The Taconite State Trail runs for 165 miles between Grand Rapids and Ely, Minnesota, but only the first 6 miles in Grand Rapids are paved. Most of the trail is used in winter for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing, while mountain bikers and equestrians enjoy the trail in summer (sections are under standing water at times during summer).
Along the trail you will meander through birch-aspen-pine forests and past remote lakes, bogs and flowing streams. A portion of the trail follows an abandoned rail corridor, and from Grand Rapids north, you will see the environmental effects of the taconite and iron mining industries. Farther north the terrain is more wooded, and some of it quite rocky, and crosses the rolling hills of state and national forests, including Bear Head Lake, Soudan Underground Mine and McCarthy Beach.
Rest areas and picnic facilities along the Taconite State Trail provide scenic views of remote countryside. From Grand Rapids north to County Highway 61, the Taconite Trail follows the same course as the Mesabi Trail
, and at Pike River Flowage near Peyla, the Taconite Trail meets the southern end point of the Arrowhead State Trail
There are several access points and parking areas along the route. In Grand Rapids park near the Speedway north of town near Crystal Lake. Parking is also available off Scenic Highway northwest of Lower Balsam Lake, off SR 65 west of Sherry Lake, off SR 73 south of Sturgeon, off SR 169 south of Peyla, in the town of Tower and in Ely. For more information, contact Minnesota DNR: Grand Rapids Area, 1201 E. Hwy 2, Grand Rapids, MN 55744; 218-999-7920.
"Check this trail out in the Mesabi Trail reviews. It's the same trail, but has different names in different spots along the route (Taconite Trail in the taconite mining country between Grand Rapids and Hibbing, Mesabi Trail as it runs along the Mesabi ...