can blow bubbles (Alstead South has 6 different directions available). With this in mind, you will appreciate our dive masters extensive knowledge and experiece in the "pits" and their ability to show you where to go and what to see. The exact site of each fun dive will be determined based on current dive conditions, number of participants and number of vehicles.  


Cost: Diver / Snorkeler $20


Times: Weeknight Dives - meet at MSD Brainerd at 5:00 PM (4:30 if rental is needed). The van leaves at 5:30 PM sharp and returns by 9:00 PM. Weeknight dives in September leave MSD at 5:00 PM because of limited daylight.


Saturday Dives - meet at MSD Brainerd by 11:00 AM (10:30 if rental is needed). The van leaves at 11:30 AM sharp and returns by 3:00 PM.


Please call MSD Brainerd in you plan on attending. 218-829-5953 or 800-657-2822

Curious about our last fun dive? Click here...

Private Dives With Dive Master

If the fun dive schedule doen't work, MSD's staff of dive masters are available to take divers out for a 2-tank dive on an individual basis.  


Groups of 1 or 2: $75.00 - Includes a dive master and half-priced rental (if returned immediately after dives).


Groups of 3 to 4:  $125.00 - Includes a dive master and half-priced rental (if returned immediately after dive).


Transportation in one of our vans can be arrange for an additional $25.00.

Please call MSD at least a day or two before you want to dive 218-829-5953 or 800-657-2822

Pumpkin Carving Contest 


Every year on the last Saturday fun dive we host an underwater pumpkin carving contest. Prizes are awarded for the winning pumpkins in each of two divisions; pumpkins carved with a dive knife, and those carved with specialty tools. Prize catagories in the past have included but not limited to; best overall, most creative, biggest suck-up (pumpkin carved into MSD logo), looks most like Todd, and "what the... ?!!". Prizes have included t-shirts, sweatshirts, aircards, hydrotests, etc.  



This is a B.Y.O.P.G. event (bring your own pumpkin - gutted).

Normal fun dive schedule and fees apply.

Ice Fun Dive


MSD offers an Ice Fun Dive every year at the end of the Ice Diver Certification class. The class ends Sunday morning, and since everything is already set up and ready to go, we figure this is a good time for the general diving public to come out and give it a try. Divers will slip into a harness, be designated a line tender, and go down with a guide. Dive usually last 15 to 20 minutes - which is sufficient time to do all the fun stuff under the ice ie., play with your bubbles under the ice which take on the characteristics of mercury, or try under-ice skiing (simply invert yourself under the ice add some air to your BC, give four pulls and let the tender pull you to the hole - which you will pop out of feet first upon arrival).


Specifics: Sunday March 13th, 2016 at 1:00 pm - Call Brainerd for details, limited space.  

MSD Cuyuna Dive Fest

"Three Days of Peace, Love and Neoprene"


Starting in 2001 Dive Fest has been held every year on the last full weekend in September. It is a three day festival of diving, camping, music and prize give-aways. Attendance usually hovers around 100... that was until 2011. Because of the popularity of Cuyuna's new mountain bike trail system and the resulting late season demand for space at the DNR's Portsmouth Campground - our usual  venue, our request for exclusive use of the campground on our traditional weekend was not granted this last year. We will be working closely with the DNR on an alternative location and schedule with the hopes of bringing back Dive Fest in the fall of 2012, albiet in a slightly different form. Stay posted and we will let you know how planning is proceeding.