Annual Tour Series

Great River Energy / Mesabi Trail Tour Series

Ride for the fun or ride for the challenge – either way, the Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour “Series” is the most fun you can have on two wheels! And now – you get to choose from three tours instead of just one!


The Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour has a whole new look for these days of COVID-19. We’ve come up with a new and creative plan to keep everyone safe and healthy while we all spend time outdoors with family and friends – the Mesabi Trail offers the ultimate in safe social distancing!

While you pedal (fully supported) along one of Minnesota’s premiere paved bicycle trails, you will encounter historic & scenic points of interest, food & music at rest stops, and a finish line celebration complete with a picnic lunch and more music!

Whichever of the three tours of the series you choose, you will experience the same outstanding customer service and reliable logistics we’ve been famous for over the past 15 years!


Cost (per tour) is $45 per person for folks 17 and older – kids 16 and under ride FREE!


If you have ridden with us before, here are the changes you will see for 2021:

  • Instead of one big tour in August – choose from three smaller tours throughout the biking season!
  • Instead of one long linear route – each tour will travel out & back on the Mesabi Trail from the same location – you will encounter TWO-WAY bicycle traffic.
  • Instead of four linear routes – choose from two routes of about 25 & 50 miles, out & back on the Trail.
  • Instead of being able to accept an unlimited number of riders – the number of riders will be limited to 250 per tour.
  • Instead of opening registration in January – registration will open six weeks before each tour, running for about four weeks or until limits are reached.


Selecting Your Route:

The Mesabi Trail is not a rail-to-trail conversion…it is NOT flat & straight, there are a number of hills (some steep) and curves (some sharp). While this public trail is open at all times, our tour volunteers will be on the course only until 4 pm – PLEASE select your route according to your abilities to assure you will be able to finish the tour in a timely fashion.


The tours are a fundraiser for the Mesabi Trail and Club Mesabi, the “friends” of the Mesabi Trail.




While restrictions are lifting and guidelines changing, we are remaining cautious and currently staying with our plans as outlined above. Click here for our COVID recommendations for the Tour Series

Tour #1 Minnesota Discover Center July 31, 2021

We haven't partnered with the Discovery Center since our very 1st tour in 2005, and we're excited to make this great facility part of the tour route again! After the tour, be sure to enjoy everything MDC has to offer...tour participants are invited to explore their world class museum at no charge, ride the trolley or play mini-golf for just $3 per person, and don't miss a chance to check out the brand new Redhead Mountain Bike Park!

No registrations accepted on tour day

Available Routes:
  • 12 miles to Leetonia... a total of 24 miles out & back.
  • 26 miles to O'Brien Reservoir... a total of 52 miles out & back.
Tour #2 Itasca County Fairgrounds August 28, 2021

One of our favorite start locations, with some of the prettiest sections of the trail starting at the Fairgrounds. Plus there is a world class campground at the same location.

No registrations accepted on tour day

Available Routes:
  • 12 miles to Taconite...a total of 24 miles out & back.
  • 26 miles to Nashwauk... a total of 48 miles out & back.
Tour #3 - Rhonda Balfour Memorial Tour Olcott Park September 18, 2021

Enjoy the beauty of Fall along the Mesabi trail in this September ride. The ride starts at Olcott Park, a gem in the Queen City - boasting a newly renovated historic fountain and botanical garden. After you finish at Olcott Park, pedal another 2.5 miles to ride across the tallest bridge in Minnesota via the Mesabi Trail. That extra 5 miles round trip is SO worth'll love the view!

No registrations accepted on tour day

Available Routes:
  • 13 miles to Buhl... a total of 26 miles out & back.
  • 25 miles to Hibbing... a total of 50 miles out & back.
Tour Day Schedules

Each Tour will follow the same schedule:

  • Saturday Morning: 7 to 8 a.m. – Rider Packet & T-Shirt Pick-Up
  • Saturday Morning: 8 to 9 am – Start time for both tour routes
  • Saturday Afternoon: 11 am to 4 pm – Lunch at the Finish Line
  • Saturday Afternoon: 11 am to 4 pm – Music at the Finish Line
Tour Registration Includes
  • Your choice of two different routes at each tour.
  • Music – music – music!
    Live local entertainers perform at most turn-around points and the finish line.
  • Food – food – and more food.
    Enjoy food & refreshments at all turn-around points, plus a picnic dinner with vegetarian options at the finish line.
  • T-shirt for each participant.
    Each tour will have the same shirt color & design. Choose your size carefully when you register, we will adhere strictly to your order.
  • Three Day Mesabi Trail Wheel Pass
    Use your tour wrist band as your three day pass.
Rhonda Balfour Memorial Tour

At Tour #3 from Virginia, we are riding in memory of our beloved friend and volunteer extraordinaire, Rhonda Balfour, who passed in February of 2020. Many of you will remember Rhonda’s beautiful & vibrant smile, and her boundless energy & enthusiasm at Friday night registration and the finish line. Rhonda served on the Club Mesabi Board for 15 years, and volunteered at every single tour. She is missed beyond words…

Funding Source

The Mesabi Trail™ has been funded in part by the LCCMR and the Minnesota Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund.