Thirty years after its official completion, the Taconite Trail (connecting Grand Rapids to the Iron Range, to Ely) is still a favorite Minnesota trail among snowmobilers. Spanning 165 miles, the trail was one of the first of its kind, designed as a major artery in a system of smaller, spur-like trails. The Taconite helped jumpstart the popularity of snowmobile touring, and brought a new kind of tourist to the region.

Many Reasons to Love the Taconite

With scenery that ranges from rock outcroppings and varied elevations to towering pines and diverse forests, the Taconite Trail takes visitors into the heart of northern Minnesota landscapes. It even winds through parts of two state forests, Bear Head Lake and McCarthy Beach. Another plus: the Taconite Trail links to another artery trail, the Arrowhead, as well as to Iron Range towns including Hibbing, Chisholm, Virginia, Mountain Iron, Eveleth and Biwabik, where lodging and dining await.

A Trail for All Seasons?

Much beloved as a  snowmobile trail, and built for that purpose, the Taconite Trail is open to summer use by hikers and horseback riders. Some portions of the trail cross swamps, however, and anyone who uses the trail when the ground is not frozen should check with the DNR regarding trail conditions. Get trail maps here, and trail conditions here.