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.
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.
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- Trail uses
Accessible Outdoors (electric wheelchairs allowed)
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
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.
Parking: at the Silver Creek Cliff wayside rest parking lot, on the east end of the tunnel
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.
Parking: at the picnic flow parking lot and at the Visitor Center in Gooseberry Falls State Park; the Twin Points Public Water Access and Wayside; the Trail Center in Split Rock Lighthouse State Park; and the Beaver River trail head parking lot in Beaver Bay
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.
Parking: at the Beaver River trail head or at the Silver Bay Hockey Arena.
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.
Parking: at the MnDOT wayside rest on the east side of Schroeder; the trail head parking lot in Temperance River State Park; and at the Tofte Town Park Public Water Access
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.
Parking: There is no designated public parking. Bikers are advised to speak with business owners before parking on private property.
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.
Parking: At the Grand Marais Public Water Access near the U.S. Coast Guard station
Do not leave valuables in your vehicle!
Parking is available for the following trail segments:
- Silver Creek Cliff Segment: at the Silver Creek Cliff wayside rest parking lot, located on the east side of the Silver Creek Cliff tunnel.
- Gooseberry Falls State Park to Beaver Bay Segment: at the picnic flow parking lot in Gooseberry Falls State Park, Twin Point Public Water Access, the Trail Center in Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, and the trail head parking lot in Beaver Bay near the Beaver River.
- Temperance River State Park Segment: at the MnDOT wayside rest parking lot on the east side of Schroeder, the trail head parking lot in Temperance River State Park, and at the Tofte Town Park Public Water Access.
- Tofte Segment: currently there is no public parking available for this segment. Several resorts are along this segment; always ask permission before parking at a resort!
- Grand Marais Segment: at the Grand Marais Public Water Access near the U.S. Coast Guard Station.
- 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
Share the Gitchi-Gami State Trail with others!
- Stay on designated trail.
- Keep to the right so others can pass.
- All pets must be on a leash.
- Clean up all pet waste.
- Obey traffic signs and rules.
- Pack out all garbage and litter.
- Respect adjoining landowners' rights and privacy.
- Warn other trail users when passing by giving an audible signal.
- Overnight camping and campfires are permitted only on designated campsites. Never leave campfires unattended.
- 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.