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Ever ridden the Gunflint Trail (MN)?(4 posts)

Ever ridden the Gunflint Trail (MN)?Suddha
Aug 23, 2002 7:11 AM
I will be headed up to the North Shore of Lake Superior next weekend for some paddling and cabin relaxing, but as am obsessed cyclist I am thinking of taking my road bike along. The cabin I am staying at is about halfway up the Gunflint Trail, out of Grand Marais.

In past years up there, I have seen a few roadies putting in miles. In a way, it seems like an ideal place to ride - windy pavement, little traffic, good hills (especially coming up Pincushion Mtn.). But I am concerned about SUV's trailing boats, the lack of a shoulder and blind corners.

Anyone out there ever ridden the Trail? Thanks...
Sounds like you have a good grounding in the realities of the rdScot_Gore
Aug 23, 2002 8:59 AM
I've biked a ways up from Grand Marais, I don't think I've made it to the half way point (by halfway you mean halfway to Seagull Lake I'm assuming). What you describe regarding the risks is legit. There are going to be trucks pulling trailers, lots of them will be outfitters with the those double canoe trailers. The closer you are to Hwy 61 and inside Voyagers vs the BWCA you'll contend with a few logging trucks.

All that said, I don't think the road is any riskier than most I bike on. Things in it's favor.

There's not alot of traffic. The Gunflint Trail is essentially a dead end street. It's 2.5+ hour dead street, but nobodies using it as a throughway. The only people on it, are on it because the Gunflint is their destination. Hence it's pretty lightly traveled compared to something like Hwy 61 or even Hwy 1 up to Ely.

The DOT has been working on the Gunflint a few miles at a time for 10 plus years and it's LOTS better than it use to be. There are still some rough sections but most of the cracking and crumbling sections that rattle your teeth are gone. Also in this process, many of the blind curves and bad sight lines that still haunt my dreams from my drives in the 1980's are straightened out.

BTW: Hwy 61 has full 6 foot shoulders from Grand Marais to Grand Portgage except for a brief section through Judge Magney State Park where the shoulder drops to 4 feet.

Have fun.


PS: It case you've not been warned.
Unlike most of the rest of the USA, it's been wet.
re: Ever ridden the Gunflint Trail (MN)?bent_sprocket
Aug 23, 2002 10:46 AM
I ride on the Gunflint every year, just about. We do a fall trip (this year, the last week in Sept.) to a friend's cabin most of the way up the Gunflint.

The first year, I took my road bike. Every year after that, I've taken the 'cross bike. It's not that the Gunflint itself requires the 'crosser (although there are still places where I definitely appreciate the bigger tires).

I was just that I couldn't stand riding by all the lovely gravel roads in the SNP without a bit of exploring.

Nothing so good for that as my fixed/SS 'crosser with 32c or 40c semi-knobbies (wetter = bigger).
re: Ever ridden the Gunflint Trail (MN)?Suddha
Aug 23, 2002 11:36 AM
Thanks for the advice, guys... I think I'll take the road bike. I was tempted to take my MTB up and do some exploring, but then I promised my girlfriend I'd only do one ride and not be gone half the day.

The cabin is about halfway between Grand Marais and Seagull Lake. I'll probably head NW from the cabin, ride about an hour and then turn back. It's a great road and a great area. Can't wait...