Taconite State Trail Planning

Authorized by the Minnesota Legislature in 1974, the Taconite State Trail is located in northeast Minnesota and extends over 145 miles from Ely (in St. Louis County) to Grand Rapids (in Itasca County). It passes through Bear Head Lake and McCarthy Beach state parks; as well as Bear Island, George Washington and Sturgeon River state forests. The Taconite State Trail intersects with the Arrowhead State Trail just west of Lake Vermilion.

Mostly used for snowmobiling in winter, the Taconite State Trail is also used for hiking, biking and horseback riding during the summer months. Taconite State Trail Map This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

 

Updates to Taconite State Trail Master Plan

Approved in 1980 before the trail was fully developed, the Taconite State Trail Master Plan This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. includes interim and proposed alignments for several sections of the trail. Since 1980, the entire length of the trail from Ely to Grand Rapids has been developed along public and private properties, many of which are not state-owned. 

A new master plan is needed to accurately reflect the developed alignments and current trail uses, with considerations for new trail uses based on the needs and demands of trail users. Input collected through the planning process from citizens, trail user groups, land administrators, and other interested citizens and stakeholders will be used to develop a new master plan for the Taconite State Trail. Upon approval, this master plan will replace the previous plan, and will be used to guide and inform management decisions into the future.

 

Public Input

In February and March 2015, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) held open house meetings in Grand Rapids, Side Lake and Tower to begin the planning process for a new master plan. A questionnaire was distributed at these meetings to collect general information about how people use the trail, how people would like to use the trail in the future, and other ideas regarding the future management of this trail. All comments received during this initial part of the planning process will be carefully considered as DNR staff move forward to develop a new master plan for the trail. 

There will be additional opportunities to provide input and feedback as the planning process continues.

 

Next Steps:

DNR staff will continue to collect information, identify opportunities and issues, carefully review comments received, and meet with stakeholders throughout the spring and summer of 2015. Collectively, the outcomes from these discussions will help to shape the draft plan. Once a draft plan is developed, a formal public review—which will include open house meetings—will be scheduled.

Background Documents:

Planning Process Outline This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Frequently Asked Questions This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

 

Planning maps:

Planning Segments Reference Map This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it., segment maps should be easy to identify 1 - 8

Segment 1, Ely to Bear Head Lake State Park This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Segment 2, Bear Head Lake State Park to Arrowhead State Trail This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Segment 3, Arrowhead State Trail to US 53 This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Segment 4, US 53 to TH 73 This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Segment 5, TH 73 to TH 65 This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Segment 6, TH 65 to Parking Lot at CSAH 7 This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Segment 7, Parking Lot at CSAH 7 to CSAH 60 This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Segment 8, CSAH 60 to Grand Rapids This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

 

For more information, questions, or comments, please contact: