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“flat and quiet but a bit neglected”

Eagan, Minnesota
Level Contributor
44 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“flat and quiet but a bit neglected”
Reviewed 1 July 2014

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:-)

Visited July 2014
3 Thank 26pt2runner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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51 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
North Mankato, Minnesota
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Coming back from being flooded out in June, 2012!”
Reviewed 1 June 2014

The paved trail goes on for miles and connects with other trails too. There are some gravel areas due to the 500 year flood of June, 2012, that haven't been paved yet, but the scenic beauty is breathtaking!

Visited May 2014
2 Thank PEGGY K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Duluth, Minnesota
Level Contributor
30 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“enjoy at your own pace”
Reviewed 28 May 2014

This use to be the old railroad bed. I grew up walking the tracks to get around town but now I can walk in comfort. Great for walking, biking or rollar blading (except a few spots where the flood washed things out) Don't be surprised to see deer, bear, turkey vultures & maybe even a cougar! Lots of wild flowers along the way too.

Visited May 2014
Thank Janis S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marshalltown, Iowa
Level Contributor
104 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Easy, scenic trail”
Reviewed 28 September 2013

My husband has just gotten back into biking following some major health problems, and this was the perfect trail for him. It is flat, paved and scenic in the area we rode from Carlton to Duluth and back. The gorge just east of Carlton has a beautiful bridge from which to appreciate the scene, and bike racks you can lock your bike to while you walk down to the gorge. We camped at the KOA just east of Carlton and rode the wide, paved shoulder up to the trail.

Visited September 2013
2 Thank Dee D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
72 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Lovely paved trail”
Reviewed 5 September 2013

Really beautiful trail that runs for 63 miles from Hinkley to Duluth. The entire thing is paved, although there are a few spots where the pavement got washed out by the floods of 2012. There was dirt/ gravel in those sections, which were no more than 200 feet in any one spot. Easily rideable with a road bike, as long as you are careful. I am assuming those spots will be repaved, as there is fresh asphalt in many sections. There are also some areas that have bumps and cracks, but it looks like they are marked for repair.

West of the park road by about a mile you cross the St Louis River, which as noted by others is spectacular. If you only do that bit, it would be worth it. The river bridge is also only about 2 miles from Carlton, so you can access it that way. There are nice bike racks (Thanks MN DNR!) if you want to lock up and walk down to the river or take photos.

East of the park road you ride along the Forebay canal/lake, which emptied in a breach and cut a 150 foot gap in Hwy 210. The trail is probably the best place to see the damage, since you are above it. They are supposed to start refilling the canal in fall 2013, but it was still empty as of Labor Day.

I didn’t go all the way to Duluth, which is 13 miles. There is a slight downhill towards Duluth, so be aware of that: You still have to ride back, and it is just a little harder going west. But being an old RR bed, the grade is very slight, unnoticeable to most people.

Visited September 2013
3 Thank WiscPedalGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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