by Ardy Nurmi-Wilberg
Did you know you can ride your bike across the tallest bridge in Minnesota on the Mesabi Trail? Did you also know that on August 4th, all four routes for the Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour will be going across that bridge?
More on the Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour
Whether you are an avid cyclist, a casual rider or you’ve got the kids in tow – don’t miss this fun. The ride is filled with many opportunities to experience the Best Rural Bike Trail in Minnesota (according the 2013 Star Tribune).
The 2018 Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour has a route for riders of any level and every year the tour route is changed to highlight the wonderful communities along the trail. This year all four routes will lead to a slam bang finish at Mesabi Station in Eveleth.
Trail Route Options
Just eight miles from Grand Rapids, take the 71 mile route from Bovey and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the picture Grace.
52 miles from the finish join the tour in Nashwauk, and enjoy the first of 5 rest stops with snacks and entertainment.
Buhl is the 3rd start location, with 25 miles to go to finish line outdoor concert and BBQ lunch. Don’t miss out on some of the Finest Water in America, in Buhl.
The shortest route, great for all the kids in the family, is just 11 miles from Virginia. And just a couple of miles away from the tallest bridge in Minnesota!
The new Minnesota Bridge
Crossing the bridge, 200 feet above the water’s surface, the $220 million bridge is part of the relocation of Hwy 53. This allowed United Taconite to mine under the old highway. In order to connect Virginia with the reminder of the Mesabi Trail heading towards Ely, a 14 ft wide addition was added to the bridge to accommodate the paved bike trail. In the winter, this also serves as a snowmobile crossing.
The trail stretches over 155 miles
The Mesabi Trail is one of the premier bike trails in Minnesota. Currently over 135 miles of this paved trail is complete, when finished it will stretch over 155 miles and pass through 28 communities in northeast MN.
Stretching from the Mississippi (Grand Rapids) to the Boundary Waters (Ely) you will experience a trail like no other. The trail allows you to pedal past pristine lakes, through woods, over rolling hills, wind through bogs and hey, there’s a taconite mine. It’s a ride you won’t forget, filled with historic sites, not to mention a string of small towns with a TON of charm.
One of the best ways to experience the Mesabi Trail is on the fully supported Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour. At $45 for individuals and $90 for a family (kids 18 & under ride FREE), it’s one of the best deals around. Entry includes transportation for you and your bike, food & entertainment at rest stops, a concert & BBQ at the finish and a commemorative t-shirt.
Register online today https://www.mesabitrail.com/trail-activities/tour/registration, and have the ride of your life!