Welcome to the Gitchi-Gami State Trail virtual tour! This trail has something for everyone: stunning views of Lake Superior, beautiful state parks, and communities to explore. We hope the tour prompts you to visit the state trail in person sometime soon.
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Silver Creek Cliff
This trail segment offers 4,000 feet of continuous vistas of Lake Superior. At the MNDOT Silver Creek Cliff Wayside Rest Stop, pause and take a short walk to an overlook area with spectacular views of Lake Superior, Silver Creek Cliff, a historic brass plaque, and a kiosk that shares the history of Truck Highway 61.
Watch a captioned video about Silver Creek Cliff Wayside Rest Stop. (1 minute 23 seconds)
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Gooseberry Falls State Park
Take a break from the trail and explore the basalt rock at Picnic Flow (formed by a lava flow), as well as stunning views of Lake Superior’s rocky shoreline, seagulls, and ore boats. The Gitchi-Gami State Trail trailhead within Gooseberry Falls State Park is located in the adjacent parking lot. On your way to the park’s visitor center and waterfalls, stop to see a pebble beach, campgrounds, and long sections of trail built on the old Nester Grade railroad alignment.
Watch a captioned video about Gooseberry Falls State Park to Twin Points Public Water Access. (1 minute 23 seconds)
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Take a short walk to Iona’s Beach Scientific and Natural Area where you can hike the beach to see pink rhyolite and felsite bedrock shingles formed by waves moving the rocks down the shoreline. As the waves recede, the shingles come to rest with a tinkling sound unique to this beach.
Watch a captioned video from Twin Points Public Water Access to Split Rock River. (1 minute 55 seconds)
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Split Rock Wayside
Stop at the Highway 61 Split Rock Wayside for an excellent view of the Split Rock Lighthouse and Lake Superior. Traveling through Split Rock Lighthouse State Park you will pass by the Split Rock River, Day Hill, reservable backpack and cart-in campsites, a beautiful pebble beach, a four-season picnic shelter, and the MN Historical Society’s Split Rock Lighthouse Historic Site. Lighthouse tours are available daily during the summer season.
Watch a captioned video from Split Rock River to Beaver Bay. (1 minute 58 seconds)
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Beaver Bay Bridge
Along this stretch of trail, visit the Beaver Bay Historical Society Museum and the many shops in the community of Beaver Bay. Take a short hike to the mouth of the Beaver River where you may see fisherman in the spring fishing for steelhead and Kamloop rainbow trout.
Watch a captioned video from Beaver Bay to Silver Bay. (1 minute 3 seconds)
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Silver Bay Trailhead
Several areas along this section of trail offer excellent views of Lake Superior, the North Shore Highlands, and the North Shore Mining Railroad. The trail travels through a city park that offers a skateboard park, tennis courts, and horseshoe pits.
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Temperance River State Park
Between the communities of Schroeder and Tofte, the Gitchi-Gami State Trail crosses the Temperance River Gorge in Temperance River State Park. Stretch your legs by hiking the self-guided trail along the gorge and learn about the potholes carved into ancient basalt. The park’s campgrounds are a great place to set-up basecamp while traveling this section of the trail.
Watch a captioned video from Schroeder to Tofe. (1 minute 41 seconds)
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Tofte Public Water Access or Tofte Community Park
Enjoy a picnic lunch while the kids play at the playground, or take a walking trail along the shoreline in this community park.
Watch a captioned video from Tofte to Lutsen. (1 minute 21 seconds)
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North of Tofte
Between the communities of Tofte and Lutsen, this section of trail crosses several un-named creeks, the Onion River, and the Poplar River Gorge. Sections of this trail were built on the original 1924 Truck Highway 61 alignment. The Ray Berglund Wayside is a great place to stop and take a short hike along the Onion River.
Watch a captioned video north of Tofte. (1 minute 24 seconds)
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This area offers lovely views of the harbor, the Coast Guard Station, and Artist’s Point. Grand Marais offers many shopping, dining, and lodging opportunities. This trail section provides access to the USFS Ranger Station, campgrounds, and public water access in Grand Marais.
Watch a captioned video about the Grand Marais area. (1 minute 23 seconds)