Discover the Mesabi Trail
The Mesabi Trail rolls across the Iron Range from Hibbing to Aurora, with endpoints in Ely in the east and Grand Rapids in the west. As it passes through our communities, there’s something special to see in each one. Here are a few tips for your travels on the Mesabi Trail:
Hibbing – with a trailhead parking area at the Greyhound Bus Museum, you can check off a must-see on the Range. This quirky museum is jam-packed with Greyhound memorabilia. Why? Well it’s the company’s birthplace, of course!
Chisholm – A short jaunt from the trail is Minnesota Discovery Center, the museum of the Iron Range. Park your wheels for a spell and explore the indoor and outdoor exhibits, and the vintage trolley ride.
Buhl – The Mesabi Trail passes by two mine lakes in Buhl, as well as a beach area if you need a quick cool-down. If you’re into disc golf, there’s a great little course here, that takes you into the woods, lakeside.
Mountain Iron – Mountain Iron’s Locomotive Park is right on the trail, and offers a shaded picnic area next to an excellent outdoor exhibit on the mining process. In the distance, you’ll see Minntac’s Minnesota Ore Operations.
Virginia – At Olcott Park, you’re just a block or two away from The Freeze (off the official trail but on the sidewalk), and you can guess what they have there! Keep heading east for a fantastic view of a former mine pit. Just look 200 or so feet down!
Gilbert – Ride between rock-cut walls along this scenic portion of the trail, just outside Gilbert. If you missed your chance for ice cream in Virginia, try Kandyz N Konez on Gilbert’s main drag, or grab a porketta sandwich at the Wandering Pines restaurant.
— Please note, as of May 2023, there is a 5.5-mile gap in the trail from McKinley, three miles outside Gilbert, to Biwabik. You may hop on Hwy 135 and follow it from McKinley to Biwabik. The trail picks up again on the east side of town.
Biwabik – Stop for a selfie with Honk the Moose, a statue of the character in a delightful children’s book by the same name. Grab a bite at Vi’s if you love pizza, or try a pasty at Carlson’s Pasty and Sausage Kitchen.
Aurora – Do and out-and-back to Aurora, and ride around the scenic St James Mine Lake. Rudy’s and The Hive are two restaurants waiting to welcome you.
Giants Ridge – This scenic stretch passes by Giants Ridge resort. Next, the Mesabi Trail leads you to the Darwin Myers Wildlife Management Area and a floating bridge over a bog on your way to Embarrass and beyond.
Contact us for trip planning assistance: 218-749-8161, and visit the Mesabi Trail website for more information.