Mesabi Trail

Trail Overview


The Mesabi Trail is just over 85% complete, with over 135 miles of the planned 155 miles of paved trail done. When finished, the trail will travel from Grand Rapids to Ely - the Mississippi to the Boundary Waters.

The terrain varies from hilly in the west to a bit flatter in the east. A few hills will test your stamina going up and your brakes going down - none greater than an 8% grade. Take a virtual tour of the entire trail, section by section, to get a better idea of the terrain - or check out the bottom of our paper map for an elevation chart. Be advised - this is NOT a rails to trails conversion is not flat & straight.


Current Trail Status:

  • The longest section of continuous trail stretches from Grand Rapids to McKinley - about 75 miles.
  • Beyond McKinley, there is another 25 plus miles, with an uncompleted section between McKinley and Biwabik (detour onto the shoulder of Hwy135). This section takes you past Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort, with a spur to Aurora.
  • There are other separate sections of trail around Tower/Soudan, Eagles Nest Lakes and Ely. New trail construction is ongoing as we work towards connecting to Ely.


2018 Scheduled Construction - About 10 Miles:  (see the green dotted line on the paper map)

  • 5 miles - connecting McKinley to Biwabik.
  • 5.5 miles - from Hwy 135 (past Giants Ridge) to Embarrass

If you would like a lift between uncompleted portions of the trail be sure to connect with our Mesabi Trail Shuttle Service.