Planning on off-roading on The Range? Read on for trip ideas that will take you through cities like Biwabik, Aurora and Hoyt Lakes, with a trip to the Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area in Gilbert and over the state’s tallest bridge in Virginia.
Find a Home Base
The Ranger multi-use trails connect Biwabik and Giants Ridge Resort with the communities of Aurora and Hoyt Lakes, offering 22 miles of wooded trails with scenic overlooks along the way. When off-roading on the Range, camp at Vermilion Trail Campground in Biwabik, Fisherman’s Point Campground in Hoyt Lakes, or stay in accommodations like the Country Inn of Hoyt Lakes, and The Villas or The Lodge, both at Giants Ridge. Vacation rentals abound in this area as well.
Stony Spur II and the Jackpot Loop are accessible from the Range communities via Hwy 11 (Superior National Forest Scenic Byway) and forest roads. From Hoyt Lakes (the easternmost city on the Ranger trail system), follow the shoulder of Hwy 11 to the Skibo Road/Forest Road 120, then turn onto Forest Road 113. From there, go north and east to Forest Road 112, where you will enter the 25 mile Jackpot system. The Jackpot is a largely remote loop in the Superior National Forest, and connects to the Stony Spur, which leads into Babbitt. Note: these trails are open to ATVs, SXS and highway-legal vehicles only.
As Long As You’re Here…
The off-roading is great on The Range, but there’s a lot of other things to see and do. If you want to stay on the trails, take a trip to the Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area in Gilbert. There, you’ll find more than 20 miles for ATVs, plus motorcycle and Jeep-specific trails. Cross over into the Expansion area and follow the core trail for 13 more miles to the Tom Rukavina Memorial Bridge, Minnesota’s tallest. It spans the former Rouchleau Mine, and active mining is visible from the bridge to the south. You can head into Virginia for food and drink, or scoot back to Gilbert where numerous bars and restaurants can be found on the main drag, just blocks from Sherwood Forest Campground.
Map It Out
When it comes to navigation, the Avenza app is recommend by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. You can also try the Polaris RideCommand app. Use then on the trail, even without cell service to help you on track. When you are planning your trip, the Coalition of Recreational trail users map is the one you want. Request a free copy of North and South St Louis County, or Cook and Lake Counties. We’ll also mail you a vacation planning guide with info on campgrounds, hotels/motels, attractions and things to do. See you soon!