Minnesota: Land of 10,000 Lakes Cycling Tour
Assembly Point: Duluth
|Tour Cost: $2,650
(includes all lodging, all breakfasts and dinners, support van, van transfers, leaders, tour maps & narratives)
We were amazed by the changes that have occurred since our last visit. Minnesota has become perhaps our most cycling-friendly state. The cyclist is not a second-class citizen in Minnesota; how refreshing it is to realize how cycling has been recognized as a cherished, protected mode of travel. The state’s network of paved, off-road, long-distance bicycle trails is without equal in the U.S. What a joy to ride the Gitchi-Gami Trail along Superior’s North Shore, the Mesabi Trail that extends from the Boundary Waters Wilderness to Grand Rapids, the Paul Bunyan Trail from Walker (ultimately to be extended to Duluth) to Brainerd, and the Munger Trail to Hinckley. These magnificent paved trails provide the corridors through which we’ll experience Minnesota’s beautiful land of 10,000 lakes.
Our biking trip assembles in Duluth on the shores of Lake Superior, and we’ll ride beside the lake’s sparkling blue waters early morning of Day 1. We’ll join the Gitchi-Gami State Trail at Gooseberry Falls State park and continue along the trail to Silver Bay, where we’ll spend our first night.
Day 2, we’ll ride through Tettegouche State Park, turn north and begin our climb up the Sawtooth Ridge in Superior National Forest along the southern perimeter of the Boundary Waters Wilderness. We’ll overnight in Ely at the magnificent Grand Ely Lodge on Shagawa Lake. and join the Mesabi Trail early afternoon of Day 3 on our way to Virginia. We’ll return to the trail as it traverses the Mesabi Iron Range throughout Day 4 and our overnight in Grand Rapids.
Day 5, we’ll ride the gently rolling hills of the Chippewa National Forest in the heart of Minnesota’s Land of Lakes region. We’ll spend the night on the shores of Leach Lake in Walker at the grand Chase-on-the-Lake Resort. The Paul Bunyan Trail is our corridor of travel as we ride from Walker south into the Brainerd Lakes region. We’ll leave the trail at Nissawa and trace the shore of Gull Lake to Madden’s Resort.
Madden’s Resort is that kind of place that demands a layover day, and that’s our plan for Day 7. Whether it’s an optional bike ride around the lake, a round of golf, a canoe or sailboat on Gull Lake, or a lazy day on the beach or poolside, there is no end of ways to fill this day.
Day 8, our final day, is anything other than a leisurely spin to the finish line. We’ll ride through Brainerd, skirt the northern and eastern shores of massive Mille Lacs Lake, and ultimately join the Munger Trail at Finlayson as we ride on to Hinckley. We promise not to leave Hinckley without the opportunity to consume one of Tobey’s legendary, guilt-free cinnamon rolls before our shuttle back to the Duluth airport where our Minnesota Cycling Tour concludes.
|Day 1||Duluth — Two Harbors — Silver Bay||56 miles|
|Day 2||Silver Bay — Sawtooth Ridge — Ely||67 miles|
|Day 3||Ely — Virginia||50 miles|
|Day 4||Virginia — Mesabi Bike Trail — Grand Rapids||68 miles|
|Day 5||Grand Rapid — Chippewa National Forest — Walker; overnight at Chase-On-The Lake||74 miles|
|Day 6||Walker — Paul Bunyan Trail — Brainerd (Gull Lake); overnight at Madden’s Resort||56 miles|
|Day 7||Layover Day; Madden’s Resort|
|Day 8||Gull Lake — Brainerd — Garrison — Mille de Lac — Malmo; tour concludes; van shuttle return to Duluth||50 miles|
Total Mileage - 421