State trails

Snowmobiling Snowmobiling

hiking Hiking

Horseback riding Horseback riding

Mountain biking Mountain biking

C.J. Ramstad North Shore State Trail

C.J. Ramstad/North Shore State Trail

The C.J. Ramstad/North Shore State Trail is a 146 mile natural surface trail from Duluth to Grand Marais. The trail runs through St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties in northeastern Minnesota, winding its way through the forests on the ridgeline overlooking Lake Superior. The trail provides access to some of the most rugged and beautiful scenery in Minnesota. In winter, the trail connects with hundreds of miles of snowmobile club trails and many communities in the area.


Map This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Interactive map

Snowmobile trails GPS data

Slide show of photos taken on the C.J. Ramstad/North Shore State Trail. This slideshow requires the latest version of
Adobe Flash Player

Minnesota State Parks and Trails on Facebook Minnesota State Parks Twitter feed    Share your own trail photos!

Landscape

For most of its length, the trail provides a wilderness experience. The majority of the trail is in a remote, natural and undeveloped setting with few roads and many river crossings. Visitors may encounter native wildlife, such as moose, deer, bear, fox, raptors, grouse, waterfowl, songbirds and timber wolves. Views of rivers, lakes, valleys and scenic overlooks are a part of the trail experience. Visitors may observe activities including logging, farms, wildlife and fish management.


Events

There are currently no event listings.

Find more events.

Wilderness safety

In the winter, follow snowmobile safety tips. When traveling through remote forests, you should take a map, GPS or a compass, cell phone, extra food, clothing and water. Share your travel iternerary with someone about where you are going and when you will be back. During insect season, be prepared for usual northwoods conditions. Follow weather conditions and learn about wildfire safety

Permits

You will need a snowmobile state trail sticker for snowmobiling. Non-residents must have the correct ATV or off-road vehicle pass. Horseback riders will need a horse pass. No other fees or passes are required to use the trail.

 

  • Parking
  • Restrooms
  • In the area
  • Etiquette
  • Trail seasons

Parking

Parking is available at the following locations:

  • Duluth parking area: The Martin Road lot is located at the northern edge of Duluth city limits.
  • Normana Road parking area: Parking is located west of County Road 44.
  • Alger Grade parking area: Parking is located 9 miles north of Two Harbors on County Road 2.
  • Silver Bay parking area: The lot located on Superior National Forest Road #11, 7 miles west of Silver Bay.
  • Finland parking area: The trailhead is located 2 miles north of Finland, on County Road 7.
  • Sawbill Trail parking area: A small parking area is located 5 miles north of Tofte on the Sawbill Trail (County Road 2).
  • Caribou Trail parking area: The parking lot is located 7 miles north of Lutsen on the Caribou Trail (County Road 4).
Distance in miles

Grand Marais

Lutsen

26

Caribou Trail Parking Area

8
28

Sawbill Parking Area

14
17
41

Schroeder

14
27
31
55

Ely

74
78
91
95
119

Isabella

39
35
39
52
56
80

Tomahawk/Trail Junction

24
63
11
15
28
32
56

Finland

20
44
83
31
35
48
52
76

Silver Bay

17
37
61
100
48
52
65
69
93

Alger Grade/Two Harbors Parking Area

34
37
57
81
120
68
72
85
89
113

Pequaywan Trail Junction

21
55
58
78
102
141
89
93
106
110
133

Normana Road Parking Area

5
26
60
63
83
107
146
94
98
111
115
139

Duluth Parking Area

14
19
40
74
77
97
121
160
108
112
125
129
153

Restroom facilities

Restrooms are available at trailhead parking lots and shelters along the trail.

Trail etiquette

Share the C.J. Ramstad/North Shore State Trail with others!

There are private lands within state forest and other public lands. Be aware of your surroundings.

  • Keep to the right side of the trail.
  • Obey traffic signs and rules.
  • Follow the snowmobiler's code of ethics.
  • Stay on designated trails.
  • Respect adjoining landowners' rights and privacy.
  • Camping permitted at shelters.
  • Pack out all garbage and litter.
  • Do not leave campfires unattended.
  • Pets must be on a leash.
  • Enjoy the beauty of wild plants and animals, but leave them undisturbed for all to enjoy.
  • Trail users are legally responsible for obeying the rules and regulations provided in Minnesota Rules, 6100.3000.

Trail seasons

The trail has year-round parking lots and several small summer parking areas. The trail provides access to scenic north shore public lands and roads.

  • Snowmobiling connections (over 700 local miles)
  • Rustic shelters, and scenic rivers
  • Hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and horseback riding
  • Fishing, hunting, nature photography
  • Solitude in a backcountry setting

Spring/summer/fall

Winter

All-terrain vehicles (ATV): Part of the of the trail is open for ATV use with connections to Grant-in-Aid trails. See trail map This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. and learn more about off-highway vehicle riding opportunities.


Horseback riding opportunities are best between Finland to Cook County Road 6, north of Grand Marais (approximately 70 miles). The trail between Finland and Duluth have seasonally wet areas.

Camping is available at trail shelters and also on adjacent public land (except where posted as prohibited). Respect private property. Pack out all garbage and litter. Use wildfire safety.

Hikers can stay on the trail by following snowmobile trail signs and blazers. When traveling through forested areas, logging often occurs. Use caution when hiking these areas.

Fall colors are usually quite spectacular because the trail follows maple-covered ridges, along with birch and aspen stands.

Fishing enthusiasts will find the trail a good walk-in access to remote, lightly fished streams. Since much of the land is for public use, hunters can use the trail as a walk-in access to many areas.

Snowmobiling: Use safety and be prepared for winter trail travel. Protect yourself from the cold temperatures and review weather conditions before your visit.

The trail is groomed for snowmobiling on a weekly basis and groomers may be on the trail at any time. Stay on the trail or intersecting trails at all times. Use caution in the vicinity of active logging operations. Plan ahead for refueling.

 

Interactive map

Snowmobile trails GPS data