Surrounded by the Superior National Forest, the Mesabi Iron Range has a number of trail systems just outside our communities, plus many within a short drive. Some hikes are rich with economic  history and mine views, others are rich with untouched natural beauty.

The RedHead Hiking Trails at Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm offer an iconic Mesabi experience – view the maps (note, this is also a mountain bike trail system, with specific trails designated for hiking) and routes at right!

Whether you are looking for a trail close to town or one far from the nearest highway, an easy walking trail with your family or a challenging hike with a friend- there is something for everyone.

We’ve picked some of our favorite area trails and linked to their maps below!

Trails of all sizes, trails for all days

RedHead Mountain Bike Hiking Trails

All trails are open to mountain bike use. Download map.

Pedestrian Use

Best practices in integrating pedestrian use into the bike park would include 1) giving pedestrian users suggested routes that will provide good/variety of experiences, 2) instilling a “yield to bikes” guideline by moving into a single file and stepping slightly off the inside/uphill side of the trail, and 3) combining 1 and 2, managing pedestrian use in the opposite direction of bike use when practicable.

 Pedestrian Suggested Routes

Spell Bound Loop- Beginning on the lower leg, walking to an enhanced overlook (clear trees and provide 180-degree views), and coming back on the upper leg (generally against most bike traffic) provides a 15-30-minute walk. This would be an easy walk.

North Star Loop (Counter Clockwise) ~4-mile loop, building off the Spell Bound direction of travel, that brings pedestrians down to and back out of the pit. This would be an moderately challenging experience. Expect a 30-minute run at expert pace and up to 1.5 hour hike.

Fracture Falls Loop (Counter Clockwise, Spell Bound South-North Star-Glen Line-Fractured Falls- Glen Line-North Star-Spell Bound North) ~4 miles moderately challenging loop that brings visitors to the falls, up the narrow valley, past the geologically anomalous hematite formation, and back to the Discovery Center. This is a moderately challenging route that has significantly sleep slopes/exposure that make some users uncomfortable. Expect a 30-minute run at expert pace to a 1.5-hour hike.

Red Hop Loop (Counter Clockwise, Spell Bound South-North Star-Glen Line-Bright Side North-Red Hop-North Star South) ~6-mile loop that provides expansive views of the mining pit and walls. This is a difficult hike/run due to its length and elevation loss/gain. Expect an hour run at expert pace to a 2.5+- hour hike at a moderate pace.

Laurentian Divide

Hike all the way to Lookout Mountain for an amazing view of the Superior National Forest and this north-south watershed. Trailhead is just four miles north of Virginia on Hwy 53.  Get a map.

Carey Lakes Trail

Family-friendly with picnic areas, swimming beach and fishing pier. Trail loops are 2- to 4-miles long through woods near the lake. Inside Hibbing city limits. Map is here.

Giants Ridge

The trails at Giants Ridge in Biwabik afford excellent forest views with plenty of lakes to dot the landscape. Click here for the hiking trail map, and stay tuned for additional trails at the Giants Ridge Recreation Center this summer and fall!

Bird Lake Trail

Bird Lake Trail is 12 miles following the Superior National Forest Scenic Byway from Hoyt Lakes to Bird Lake. Find a map here.

Colby Lake Trail

For a scenic trail even little ones can explore, try the Colby Lake Trail, also in Hoyt Lakes. Access it from the parking lot of the Country Inn. Trail map here.

Mesabi Trail

The Mesabi Trail is a paved cycling and hiking trail offering amazing views of mine pit lakes and natural lakes across the Range. Click here for the map and find easy access points in every Mesabi Range community for a short or long walk or ride!

Big Aspen Recreation Area

Get the map and get out there! Year-round trail system just outside Virginia, MN Click here: Big Aspen Map