Whether you are looking to play in the powder, skim across frozen lakes, or tour first-class trails, snowmobiling is intrinsic to winter up north. Snowmobile trails on the North Shore provide the opportunity to explore the spectacular Lake Superior shoreline, adjacent ridges, lakes, forests and towns.
Trail Ethics and Common Sense
Snowmobile trails on the North Shore cross private and public land and are developed and maintained through a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) Grant-In-Aid program. Local snowmobile groups act in conjunction with the state to create, groom and maintain area trails. Snowmobiling is free of charge in Minnesota as long your snowmobile is registered in MN. All others require an annual $36 permit [details on how to buy]. A 50 MPH speed limit is in effect unless otherwise posted.
Rugged terrain is tamed by this 146-mile trail system. Leaving Duluth, the trail carves a lateral path through the backwoods and cliffs rising out of Lake Superior until it reaches its final destination, Grand Marais.
Numerous local trails connect with the State Trail, providing snowmobilers access to river banks, waterfalls, overlooks, wilderness loops and small pockets of civilization. The trail features many entry points, maintained rest areas, parking areas and bridges and is groomed in its entirety on a weekly basis. Gas, food and lodging are offered on some of the spur / local trails. Be prepared; sled with a friend and bring tools and parts, food and water, fuel and oil, and a cell phone. Many parts of the trail have NO CELL coverage. Leave your itinerary with a friend or the front desk staff and check the local forecast.
Enjoy your ride!
From 1-35, drive north on 21st Avenue East, then northeast on Woodland Avenue, southeast on Martin Road, right onto to Eagle Lake Road and to the parking area.
Enter on Hwy 61 on the northeast side of Gooseberry River; ride 9 miles from park to Corridor Trail.
Finland – From Hwy 61 in Illgen City, drive north on MN Hwy 1 to Finland, or northwest on County Road 6 out of Little Marais to Finland, then east on County Road 7 about 1-1/2 miles.
Schroeder – On Hwy 61 and Cross River, ride the North Shore Trail just over 4 miles to Corridor Trail.
Tofte – From Hwy 61 in Tofte, drive north on the Sawbill Trail (County Road 2) about 4-1/2 miles to parking area; or, ride the access trail on Hwy 61 just west of Bluefin Bay and ride about 4 miles to Corridor Trail.
Grand Marais – From Hwy 61 in Grand Marais, drive north on the Gunflint Trail (County Road 12) to County Road 7, then east a few blocks to parking area at 3rd Avenue West.
From I-35, take Hwy 23 to 131st Avenue West or take Grand Avenue to 72nd Avenue West Ride the skyline ridge, around Spirit Mountain and the woodlands behind the zoo. This trail connects to the Willard Munger State Trail which leads south towards Carlton, Minnesota.
From 1-35, continue to London Road, drive north on 61st Avenue East, which turns into Lester River Road. Snowmobile out of Lester Park into the Hawk Ridge Valley and city woodlands to the start of the North Shore State Trail.
Leaving the North Shore State Trail about 20 miles north of Duluth, the Pequaywan heads north into the Cloquet Valley State Forest and connects with the State Forest Trail.
Trailhead and parking just east of town on Highway 61. The trail brings the rider from town to the CJ Ramstad/State Trail.
From the old Interpretive Center on the east side of the river, this trail climbs the ridge and connects with the six mile North Shore Access Trail.
The Red Dot loops through Beaver Bay and Silver Bay providing the option of heading north to the North Shore State Trail and Moose Walk Trails or east into Tettegouche State Park.
Both trails explore the backwoods of the State Park crossing Palisade Creek and featuring a scenic overlook of Palisade Valley. Dipping into the forests behind the Sawtooth Range, the trails provide optimal wildlife viewing. Connecting points include the town of Finland, the North Shore State Trail and the Moose Walk Trail.
Taking its leave at the Lake and Cook County border, the Tomhawk aims four miles north to Crooked Lake to a favorite snowmobile gathering spot, the Crooked Lake Resort. Enroute to Ely, you’ll travel the secluded territory of the Superior National Forest. The Tomahawk connects with the Stony Spur and Happy Wanderer Trails.
The Lutsen trail system, named Trails A-F, spans diverse topography. Set just below the ridgeline, the F Trail joins Tofte and Lutsen. Bisecting the F Trail, the E Trail winds behind Oberg Mountain on its way to the North Shore State Trail. Barker Lake Road or the A Trail rolls over heavily timbered land to cross the Poplar River and intersect the North Shore State Trail just south of Barker Lake. A side spur of the A Trail leads to the Village Inn and Restaurant. Passing nearby Caribou, Ward and Deer Yard Lakes, the B, C, and D Trails feature several scenic overlook areas. Access to the Lutsen Trails is available north from Hwy 61 on CR 4 (Caribou Trail) a few miles and at the parking area off Hwy 61 near mile marker 99.
The last leg of the North Shore State Trail is the Grand Marais Trail. A junction on Forest Road 1367 presents the option of riding into town or heading onto the Gunflint Trail System. Currently only a few specific city streets in Grand Marais are open to snowmobiling with a 10 MPH speed limit.
Spectacular touring trails branch north of Devil Track Lake to the Canadian border lake, Saganaga. From the east end of Devil Track, the Gunflint Trail spans the entire area. From the west end of the lake, the X Trail runs parallel to the Gunflint Trail to the point they meet near Poplar River. Several trails connect the two along the way. Riding the Gunflint introduces you to moose, pine marten, Canadian and Blue Jays, and infrequently, timber wolves. You will have a much better chance of seeing wolf sign – tracks and kill sites. Off the Gunflint Trail shortly before it joins the X Trail is the Clearwater Spur leading to Clearwater Lake at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Snowmobiling is not allowed in the BWCAW. You’ll be riding in secluded areas, services are available at some lodges on the trail, with a concentration around Poplar Lake, the midway point.
Miles of scenic trails traverse the hilly terrain rising north from Lake Superior. The two main trail centers are located at Grand Portage Lodge & Casino (south of Hwy 61) and at Mineral Center (from Hwy 61, drive north on Mineral Center Rd / Co. Rd. 17 for about 5 miles to the trail center. Trails criss-cross the back country with one trail leading to Ryden’s Border Store & Gas Station on the US / Canada border.
We’re adjacent to the North Shore State Trail, Tomahawk Trail & Superior National Forest. Park behind our store, pick up a trail map and ride! You’ll find everything you need at our store. We’re on Hwy 61 in Beaver Bay, 3 miles from Silver Bay & 25 miles from Lutsen. We’ve got single sleds and 2-ups.
We’ve got single and 2-up sleds for you. Located on Hwy 61 on the east end of Grand Marais. Ride right onto the access trail to the North Shore State Trail, the Gunflint Trail system and the Superior National Forest.
Snowmobile Rentals available:
*All machines have hitches; helmets included with rental
Daily Rental $200 per day, plus tax (7.875%) and fuel
Reservations required; please call for details
Snowmobile rentals (with gas and helmets)
Full Day- $245
Half Day- $175; 8:30 – 11:30am pr 12:30 – 4:30pm
We offer full day [8 hr], half day [4 hr] and hourly [must be booked 48 hrs in advance] snowmobile rentals, helmets included. Gas is additional.
We offer 2 hour guided tours from 10am-noon or we provide Guide Service by the hour or half day rate.