Great River Energy / Mesabi Trail Tour

Ride for the fun or ride for the challenge – Saturday, August 20, 2022


The Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour is back!


Join us on the Mesabi Trail for the most fun you can have on two wheels!  Choose from four different routes of 16, 36, 46, or 64 miles – all traveling out and back on Trail from the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm.

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

Whichever route you choose, you will experience the same outstanding customer service and reliable logistics we’ve become famous for over the past 16 years!


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

Register Now

Registration closes Midnight on August 7th.


New for 2022:

  • We are returning to one large tour in August with four different routes.
  • To eliminate the hassle & confusion of rider & bike transportation from our old one-way tour route, all four routes will travel out and back from the same location – two traveling east & two traveling west.
  • You will encounter TWO-WAY bicycle traffic – but, the Mesabi Trail is designed for two-way traffic – and after trying out & back in 2021, it not only worked well, but riders were very pleased with the convenience of one start/finish location.
  • We are partnering with the Minnesota Discovery Center (MDC) in Chisholm as the tour hub – all four routes will start & return here. Besides being a GREAT venue for the tour…MDC is offering free admission to the museum for all riders, and reduced fees for trolley rides & mini-golf. MDC is also home to the new Redhead mountain bike park.


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 a designated time (TBD) – PLEASE select your route according to your abilities to assure you will be able to finish the tour in a timely fashion.


The tour is a fundraiser for the Mesabi Trail and Club Mesabi, the “friends” of the Mesabi Trail.




Who knows what COVID-19 will look like in August? We will adapt according to CDC guidelines and State of Minnesota recommendations or mandates. All activities will be outdoors, offering plenty of space for safe social distancing.

Route #1 Minnesota Discovery Center

Route #1 heads east on the Mesabi Trail to Buhl -16 miles total out & back.
(note some print materials listed this as 12 miles in error)

The turn around & rest-stop for this route is located in Buhl - boasting the finest water in America. It is on the shores of Stubler Pit, an abandoned mine pit now filled with water, offering a public swimming beach and nearby campground.

Route #2 Minnesota Discovery Center

Route #2 heads east on the Mesabi Trail to Mountain Iron - 36 miles total out & back.
(note some print materials listed this as 32 miles in error)

Turn-Around #2 & rest-stop is located at Locomotive Park. The Park offers a 1910 locomotive, playground equipment, an historic overlook and views of Minnetac mining operations, the largest producer of taconite in the world.

Route #3 Minnesota Discovery Center

Route #3 heads west on the Mesabi Trail to O'Brien Reservoir - 46 miles total out & back.

Turn-Around #3 and rest-stop is located between Keewatin and Nashwauk. Located right on the Mesabi Trail you will pop out of the forest at O'Brien Reservoir. Offering a swimming area with a sandy beach, fishing pier and playground.

Route #4 Minnesota Discovery Center

Route #4 heads west on the Mesabi Trail to Calumet - 64 miles total out & back (our metric century ride).

Turn-Around #4 and rest-stop is in quaint little Calumet. With a population of under 400, Calumet is one of the oldest mining towns on the Iron Range, tracing it's birth back to 1909. Our tour location is just steps from the Hill Annex Mine State Park.

Tour Day Schedule

Saturday Schedule, August 20:

  • 6:30 – 8:00 am – Rider Packet & T-Shirt Pick-Up
  • 7:00 – 8:00 am – Start…Routes #3 & #4 (long courses)
  • 8:30 – 10:00 am – Rider Packet & T-Shirt Pick-up
  • 9:00 – 10:00 am – Start…Routes #1 & #2 (short courses)
  • 11:00 – 5:00 pm / Lunch at the Finish Line
  • 11:30 – 4:30 pm / Music at the Finish Line
Tour Registration Includes
  • Your choice of four different routes.
  • 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/rest stops, plus a picnic dinner with vegetarian options at the finish line.
  • T-shirt for each participant.
    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 a three day pass to enjoy more time on the Trail.
Ride for Rhonda

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.