Taconite State Trail 


Opened in 1986, this 165-mile State trail runs from Grand Rapids to Ely. The Taconite Trail serves as a major snowmobile corridor that connects with a vast network of Grant-in-Aid snowmobile trails maintained by local snowmobile clubs, and the Arrowhead State Trail just west of Lake Vermilion.
The first 6 miles from Grand Rapids are aligned with the paved Mesabi Trail for biking and in-line skating. The remainder of the natural surface trail is used primarily for snowmobiling in the winter. The trail goes through a few areas that have standing water in the summer, however portions of the trail are suitable for horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking.

The Landscape
The Taconite Trail winds through forests of birch and aspen intertwined with pine, leading the visitor by many isolated lakes and streams. From Grand Rapids heading north, you see the impact of the taconite and iron mining industry. The northern portion of the trail terrain is rolling and tree covered as it winds through state and national forest land.
Eight trail waysides and picnic facilities offer scenic vistas of the hills, lakes and rivers of this area. The trail links to state parks: Bear Head Lake, Soudan Underground Mine, and McCarthy Beach. The landscape in and around Bear Head Lake State Park is very rolling and rocky.


Snowmobiling season is December 1 through March 31. Year to year conditions vary, but best conditions are usually between late December and March 15. Most summer use occurs on the Grand Rapids end.


Snowmobiles are required to have registration and trail pass; horseback riders require a trail pass available where DNR licenses are sold.

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