Duluth, Minnesota is quickly becoming a destination town for singletrack mountain biking. You can’t forget about ebiking as well! It has eight different trail systems, including lift-accessed downhill sections at Spirit Mountain. However, just a short jaunt to the north in Two Harbors is the jump-off point for a very ambitious multi-years-long project. This trail is called the Gitchi-Gami State Trail (GGST). And what we like to call it—the best bike trail in northern Minnesota.
When completed, the Gitchi-Gami State Trail (GGST) will be a whopping 89-mile paved recreational trail stretching between Two Harbors and Grand Marais, Minnesota, along Lake Superior’s North Shore. Much of the proposed trail hits the same landmarks as the famed Superior Hiking trail. Currently, there are two major sections that we think are well worth the effort to take a pedal on.
Schroeder to Lutsen
Technically, there are two segments here with small gaps (1-1.5miles) of on-the-road riding required. Parking is provided at the Minnesota Department of Transportation wayside rest. Within the first few miles, you’ll find a glorious waterfall view where the Temperance River meets Lake Superior. This is one of the reasons it’s the best bike trail in northern Minnesota. And if you’ve got the time, bring your swimsuit and take a dip at the Temperance River State Park. Tofte is a good option for snacks! And the 13-mile distance to Lutsen makes that a perfect lunchtime stop before you head back down the trail.
Gooseberry Falls to Beaver Bay
The GGST is the best bike trail in northern Minnesota because you get to stop at iconic places along the north shore. A bit further south you’ve got a very picturesque 14-mile stretch available to ride through. This takes you from Gooseberry Falls to Beaver Bay. Parking is available at Gooseberry Falls State Park, and from there you can travel to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.
ICE CREAM ALERT! You should make a stop at the Big Dipper Ice Cream Shop housed in the Beaver Bay Mini Mall. Ice cream is well deserved after taking a ride along the best bike trail in northern Minnesota!
Both of these sections are as much about sightseeing and spending time at some scenic vistas as they are about a casual ride. It’s definitely a trip for those who like to stop and smell the roses.