State trails

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Taconite State Trail Location

Taconite State Trail

The Taconite State Trail stretches 165 miles from Grand Rapids to Ely and intersects with the Arrowhead State Trail just west of Lake Vermillion. The first 6 miles from Grand Rapids are paved for biking and in-line skating. The remainder of the natural surface trail is used primarily for snowmobiling in the winter. The trail goes through a few areas that have standing water in the summer, however portions of the trail are suitable for horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking.

 

Map This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Interactive map

Snowmobile trails GPS data

 

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Landscape

The Taconite Trail winds through forests of birch and aspen intertwined with pine, leading the visitor by many isolated lakes and streams. From Grand Rapids heading north, you see the impact of the taconite and iron mining industry. The northern portion of the trail terrain is rolling and tree covered as it winds through state and national forest land.

Eight trail waysides and picnic facilities offer scenic vistas of the hills, lakes and rivers of this area. The trail links to state parks: Bear Head Lake, Soudan Underground Mine, and McCarthy Beach. The landscape in and around Bear Head Lake State Park is very rolling and rocky.


Events

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Permits

You will need a horse pass if you will be horseback riding. You will need a snowmobile state trail sticker for snowmobiling. No other fees or passes are required to use the trail. If you will be cross-country skiing on the trail you will need a ski pass.

 

  • Trail shelters
  • Parking
  • Restrooms
  • In the area
  • Etiquette

Trail shelters

From Grand Rapids, east to Ely. For winter trail users, use the Interactive Snowmobile Trails map.

  • Prairie Lake
    • North of Grand Rapids, Highway 38.
  • Clearwater Trail
    • Joint trail stretch with the Clearwater Snowmobile Trail and Taconite State Trail.
  • South from Highway 50
  • George Washington State Forest
    • West Fork of the Prairie River, Herb Branstrom Snowmobile Trail intersection, south of Highway 53.
    • North of Little Moose Trail.
    • Intersects with Bear Lake Trail.
    • Located west of West Sturgeon Forest Roard intersection.
  • McCathy Beach State Park
    • East of Ridge Trail.
    • Located on the Ridge Trail.
  • Superior National Forest
    • Along County Road 65, west of Highway 73.
    • North of Lake Leander, near Lake Leander Road.
  • Taconite/Arrowhead Junction
    • Pike River Flowage, south of Hwy 1, west of Tower.
  • Bear Island State Forest
    • Located east of Bear Head Lake State Park.
    • Located west of Bear Island State Park.
  • Bear Head Lake State Park
    • Parking and interpretive center located within the state park.

Parking

Do not leave valuables in your vehicle!

Parking is available for the following trail segments:

Restroom facilities

Most communities provide public restrooms nearby with some in local parks in proximity to the trail. Organizations such as chambers of commerce or tourism agencies provide restroom facilities within some larger communities. Local businesses provide restroom facilities for customers.

Trail etiquette

All users must yield to horses. Stop and dismount if requested.

  • Stay on designated trail.
  • Keep to the right so others can pass.
  • All pets must be on a leash.
  • Clean up all pet waste.
  • Obey traffic signs and rules.
  • Pack out all garbage and litter.
  • Respect adjoining landowners' rights and privacy.
  • Warn other trail users when passing by giving an audible signal.
  • Overnight camping and campfires are permitted only on designated campsites. Do not leave campfires unattended.
  • Enjoy the beauty of wild plants and animals, but leave them undisturbed for all to enjoy.
  • Trail users are legally responsible for obeying the rules and regulations provided in Minnesota Rules, 6100.3000.