Gitchi-Gami State Trail
When complete, the Gitchi-Gami State Trail will be an 86 mile non-motorized, paved trail connecting Two Harbors to Grand Marais along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Much of the trail will be located in abandoned segments or right-of-way on Highway 61, while other segments will allow you to sample a diversity of the North Shore's varied environments. Several segments of the trail have been completed, totaling over 28 miles.
New trail segments under construction
Two trail segments were completed within a year and 3.8 miles of new trail is open and available for public use! Another trail segment is nearing completion later this fall, and will connect Temperance River State Park to the village of Schroeder. A parking lot is available nearby, for trail access.
(Updated September 23, 2013)
This 86 mile trail will eventually connect five state parks, several communities, four Scientific and Natural Areas, numerous historic sites, and provide vistas of Lake Superior. Trail users will travel through birch and aspen forests, cross numerous cascades and waterfalls, travel through charming and historic towns, and have the opportunity to access beaches of Lake Superior.
For details on individual trail segments, please see the "segments" tab below.
- Silver Creek Cliff: 1 mile; circumnavigates the Silver Creek Tunnel.
- Gooseberry Falls to Beaver Bay: 14.6 miles; some sections with steep hills and curves. Starts at Gooseberry Falls State Park, travels through Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, and ends in Beaver Bay.
- Silver Bay: 2.3 miles; this segment starts .8 of a mile east of the Beaver River on the West Road, travels inland and ends in Silver Bay next to the Silver Bay Hockey Arena.
- Temperance River: 3 miles; connects the towns of Schroeder and Tofte and passes through Temperance River State Park.
- Tofte: 7.37 miles and ending at County Road 5 also known as “Ski Hill Road”.
- Grand Marais: 1.5 miles; travels through the City of Grand Marais and joins up with the Grand Marais Corridor Trail.
Find more events.
If you will be cross-country skiing on the trail you will need a ski pass. No other fees or passes are required to use the trail, although parking in the state parks does require a daily or annual pass.
- Trail segments
- In the area
Silver Creek Cliff - 1 mile
This one-mile isolated segment circumnavigates the Silver Creek Tunnel and is constructed on the old scenic Highway 61 road bed. There are 4,000 feet of continuous vistas of Lake Superior.
Gooseberry Falls to Beaver Bay - 14.6 miles
This is the longest and most scenic of the currently completed trail segments; some sections with steep hills and curves. It starts in Gooseberry Falls State Park, travels through Iona's Beach SNA, Thompson Beach and Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, and ends at the Beaver River in Beaver Bay. In addition to amenities in the state parks, there is access to rest areas, camping and fishing.
Silver Bay - 2.3 miles
This segment starts at the east end of the West Road and travels inland across North Shore Mining property and ends in Silver Bay next to the Silver Bay Hockey Arena. This trail segment is not connected to the next segment (Gooseberry Falls to Beaver Bay), but you can access this trail segment from Beaver Bay by traveling east over MNDOT Beaver River Bridge and up the West Road for about .5 of a mile. The West Road is a gravel road that trail users can use to access this segment. The best access to this segment is from the Silver Bay Hockey Arena. This segment parallels the North Shore Mining Rails Road and offers spectacular views of Lake Superior from the ridge line.
Temperance River - 3 miles
This segment connects the towns of Schroeder and Tofte on the inland side of Highway 61, traveling through Temperance River State Park, crossing the Temperance River gorge and providing a scenic view of Carlton Peak. This trail segment is not connected to the next segment (Tofte to County Road 34), but you can cross the highway at the northeast end of the trail and ride through the town of Tofte on Tofte Park Road and Highway 61 to the next segment. As an alternative to riding on Highway 61, which has narrow shoulders through Tofte, bikers can walk their bikes along the lakeside path west of Bluefin Bay resort.
Tofte - 5.8 miles
This segment starts at the northeast end of Tofte and ends at County Road 34, at a tunnel underpass under Highway 61.
Grand Marais - 1.5 miles
The Gitchi-Gami State Trail joins the Grand Marais Corridor Trail at 8th Avenue West. The combined length of the two trails is approximately 2 miles.
Do not leave valuables in your vehicle!
Parking is available for the following trail segments:
In the area
Nearby DNR recreational areas include:
State Parks and Waysides
State Water Trails
Scientific and Natural Areas
Wildlife Management Area
Public Water Accesses and Safe Harbors
The following links will take you off the DNR website.
Find nearby things to do, places to stay, and more: Along the Way
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