For access to the Mesabi TrailSM from Highway 53, exit onto Hwy 37 to Gilbert. Continue 3 miles to intersection of Highway 135/Broadway. Trail access and parking is straight ahead.
On the Trail, five miles south of Virginia, is the town of Gilbert, population 1,900. Gilbert has parks, library, excellent camping facilities and public access to lakes and a boat launch, s well as a post office and city hall.
The area around Gilbert is generally new growth forest, hills (man-made) and natural rolling hills. This is a community resting not only on a large body of iron ore, but it also on the Laurentian Divide. The Divide is where a drop of water, split in half, would travel in two directions; north to Hudson Bay, and southeast to Lake Superior.
Summer is a busy time in Gilbert. On the 3rd of July, an annual parade and street dance take place, followed on July 4th with a children's parade. Gilbert also celebrates Sherwood Forest Days every summer with softball, a pig roast, games for kids, and much more. Sherwood Forest Campground is fitted with hookups, showers and a beautiful beachfront. The Iron Range Historical Society, located in the historic former city hall, houses an extensive collection on photographs, family history/biographies, and much more.
The area is very attractive to long term camping (and motor home facilities) and is well equipped to handle them. From its higher ground, Gilbert offers great vistas of the entire surrounding area.
The community encourages tourism and the Mesabi Trail guests will find this a beautiful, comfortable spot to stop and discover.
Gilbert has two excellent restaurants in town with one of them serving renowned Jamaican food and the other offering more traditional cuisine. Gift shops, an information center, and convenience store/service stations are also locted in Gilbert. The post office, city hall, library, and historical society are located downtown. Medical facilities are located in nearby Virginia.