Iron Range fall drives are fabulous, but for a unique perspective, try a fall ride on the Mesabi Trail. No other trail is as long, colorful and full of historic and scenic sites as the Mesabi Trail, named “Minnesota’s Best Rural Bike Trail” by the Star Tribune. Multiple route options give everyone a chance to experience the quiet forests, clear lakes and welcoming communities of the Range. From scenic overlooks to quiet forests, sunny open fields and views of both active and reclaimed mineland, the Mesabi Trail is an experience bicyclists won’t want to miss.
At 115 miles, this trail’s width is 10 to 14 feet. More than 20 access points make it easy to find, and the modest fee of $5.00 for a three-day pass or $25 for an annual pass makes it affordable in every way.
Along the way, find places to stay, eat and shop, or just enjoy the peaceful ride through the woods. If you’d rather have your route planned out, contact Chris Johnson of the Mesabi Trail Shuttle Service, for best rides, lodging options, even dining and snacking recommendations.
Shuttle service includes transportation for riders, bikes, gear and luggage, with bicycle repair options at the Giants Ridge Rental Shop. From Giants Ridge ejnoy the scenic ride past Wynne and Sabin lakes. A spur trail in Aurora follows the cliff-line of Saint James Mine Pit Lake.
Looking for something off-road? While the Mesabi Trail is queen of the paved experience, Giants Ridge offers trails that any mountain biker will enjoy. Climb 40 km of maintained mountainside trails, consisting of single track, cross-country ski trails, snowmobile trails and abandoned logging roads.
For the truly adventurous, join the “Legendary Laurentian” bike ride Saturday, September 20 at Giants Ridge. This multi-surface “gravel” event is $20 per person and includes lunch and door prizes.
Travel planning, lodging, maps, attractions: www.ironrange.org
Giants Ridge golf, disc golf, rentals, bicycle trails and the Legendary Laurentian: www.giantsridge.com
Mesabi Trail information: www.mesabitrail.com