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When completed, the Gitchi-Gami State Trail will traverse 88 paved miles between the cities of Two Harbors and Grand Marais on Lake Superior’s northern shore. Currently, several segments, totaling nearly 29 miles, are open between the two endpoints. A “West Road” section, forecast for completion in 2016, will extend the trail northward along the shore of Lake Superior, completing the connection to the community of Silver Bay. The trail provides a nonmotorized, safer alternative to MN 61 along the North Shore.
The Gitchi-Gami Trail Association’s mission is to promote, plan, and construct the trail to link communities, state parks, and points of interest along the northern shore of Lake Superior. Trail segments pass through five Minnesota state parks along the North Shore, winding through birch and aspen forests, along cascading rivers and waterfalls, and through historic communities, while providing incredible vistas of Gitchi-Gami herself, Lake Superior.
There are currently five segments completed along the planned 88-mile route: Silver Creek Cliff features more than 4,000 feet of continuous vista along its short 1-mile section just north of Two Harbors, along MN 61. The longest section begins at Gooseberry Falls State Park and runs 17.6 miles to Silver Bay, with a sometimes steep and curving trail that is considered the most scenic portion of the completed trail segments.
A 17.6-mile section from the Gooseberry Falls State Park (3206 MN-61, Two Harbors) north to Silver Bay cuts inland, paralleling the Northshore Mining Railroad. From the ridgeline above Lake Superior, the route offers spectacular views of the region.
The Temperance River segment connects the 3 miles between the towns of Schroeder and Tofte. At Tofte, the trail continues northward along the shore for another 7.5 miles, ending in Lutsen at County Road 5 (also known as Ski Hill Road).
The last completed segment of the trail runs 5.15 miles west from the Cut Face Creek Wayside through Grand Marais to 1st Ave West by Harbor Park (110 Wisconsin St), which is the northern end of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail network along the shore. The section from 8th Ave West to 1st Ave is also known as the Grand Marais Corridor Trail.
Bicycle tune-up stations have been installed at Gooseberry Falls State Park behind the visitor center along the trail and at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park near the park office. Restrooms are available at each of the state parks along the trail and in each town or community along the route.
Parking is available at a number of locations along the trail. Visit the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions.
Very hilly, make sure your fit. It was a gorgeous, clean and fun trail.
Wow, this trail is stunning and fun! Some sections offered beautiful expansive views of Lake Superior, while others were more forested. Lots of hills and twists and turns made for a fun and varied ride. We started at the very beginning of the trail in Gooseberry, which takes you through the state park. We went on a Monday and the section through the state park was mildly busy, but as soon as we got outside the park we hardly saw anyone.
A great trail for inline skating. It is paved 10 feet wide and well maintained. There are some hills that had me breathing hard while skating up, and I was braking coming down quite a few.
The VIEW TRAIL MAP on this website is out of date. It shows the trail ending at a gravel parking lot at Beaver Bay (at the intersection of Rt 61 and Lax Lake Road). That gravel lot has been replaced by a paved lot with bathrooms and drinking fountains. Also there is now a nice smooth 10 foot wide paved bike path from there along Rt 61 to West Road, and up along West Road to the next segment of Gitchi Gami that leads to Silver Bay.
The segment from this new parking lot to Silver Bay was my favorite. Once you start up West Road it is quiet & hilly.
I was able to do about a 5 mile section at south e d before cold rain came in. Trail Is challenging with plenty of hills. It was a pleasure to ride. Here and there roots and plants are poking through the asphalt, but it does not take the joy from the ride.
I rode the Lutsen-to-Tofte section. It mostly runs alongside the highway and crosses driveways every few feet, so there's not of beautiful scenery. The trail is in good shape and well signposted.
Even though the lake is nearby, there aren't many sections when you even see it because of the trees and lakefront property between the trail and the shore.
On an overcast but pleasant summer afternoon, it was nearly deserted.
We rode this trail in September of 2015. Very nice and well maintained trails. There are several steep climbs both ways as you approach Split Rock Lighthouse. Be careful on the downhills as they're some serious switch backs and sharp turns. They're are numerous signs warning you of these as you approach. We're looking forward to biking more of the North Shore next Summer.
The sections of completed trail are phenomenal!
The paved trail makes it easy to take in the north shore without a car. Each turn of the trail offers new views of Lake Superior. Be prepared for the quickly changing weather.
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