Mesabi Trail Offers New Views in Northern Minnesota

Presented by Iron Range Tourism

PHOTO COURTESY OF IRON RANGE TOURISM

The Mesabi Trail, a 120-mile paved cycling and hiking trail that spans the Mesabi Iron Range, recently opened a new connection in Virginia, MN that crosses the state’s tallest bridge and offers amazing views of former minelands. Make plans to bike this new route with one, two, or three-day itineraries, outlined in a handy booklet created by the Iron Range Tourism Bureau.

Start your journey in Hibbing and tour the local haunts of the area’s most famous former resident, Bob Dylan, including Dylan’s childhood home, Hibbing High School, Hibbing Bowling Center, and more. Then, pedal past wooded areas and mine lakes filled with clear water as you make your way through sturdy mining towns that sport colorful flashes of public art, unique shopping, charming city parks, and unexpected surprises.

Looking for a shuttle between trailheads? Check with Mesabi Shuttle for details. And if you’d rather leave your bike behind and find one here, visit Mesabi Recreation, Bikes on Howard, or Giants Ridge for rentals. 

PHOTO COURTESY OF IRON RANGE TOURISM

Intriguing features of the trail can be found in its connections to more than a dozen towns in the region, where dining opportunities serve up satisfying meals or snacks with plenty of local flavor any time of day. Try BoomTown Brewery and JJ’s Coffee ‘n Cream in Hibbing, Black Bear Bakery in Chisholm, The Shop Coffeehouse and 218 Taproom in Virginia, or The Whistling Bird in Gilbert.

If it’s take-home items you desire, visit the Tourist Center gift store in Hibbing or the First Stage Gallery in Virginia for a delightful sampling of local wares and fine art.

Soak up some regional history and culture by visiting the museum of the Iron Range, the Minnesota Discovery Center, in Chisholm—don’t miss the trolley ride. Or visit the Virginia Area Historical Society Museum for a free foray into Virginia’s storied past. Both of these gems, as well as the Greyhound Bus Museum, are located along the trail’s route.

PHOTO COURTESY OF IRON RANGE TOURISM

Can’t get enough of the outdoors? Trade your bike for golf clubs and test your skills on the highly-rated Giants Ridge Golf Course in Biwabik. Or take in the beautiful mountain top views of the Superior National Forest on the Giants Ridge hiking trails. After your trek, stop by the Burnt Onion for gourmet dishes to refuel.

When it’s time to rest for the night, lodging options range from guest cottages, vacation homes and hotels, to excellent lakeside camping along the trail at municipal campgrounds. 

Contact the Iron Range Tourism Bureau or visit ironrange.org today for more day-trip inspiration. 

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