Biking The Iron Range's Mesabi Trail

Along with some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, the Mesabi Trail offers a fantastic adventure for bikers. One of the newest and best maintained bike trails in Minnesota, the Mesabi will cover 132 miles from Grand Rapids to Ely when completed. Bikers can ride free of motorized traffic and challenge themselves as much as they want along the Mesabi. The trail is paved and about 12 feet wide, allowing traffic to travel both ways. Walkers, rollerbladers and joggers enjoy the trail as well as they exercise in nature. Check out these campgrounds, parks and attractions along the road as you enjoy your trek.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Minnesota Discovery Center
1005 Discovery Drive
Chisholm, MN 55719
(218) 254-7959

One of the best attractions to stop and see on the Mesabi Trail is the Minnesota Discovery Center. The largest museum and education center outside of the Twin Cities, the Minnesota Discovery Center is dedicated to the history of the Iron Range. Learn about the humble beginnings of mining in Minnesota and the people that relied on the wealth of the Iron Range for their livelihood. Tour an old mining community on an historically preserved trolley ride. This museum is open year-round and welcomes tourists and donations daily.

Itasca Trail Sports
316 N.E. 4th St.
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
(218) 326-1716

Taking a long-distance bike ride can be tough on your bike. Knowing where you can stop and have your bike repaired or simply tuned-up is an important part of any adventure. Itasca Trail Sports is a locally owned bike and ski shop that caters to all peddlers whether hardcore biker or casual biker. Itasca Trail Sports also carries the latest in accessories and bike knowledge. Even if your bike is in good shape, stop in to browse or just talk biking.

Gilbert Sherwood Forest Campground
301 Lake Ore-Be-Gone Drive
Gilbert, MN 55748
(218) 748-2221

Depending on how long your ride is or how much of a vacation you are taking, finding a reliable and relaxing campsite along the trail is important. While there are numerous beautiful and clean accommodations to choose from, Sherwood Forest is one of the best. Located in Gilbert, Minn., Sherwood Forest offers its own off-road trails and hiking paths. Over 50 campsites are close to Lake Ore-Be-Gone, where fish are abundant. If you are just staying for the day, a playground and picnic area is available for a quick rest stop.

Related: Best Bike Trails In The Twin Cities

(credit: Alexander Memenov/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: Alexander Memenov/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame
801 Hat Trick Ave.
Eveleth, MN 55734
(218) 744-5167

Right off the Mesabi Trail lies the smallest town that has been home to some of the greatest hockey players in the world. Visit the Hockey Hall of Fame during your trek and learn more about the history of Minnesota's most loved sport. The Hockey Hall of Fame is full of video footage, interactive displays and memorabilia from some of the greats. Check out the world's largest hockey stick and test out your own hockey skills in Eveleth.

Brewed Awakenings Coffee House
24 N.E. 4th St.
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
(218) 327-1088

Stop off in Grand Rapids for a refuel of fresh-baked goods or a good cup of coffee. Brewed Awakenings Coffee House serves the best local and organic fare that supports the community and provides energy for passing bikers. All of its coffees, teas and chocolates are Fair Trade and can be purchased along with delicious salads, soups and other delicious treats. Try the gelato for dessert or use the free WIFI to check your email while relaxing. Be sure to get there in the evening when you may catch live music.

Related: Best Bike Shops In Minnesota

Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on