Route: Itasca Trail (MN)

Submitted by Matthew Matta on Sun, 07/04/2021 - 07:08am
Minnesota, US
6.1 mi
Vertical Gain
200 ft

The Itasca County Bike Trail (also known online as the “Itasca Trail”) is a paved multi-use trail that is popular with cyclists. It was completed in 1994 and connects the Itasca County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids, MN to Gunn County Park. The southern terminus at the fairgrounds is also a main trailhead for the paved Mesabi Trail and the remote and gnarly Taconite State Trail. The Itasca Trail is also open to in-line skating and cross-country skiing. The county website lists the trail as 7 miles. My watch puts it at 6.1 with 200 feet of elevation gain.

The trail goes through beautiful forests with rolling hills. It also crosses the Prairie River and goes past a few man made lakes that were previously open pit iron ore mines. This trail is on the northeast edge of the Minnesota Iron Range, a long band of iron rich rock that provides much employment in the surrounding towns.

The southern trailhead is well used and is next to a nice campground with showers. It appears to be open 24 hours a day, although there is a gate. The northern trailhead is Gunn County Park. This park is not always open and there is no trailhead sign here so I’ve ended the route where the paved trail ends, just outside the gate to the park, and where the sign is for Pine Ridge Rd. Google also shows the Itasca Trail ending here. People often park about 1000 feet south, just off the east side of Highway 38.

GPS Track