If you find yourself in Northern Minnesota near Lake Superior's North Shore spend a day on the Gitchi Gami bike trail. Currently an almost 15-mile stretch is completed between Gooseberry Falls State Park and Beaver Bay. In addition from East Beaver Bay, another two- mile section heads north towards Silver Bay. There are other shorter stretches that have been developed but from Gooseberry Falls to Silver Bay is a good and challenging 34-mile round trip ride. Eventually the trail is planned to run 88-miles from Two Harbors to Grand Marais. The Gitchi Gami Trail Association's website updates the progress made on the trail on a regular basis and would be worth checking before deciding where to ride.
The Gitchee Gami is hilly and curvy, much of it following the Lake Superior shoreline. It passes by Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, through deep woods, over bridges and through rocky gorges . This was the trail that convinced me to embrace hill climbs. My burning lungs and aching quads were forgotten at the top of every hill as Lake Superior appeared in all its splendor. The spectacular views were worth every long climb on the trail.
There were plenty of benches along the trail and other areas accessible to Lake Superior's shoreline to pull off and take a breather. We didn't see a lot of places to stop for food along the route, but we started our day with breakfast at the Cedar Coffee Company and had a beer at the end of the day at Castle Danger Brewery, both in Two Harbors.