Bicycle Trails

The County Park System provides for the management and maintenance of two bicycle trails in Itasca County. These trails provide routes for bicycle travel from Grand Rapids to Gunn Park and Grand Rapids to the St. Louis County line.
 

Itasca Trail


The Itasca Bike Trail is a seven mile bituminous trail which stretches from the County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids north to Gunn County Park on Minnesota Trunk Highway 38. Planning began in 1989 and the trail was constructed in 1994. This is a multiple-use trail that includes hiking; bicycling, in-line skating, cross-country skiing, and some ATV travel in designated areas. The trail provides safe and healthy recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors.

Mesabi Trail


The Mesabi Bike Trail is a 132 mile long trail that will link over twenty communities across Minnesota’s Iron Range. The trail traverses from Grand Rapids to Ely utilizing abandoned railways, logging and mining roads, along with existing community bike trails. This is a multiple-use trail that includes hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, cross-country skiing, and some snowmobile riding in designated areas.  Several segments of the trail have been constructed in Itasca County including 13 miles from Grand Rapids to Taconite and 5 miles from Nashwauk to Keewatin. The Taconite to Pengilly segment is scheduled for construction in 2003-2004. The trail provides safe and healthy recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors to the area. The alignment will emphasize the historic, scenic, environmental, and educational aspects of the region while connecting communities. It is destined to become a high quality attraction for the tourism industry and give a boost to the area.

Itasca County Regional Railroad Authority


The Itasca County Railroad Authority is a separate political subdivision authorized by Minnesota State Statues 398A. The statutory mission of Regional Railroad Authorities is "to protect and preserve abandoned railway for future transportation purposes". Current efforts by the St. Louis and Lake Rail Authority and Itasca Rail Authority to preserve, enhance, and promote the future of railroad alignments is the permanent easement acquisition and construction of a bicycle trail (an alternative form of transportation). The Itasca Railroad Authority works cooperatively with the St. Louis and Lake Railroad Authority in regards to the Mesabi Trail. The County Park System staff and office also serves as the Itasca County Railroad Authority staff and office for correspondence, meeting notices, minutes, etc. The Itasca County Board of Commissioners annually appoint themselves as Commissioners for the Itasca County Regional Railroad Authority.