Storm Damage Update 6/20/24

Mesabi Trail Conditions June 20, 2024


There have been many inquiries about the condition of the trail from folks planning trips up this way in the next few weeks. The trail is currently approximately 90% open for use. Grand Rapids to McKinley is all in good shape aside from some small areas of standing water and potential debris. Our crews are out working hard to make sure it is safe and clean. So those of you planning trips through this area will have no issues.


From Tower to Ely, the trail is open and clear. Some shouldering has been damaged due to high river levels in the Tower area, but the trail itself is in great condition. There are a few places between Giant’s Ridge and Ely where water is seeping out of the ground and running across the trail surface. This can potentially be a bit slippery, so be aware of your speed through these areas. Otherwise, it’s good to go.


Current flooding is at Palo Tia Road and Waisanen Road in Embarrass and on the gravel portion of the Darwin Myers WMA also in Embarrass. It is recommended that trail users avoid these sections for at least a few more days to let the water levels recede, however, more rain is coming over the weekend so it may be a while yet before the water goes down. The floating bridge is floating and still offers a great ride and some awesome scenery and wildlife, but the ¾ mile gravel road is under a good 8” of water. So come ride the floating bridge, but be prepared to do an out-and-back type of trip rather than a through ride.


The section between Embarrass Lake and the Giant’s Ridge entry road is where the severe damage is located and the trail is closed until further notice. Trail staff and a variety of other stakeholders have been onsite to see the damage firsthand to start preparing for the rebuilding of the trail and utility corridor. Heading west, the trail can be accessed at the Embarrass Lake parking area. Heading east, the trail can be accessed by the Narrow’s Bridge.


We will be keeping an eye on all of this and continually updating the website and FB.

Funding Source

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