Three men observe the high falls at Tettegouche State Park

10 Essential Stops on U.S. Bicycle Route 41

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At 60 feet high, the High Falls at Tettegouche State Park is the tallest waterfall within Minnesota's state border
Biking // List

10 Essential Stops on U.S. Bicycle Route 41

By Brian Fanelli

The North Star Route, or U.S. Bicycle Route 41 (USBR 41), links together a system of bicycle trails and scenic roadways to connect St. Paul, Duluth and Grand Portage for an epic 315 miles of riding. While exploring this lengthy segment of Minnesota's natural wonders, be sure to stop at these ten must-visit destinations along the way.

  1. CHS Field, St. Paul
    CHS Field Saint Paul Saints fans

    CHS Field, St. Paul 

    CHS Field, St. Paul

    The major leagues might get all the press coverage, but minor league baseball is where you’ll find the real fun. Need proof? Look no further than Mudonna, the beloved pig who serves as mascot for the St. Paul Saints at CHS Field in St. Paul's Lowertown neighborhood. The field also hosts live music, and even an Internet Cat Video Film Festival (if you’re lucky enough to get tickets, that is).

  2. Grant House Eatery & Hotel, Rush City
    The Historic Grant House Hotel

    The Historic Grant House Hotel 

    Grant House Eatery & Hotel, Rush City

    Every rider owes it to themselves to visit this restored 19th century tavern. In addition to offering a unique lodging and dining experience, Grant House is said to have a long history of paranormal activity. But so long as you remember to never cross the streams, you should be fine.

  3. Snake River Fur Post, Pine City
    Snake River Fur Post

    Snake River Fur Post 

    Snake River Fur Post, Pine City

    Keep the historic destinations rolling with a visit to the historic Snake River Fur Post. Reconstructed from the winter of 1804, here this living history site offers opportunities to meet a French voyageur, a British fur trade clerk and visit an Ojibwe encampment.

  4. Hinckley Fire Museum, Hinckley
    Woman at Hinckley Fire Museum

    Learn about the infamous Hinckley wildfire of 1894 at the Hinckley Fire Museum 

    Hinckley Fire Museum, Hinckley

    The Hinckley Fire Museum offers a view into the wildfire of 1894, one of the largest wildfires in recorded history. The inferno reached far into the sky and changed Minnesota history forever. View artifacts that made it through the fire, learn stories of the survivors and delve deeply into this lesser-known but incredibly impactful part of Minnesota history.

  1. Duluth Traverse Mountain Bike Trails, Duluth
    Taking a rock roll at Piedmont

    There's no shortage of rock rolls on the Piedmont trails / Pinkbike

    Duluth Traverse Mountain Bike Trails, Duluth

    With more than 100 miles of mountain bike trails within the city limits, it’s no wonder Duluth is known as Minnesota’s mountain bike capital. Hit up Day Tripper of Duluth for a guided tour of the area trails, or rent a mountain bike from Continental Ski & Bike and head out for yourself. And after a long day of riding, you'll find plenty of ways to relax and rewind in Duluth.

  2. New Scenic Cafe, Duluth
    Looking out the window of New Scenic Cafe

    About 15 miles north of Duluth, the New Scenic Cafe serves flavorful, farm-to-table meals on the North Shore

    New Scenic Cafe, Duluth

    About fifteen miles outside of Duluth along Scenic Highway 61, you’ll pass an understated, old-school-Americana style cafe. The modest exterior doesn’t give much away, but for those in the know, the New Scenic Cafe is one of Minnesota’s best dining experiences – and you can’t beat the view.

  3. Tettegouche State Park, Silver Bay
    Tettegouche State Park Baptism River

    Baptism River, Tettegouche State Park / Democratic Travelers

    Tettegouche State Park, Silver Bay

    For people biking USBR 41, Tettegouche State Park is a camper’s paradise. Located about 60 miles up Lake Superior's North Shore from Duluth, Tettegouche is the perfect place to set up camp after a long day of riding. If you’ve still got some energy, be sure to hit the hiking trails for unparalleled views of the Sawtooth Mountains, the High Falls of the Baptism River and the spectacular overlooks at Shovel Point.

  4. Lutsen Mountains, Lutsen
    Group in Gondola Seeing Sightseeing on the Summit Express Gondola at Lutsen Mountains

    Flying high on the Summit Express gondola at Lutsen Mountains / Lisa Meyers McClintick

    Lutsen Mountains, Lutsen

    Traditionally Minnesota may be known for its 10,000 lakes and expansive prairie, but up along the North Shore, Lutsen Mountains has other ideas. Take the aerial gondola to the summit of Moose Mountain for a panoramic view of the North Shore, Enjoy a snack or a meal at the Summit Chalet with its expansive deck overlooking Lake Superior, and hop on the Alpine Slide for an exhilarating half mile of twists and turns back down to the base. How’s that for prairie land?

  5. North House Folk School, Grand Marais
    Woman building a boat

    Learn traditional northern crafts and skills like boat building and pine needle basketry at North House Folk School in Grand Marais / Layne Kennedy

    North House Folk School, Grand Marais

    Up in the charming coastal town of Grand Marais, North House Folk School offers classes in traditional northern crafts and skills including: pine needle basketry, fermentation, wood carving, fly casting, sailing, song writing, storytelling and much more. Classes range from an afternoon to a three-day workshop, with seasonal programs running year-round. Or apply for the week-long work study program to take classes and stay in beautiful Grand Marais for free.

  6. Grand Portage State Park & Monument, Grand Portage
    High Falls Grand Portage in the fall

    The High Falls at Grand Portage in the fall / Kurt Carlson

    Grand Portage State Park & Monument, Grand Portage

    Along the North Shore, the biggest attraction is the land itself. There are certainly many things to do along the way, but let’s be honest – you’re not headed to Grand Portage for the indie music scene. No, you’re headed there for the breathtaking cliffs and beaches, the rich Native American history and the unparalleled riding. Experience it all when you reach Grand Portage State Park and National Monument at the northernmost tip of USBR 41. It’s worth it.

Brian Fanelli

Brian Fanelli is a Minneapolis-based writer. You can reliably find him browsing the sci-fi shelves in a local bookstore or biking one of Minnesota's spectacular trails.