Running through the colorful heart of northern Minnesota's Iron Range region, the Mesabi Trail is well on its way to becoming one of the finest long-distance paved trails in the U.S. when complete, the trail will run for 145 miles between Grand Rapids and Ely. As of early 2012, about 115 miles are complete between Grand Rapids and Wynne Lake, with side spur to Aurora. There's a 3-mile section in Soudan and another 3 miles in Ely.
From the perspective of the recreational trail user, the Mesabi Trail provides an opportunity to connect with nature as the trail winds through woods, stream areas, ponds and lakes. Animal sightings on the trail are common, with deer, raccoons, beavers, eagles, hawks and even the black bear being relatively common sights. For history buffs, the trail is an open window onto the mining past, and present, of the Iron Range as the Mesabi Trail takes users past manmade mine-pit lakes, old iron ore pits and still-working iron ore mines.
Because the trail connects with so many towns and tourist attractions, such as the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth, Hill Annex Mine State Park near Calumet and the Forest History Center in Grand Rapids, the Mesabi Trail is also seen as a way to get from place to place without always hopping in a car.
Access and parking are too numerous to list here. Visit the Mesabi Trail online for specific directions.