MN Biking Guide 2013-2014 : Page 11
SPECIAL SPONSORED SECTION One highlight is the old trestle bridge over Steamboat Lake. There are numerous lakeside resorts and lodging options, family-friendly attractions, and restaurants near the Heartland State Trail. The Heartland State Trail intersects with the Paul Bunyan State Trail near Walker. For more info: 218-308-2372; mndnr.gov/trails. Map online. Migizi Trail Location: Cass Lake Distance: 9 paved miles Description: This Chippewa National Forest trail forms a wide horseshoe around three sides of Pike Bay. There’s a trail parking area on the east side of the town of Cass Lake. From here, the trail follows Highway 2 on the north side of the bay before turning south into a forest of tall pines. There are rolling hills and curves along the way. At the trail’s end, follow a bike lane along a county road for a half-mile to the Heartland Trail, and bike the Heartland north for about three miles back to Cass Lake. A bike route in town will take you back to the Migizi parking lot. All together, this forms a loop of 14 miles. Migizi is the Ojibwe word for “eagle,” and there’s a good chance of seeing one soaring above the trail. *Most of the trail was closed in 2012 due to storm damage; check for updates on anticipated reopening in 2013. For more information: 218-335-8600; www.fs.fed.us/r9/chippewa. Map online. southern 50 miles run through Brainerd, Baxter, Merrifield, Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Jenkins, Pine River, Backus, and up through Hackensack. The part of the trail between Hackensack and the Heartland State Trail features some challenging hills. For nine miles, the trail winds and curves through the rolling hills of the Chippewa National Forest. (As an alternative to this hilly trail section, the Shingobee Connection is a six-mile bike trail that splits from the Paul Bunyan and takes riders directly into Walker; final segments of this trail should be completed by fall 2013.) The Paul Bunyan State Trail merges with the Heartland State Trail south of Walker and splits from it north of town. The northern portion of the trail passes lakes, fields, and woods and connects Walker, Benedict, Laporte, Guthrie, Nary, and Bemidji. A two-mile bike route follows Bemidji city streets, linking the trail on the north and south sides of town. The northernmost segment of the trail crosses the Mississippi River, follows the scenic shore of Lake Bemidji, and leads to Lake Bemidji State Park. For more info: 218-308-2372; mndnr.gov/trails. Map online. Bicycles and Service since 1945! Home of the National Trout Center • Root River State Trail • Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail Photo Courtesy of Explore MN Enjoy 60 miles of paved trails! www.prestonmntourism.com 1-888-845-2100 NORTHEASTERN MINNESOTA Gitchi-Gami State Trail Location: Along the North Shore of Lake Superior Distance: 29 paved miles in five segments: The longest sections are 15 miles from Gooseberry Falls State Park to Beaver Bay, and 3 miles between Schroeder and Tofte. Description: Biking this trail is an excellent way to enjoy Minnesota’s North Shore, with dramatic views of the big lake. Some of the trail runs parallel to Highway 61, and other parts of the trail travel through state parks on hilly terrain. One spur leads to the tourist attraction of Split Rock Lighthouse. The stretch from Schroeder to Tofte crosses the scenic Temperance River State Park, offering views of Carlton Peak. Stop and hike to the gorgeous Temperance River gorge. For more info: 651-296-6157; mndnr.gov/trails. Map online. Paul Bunyan State Trail MINNESO T A ... just a little above The PROCTOR Lake. Biking Trails & Comfy Hotels Await You in... Location: Between Brainerd and Bemidji Distance: 112 paved miles from Brainerd/ Baxter to Bemidji Description: The southern end of the Paul Bunyan State Trail runs through the scenic Brainerd Lakes area, a popular destination for fishing, golfing, and resort stays. The trail passes lakes, marshes, and forests, and crosses nine rivers and streams. The • City streets take you to the Willard Munger Trail • 3 Mountain Bike Trails at Spirit Mt. Welcome MS150 Riders! Proctor is proud to be the ‘starting’ line for the race. Watch for Come-Back Coupons in your Race Packets. More Info & Rooms Specials at: www.visitproctormn.com april 2013 | mnmo.com | B -11
Northeastern Minnesota Trails
Gitchi-Gami State Trail <br /> <br /> Location: Along the North Shore of Lake Superior <br /> <br /> Distance: 29 paved miles in five segments: The longest sections are 15 miles from Gooseberry Falls State Park to Beaver Bay, and 3 miles between Schroeder and Tofte.<br /> <br /> Description: Biking this trail is an excellent way to enjoy Minnesota’s North Shore, with dramatic views of the big lake. Some of the trail runs parallel to Highway 61, and other parts of the trail travel through state parks on hilly terrain. One spur leads to the tourist attraction of Split Rock Lighthouse. The stretch from Schroeder to Tofte crosses the scenic Temperance River State Park, offering views of Carlton Peak. Stop and hike to the gorgeous Temperance River gorge.<br /> <br /> For more info: 651-296-6157; mndnr.gov/trails. Map online.<br /> <br /> Mesabi Trail <br /> <br /> Location: Between Grand Rapids and Ely <br /> <br /> Distance: 115 paved miles. The longest paved section connects Grand Rapids to McKinley (approximately 75 miles) through the communities of Grand Rapids, Nashwauk, Keewatin, Hibbing, Chisholm, Mountain Iron and Virginia. When completed the Mesabi Trail will stretch from the Mississippi River (Grand Rapids) to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (Ely), traversing 132 miles and connecting 28 communities.<br /> <br /> Description: Experience rugged beauty along with the unique culture and small town charm of Minnesota’s Iron Range along the Mesabi Trail, built partially on old railroad beds and logging and mining roads. The Mesabi has a good combination of flat and hilly terrain, with views of woods, creeks, ponds, and rock walls hewn for the railroad track, along with several old mining pits now filled with emerald green water. Many campgrounds and local parks are easily accessible from the trail, highways, and nearby communities. Local attractions–such as the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth, Hill Annex Mine State Park near Calumet, the Forest History Center in Grand Rapids, and the world’s largest open pit iron mine in Hibbing—are within close proximity of the trail, as are food and lodging options. Shuttle services are available near all entry points.<br /> <br /> Fees: A wheel pass is required for those 18 and over using a wheeled device; $5 for a three-day pass, or $15 for a season pass.<br /> <br /> For more info: 877-637-2241; mesabitrail.com.<br /> <br /> Willard Munger State Trail <br /> <br /> Location: Between Hinckley and West Duluth <br /> <br /> Distance: 63 paved miles, connects to 6-mile Alex Laveau Memorial Trail <br /> <br /> Description: The northeast part of this trail runs through rugged rock-cuts and rock outcrops, with panoramic views of the St. Louis River. The southern part of the trail meanders through pine and aspen-covered rural countryside with picturesque small towns located along the route.<br /> <br /> In 1894, a raging fire swept through the Hinckley area, and a train carried the townspeople to safety, following the route that now features this bike trail. The Hinckley Fire Museum, near the trailhead, tells the compelling story of this tragic forest fire and its heroes. The trail passes fields, stands of woods, and links several small towns.<br /> <br /> The northern segment of the trail makes a gradual, 15-mile descent from Carlton to Duluth. This very scenic stretch crosses a bridge high over the tumbling St. Louis River, passes through Jay Cooke State Park, and follows a ridgeline with expansive views of forest, and eventually, fantastic views of both Lake Superior and Duluth.<br /> <br /> At Carlton, the six-mile Alex Laveau Memorial Trail runs near Jay Cooke State Park to Wrenshall and Highway 23.<br /> <br /> * Note: Due to 2012 storm damage, segments of the trail between Carlton and West Duluth were temporarily surfaced with gravel; check for updates on paving repairs.<br /> <br /> For more info: 218-485-5410; mndnr.gov/trails. Map online.