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
Summer construction and trail projects
While we have smooth sailing on the Willard Munger State Trail from Carlton to Duluth this summer there will impacts to trail users this summer heading south of Carlton.
The Otter Creek bridge in Carlton will be removed and replaced starting June 11, after the MS150 Event. This project lasts through August.
- There's no easy way around this construction. Plan ahead or use city streets, County Road 61 and State Hwy. 210 to bypass construction.
- Trail visitors need to exit/enter on Douglas Road off of County 61 south of 210.
- The closed trail segment spans from State Hwy. 1 in Carlton to Douglas Road (approximately 4 miles).
- We won't post signs on the ground as a bypass because there's not a& designed pedestrian route.
The bridge in Barnum will be replaced by the same contractor within the same timeline.
- City streets and county roads must be utilized to get around the construction zone.
- The closed trail segment spans from County Road 6 and Point Road.
Sargent Creek project
Starting May 24, the South St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District will be restoring a section of Sargent Creek that was impacted by the 2012 flood. Construction equipment will be restricted to 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on weekdays only. If you use the trail during this time period, you may be temporarily delayed while construction vehicles are active. Signs will be posted.
The St. Louis River bridge in Carlton will receive some touch-ups. This won't shut the trail down for any great length of time. Impacts are brief and the trail will remain open on weekends.
The Kettle River bridge and Pine River bridge near Rutledge will undergo maintenance activities. Impacts are brief and the trail will remain open.
If summer funding for bridge re-decking is in place, we'll close off short sections until repairs are made.
(Updated May 18, 2018)
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.
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.
There are currently no event listings.
- Trail uses
Accessible Outdoors (electric wheelchairs allowed)
- 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 Mueum 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 Public Water Access: located in Barnum, on CSAH 6
- Moose Lake State Park
- Sand Lake Public Water Access: 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.
- In the area
Nearby DNR recreational areas include:
- Chengwatana State Forest
- D.A.R. State Forest
- Fond du Lac State Forest
- General C.C. Andrews State Forest
- Nemadji State Forest
- St. Croix State Forest
State Water Trail
Public Water Accesses
- Sand Lake (2 mi N of the city of Sturgeon Lake to SW shore)
- Grindstone Reservoir (City of Hinckley, off Hwy. 18)
- Moosehead Lake (City of Moose Lake, in Moose Lake Park just south of CSAH 8 on NE shore)
- Moose Horn Lake (City of Moose Lake, .5 mi south of on frontage road along the State Trail)
- Moose Horn River (City of Barnum, on CSAH 6)
- Musclewood Lake (Kettle River, 2 miles S of Sturgeon Lake on Hwy 61, West on Hwy 52 1 mile)
- St. Louis River/Grassy Point (City of Duluth, From West Duluth, follow 59th Ave W south to Raleigh St. Follow Raleigh St east to Lesure St. Follow Lesure St to access.)
- St. Louis River/Spirit Lake (City of Duluth, 0.33 miles east of MN HIghway 23, on the west shore of Spirit Lake)
- St. Louis River (City of Thomson, on the St Louis River, UMD Kayak Center)
- Zalesky Lake (City of Willow River, North Street East to service road of I-35, then .5 mi N to Chipmunk Park)
Scientific and Natural Areas
Fire and weather information
Attractions and points of interest
Magney-Snively Park, City of Duluth Parks and Recreation
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.