Many trails get busy in nice weather and on weekends - consider visiting during off-peak hours if you can. Visitors are encouraged to use trails close to their homes, and to practice safe social distancing by keeping at least 6-10 feet away from others, including when approaching or passing on the trail. If you see a lot of cars in the parking lot or at the trailhead, turn around and find someplace else for outdoor recreation.
Updated September 21, 2020
The Willard Munger State Trail is a collection of multiple use trails between Hinckley and Duluth. It consists of interconnecting trails offering hiking, bicycling, in-line skating and snowmobiling. It highlights the picturesque scenery and rich history of East Central Minnesota. The trail follows the route of the railroad that saved many lives in the historic Hinckley and Cloquet fires in the nineteenth century
There are three different trail segments in the Willard Munger State Trail: Hinckley - Duluth segment, Alex Laveau Memorial Trail and the Matthew Lourey State Trail (formerly known as the Boundary segment). This trail allows users to ride from Gary-New Duluth 16 miles through Wrenshall into Carlton. 6 miles of off-road paved trail from Carlton to Highway 23 are open. The remaining miles are a combination of bike routes on paved highway shoulders.
The 70 mile Hinckley - Duluth segment of the Willard Munger State Trail is completely paved, and extends between the cities of Hinckley, Willow River, Moose Lake, Barnum, Carlton, and Duluth. The trail passes near Banning State Park, through Finlayson, Willow River and General C.C. Andrews State Forest, and through the spectacular scenery of Jay Cooke State Park. The northeast portion of the trail provides scenic views of the St. Louis River and the twin ports of Duluth and Superior.
Common mammals noticed along the trail include whitetail deer, raccoon, red fox, porcupine, beaver, and muskrat. The observant trail user may also spot coyote, timber wolf, weasel, mink, bobcat or black bear.
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- Trail uses
Accessible Outdoors (electric wheelchairs allowed)
You will need a horse pass if you will be horseback riding, and for snowmobiling, a snowmobile must be registered or have a snowmobile state trail sticker. 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
The Willard Munger State Trail consists of different trail segments: Hinckley - Duluth segment and the Alex Laveau Memorial Trail.
Hinckley - Duluth segment
This 70 mile segment of the Willard Munger State Trail is completely paved. The trail passes near Banning State Park and Moose Lake State Park. It passes through the towns of Finlayson, Willow River, Moose Lake, General C.C. Andrews State Forest and through the spectacular scenery of Jay Cooke State Park. The northeast portion of the trail provides scenic views of the St. Louis River and the twin ports of Duluth and Superior.
Alex Laveau Memorial Trail
The Alex Laveau Memorial Trail honors the memory of a former county commissioner and dairy farmer who was a strong advocate of the idea of reusing abandoned railways as public trails. This trail allows users to ride from Gary-New Duluth 16 miles through Wrenshall into Carlton. Six miles of off-road paved trail from Carlton to Highway 23 are open. The remaining miles are a combination of bike routes on paved highway shoulders and city streets.
Matthew Lourey State Trail (formerly known as the Boundary segment)
The Matthew Lourey State Trail honors the memory of a U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer from Minnesota who lost his life in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This is an 80 mile natural surface trail used primarily for snowmobiling, horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking. This trail passes through remote forests linking St. Croix State Park with the Chengwatana, St. Croix and Nemadji State Forests. Some areas may be impassable in summer.
Do not leave valuables in your vehicle!
Parking is available for the following trail segments:
- Barnum: in the town
- Carlton: off Hwy 210, 1 block south on Co. Rd. 1
- Duluth: parking at the northern trailhead is located on Grand Ave. (Hwy 23) and 75th Ave. West, behind the Willard Munger Inn
- Finlayson: in the town
- General C.C. Andrews State Forest: Dago Lake Day-Use Area, McCormick Lake Day-Use Area, Willow River Campground
- Hemlock Ravine SNA: from Carlton 4 miles E on MN Hwy 210, then 0.1 mile N on Co Rd 151 (Jay Cooke Road). Park in pull-off on east
- Hinkley: parking at the southern trailhead is1 block north of the Hinkley Fire Museum at the intersection of Hwy 61 and Co. Rd. 18
- Jay Cooke State Park
- Moose Lake: in the town
- Moose Lake State Park
- Willow River: in the town
Restroom facilities are provided along the trail at these points:
- General C.C. Andrews State Forest: Dago Lake Day-Use Area, Willow River Campground
- Jay Cooke State Park
- Moose Horn River Water Access Site: located in Barnum, on CSAH 6
- Moose Lake State Park
- Sand Lake Water Access Site: located in Sturgeon Lake, 2 mi N of the city of to SW shore of Sand Lake
- Public Water Access locations often have seasonal toilets available. Other adjacent city and regional parks along the state trail.
All users must yield to horses. Stop and dismount if requested.
- 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.