I ride up from the Twin Cities to Duluth at least once each summer and plan the same in a few weeks. The trail is the quickest and easiest way up there as there is really no terrain to overcome except the fun little loop north of Finlayson.
The trail has its beauty and also some uninteresting sections. The last 20 miles between Jay Cooke State Park and West Duluth are the most interesting. It's all downhill if you are riding into Duluth and of course all up hill from West Duluth to Buffalo House, but the grade is not particularly steep.
Getting off the trail and managing the bike route connecting the harbor is a bit dodgy as the roads are pretty much cratered and crumbled but they will get you there safely unless you blow a tire on one of the ten million potholes. I did count them:-)
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