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Mesabi Trail

Outdoor Adventures, Biking Route

From the Mississippi to the Boundary Waters, with more than 135 miles of paved trail, the Mesabi Trail is truly like no other. Cutting through the forests of northeast Minnesota, it's built partially on old railroad beds, logging roads, and sometimes just blazing a new path through the woods to get to the next community.

Pedal though stately old red pines in Grand Rapids, ride across Minnesota's tallest bridge in Virginia, or across a 3/4 mile long floating bridge in Embarrass. Pass by lakes, creeks & ponds, old mining pits filled with emerald green water, and be greeted by native wildlife. Experience the history of the area, learn about the mining & logging legacies. Enjoy the local cuisine...try a sarma, potica or a pasty.

Travel the Trail on your own, and explore 28 communities along the way; or join us on one of the three organized tours in the Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour Series.

Mesabi Trail bike trail - crossing the tallest bridge in Minnesota in Virginia. – IRTB

Located in northeastern Minnesota, the Mesabi Trail is a premier paved bicycle trail winding through some of the state's prettiest regions. During your Mesabi Trail adventure, you will experience breathtaking beauty along with the unique culture and small town charm of Minnesota's Iron Range.

The Mesabi Trail is a 10 foot wide asphalt surface that is well mapped and well maintained, built partially on old railroad beds, and old logging and mining roads. The trail is great for summer activities such as biking, hiking, inline skating or walking. There are currently over 135 miles of trail to explore. When completed the Mesabi Trail will stretch from the Mississippi River (Grand Rapids) to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (Ely), traversing over 155 miles and connecting 28 communities. The Mesabi has a good combination of flat and hilly terrain, with views of woods, creeks, ponds, and rock walls hewn for the railroad track, along with several old mining pits now filled with emerald green water to become lakes. Many campgrounds and local parks are easily accessible from the trail, highways, and nearby communities. In Virginia, the trail crosses the tallest bridge in Minnesota.

Local attractions, food, lodging, shopping, golfing, fishing, camping and swimming are all in close proximity to segments of the trail, with communities and services available near all entry points. A wheel pass is required those 18 and over using a wheeled device; $5 for a three-day pass or $15 for a season pass.

Currently 135 miles - 155 when completed


Wheel pass required - $5 for three days, $15 for an annual pass.


Easy with Some Moderately Strenous Sections

Nearby Places