Gitchi-Gami State Trail

Gitchi-Gami State Trail

Several segments of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail have been completed, totaling over 33 miles. When complete, the trail will be an 86 mile paved trail for non-motorized use, 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.

Landscape

This 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.

Virtual tours

Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour

Trail uses

hikingHiking

bikingBiking

in-line skatingIn-line skating

skiingSkiing

Wheelchair accessAccessible Outdoors (electric wheelchairs allowed)

Trail events

Events Calendar

Scroll table right to see more »

There are currently no event listings.

Permits
  • No special fees or passes are required to use the trail.
  • You will need a vehicle permit if you want to park in a state park.
  • Electric-assisted bicycles with pedals are allowed on state trails without the use of a permit. Power output cannot exceed 1,000 watts and may not exceed speeds of 20 miles per hour.
Trail segments

Silver Creek Cliff - 1 mile

This one-mile segment follows the old Scenic Highway 61 roadway and bypasses the Silver Creek tunnel. There are 4,000 feet of continuous vistas of Lake Superior.

Gooseberry Falls State Park to Silver Bay - 17.6 miles

This is the longest continuous segment of trail as well as one of the most diverse, traveling through both urban and natural environments. The trail begins at Gooseberry Falls State Park and continues northeast through Iona’s Beach Scientific and Natural Area and Split Rock Lighthouse State Park before entering Beaver Bay and Silver Bay. Between these two communities, the Cleveland-Cliffs overlook showcases the area's mining history and its railways and docks. This trail segment ends at Outer Drive in the center of Silver Bay, next to the hockey arena.

Note: This trail segment has steep hills and curves that can be particularly arduous for recreational use. There are numerous rest stops along the way, and access to camping and fishing through the state parks.

Schroeder to Tofte (south) - 2.8 miles

This trail segment begins at the rest area in Schroeder and travels inland of Highway 61 to the Temperance River gorge and waterfall, with a scenic view of Carlton Peak before it continues northeast to the U.S. Forest Service office in Tofte. The trail through Tofte has not yet been completed. For now, trail users can cross Highway 61 to Tofte Park Road and then pick up the trail again at the Tofte Commercial Fishing Museum.

Tofte (north) to Lutsen (Ski Hill Road) - 7.5 miles

This segment begins at the Tofte Commercial Fishing Museum and proceeds northeast, paralleling Highway 61. This stretch of trail offers exceptional views of Lake Superior's vast blue waters and shoreline. The nearby Ray Berglund State Wayside provides a rest area between the communities of Tofte and Lutsen. This wayside also features its own trail connection to the Onion River Trail, a short and rustic hiking trail. As the state trail continues to Lutsen, it crosses below Highway 61 to the inland side of the highway, offering a quieter riding experience. The trail currently ends at Ski Hill Road (Cook County 5). North of here is Lutsen Scientific and Natural Area, home to one of the largest undisturbed old-growth northern hardwood forests in Minnesota.

Grand Marais - 4.5 miles

The Grand Marais trail segment begins at West 8th Avenue and joins the Grand Marais Corridor Trail to the east, traveling to the Cut Face Creek State Wayside and Cascade River State Park. A timber arch bridge above the Fall River offers dramatic views of the geologic features characteristic of Minnesota’s North Shore.

Parking

Please be respectful of public and private lands use, parking only in designated areas. Do not leave valuables in your vehicle!

Silver Creek Cliff segment

  • Silver Creek Cliff wayside rest, on the east side of the Silver Creek Cliff tunnel.

Gooseberry Falls State Park to Silver Bay segment

  • Gooseberry Falls State Park campground, picnic area, visitor center, and Gitchi-Gami State Trail trailhead
  • Twin Points public water access
  • Iona's Beach Scientific and Natural Area
  • Split Rock Lighthouse State Park trail center
  • Wayside rest near the Beaver River in Beaver Bay
  • Silver Bay hockey arena

Schroeder to Tofte (south) segment

  • MNDOT wayside on the east side of Schroeder
  • Temperance River State Park
  • Tofte town park off Sawbill Trail

Tofte (north) to Lutsen segment

  • Ski Hill Road trailhead in Lutsen

Grand Marais Segment

  • Grand Marais public water access near the U.S. Coast Guard station
Restrooms
  • Gooseberry Falls State Park
  • Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
  • Tettegouche State Park
  • George Crosby Manitou State Park
  • Temperance River State Park
  • Cascade River State Park
  • Restrooms and amenities are also available in the towns of Two Harbors, Castle Danger, Beaver Bay, Silver Bay, Schroeder, Tofte, Lutsen and Grand Marais