Mountain Biking the North Shore with Odyssey Resorts

By Craig
The North Shore of Lake Superior is the outdoor recreational center of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. Each summer, scores of travelers flock to the area to explore the rugged and scenic beauty of the region through a variety of activities. One of the more popular pastimes is mountain biking.

The North Shore has an unmatched collection of mountain biking trails for riders of all skill levels. Whether you want to spend a few hours or a few days, on your bike, there are plenty of trails to explore. Thanks to volunteer groups like the Cyclist of Gitche Gumee Shores and the Superior Cycling Association, the trails in the region are ideal throughout the season.

In Duluth, there are nearly 100-miles of trails that connect through the Duluth’s Traverse system. This one-of-a-kind network unifies the city’s main trails into one system. Explore the beauty of the St. Louis River and Lake Superior on the Piedmont Trail System. Thrill-seeking riders will want to check out the Brewer Park extension to take on the “kissing booth”— a heart-pumping ride through rock drops and switchbacks.

Ride through forests and over bridges on the Mission Creek section, 23 miles of beginner and intermediate trails. The path runs next to the Jay Cooke State Park, a perfect place to take a break or stop for lunch to enjoy the St. Louis River Valley sights.

Don’t forget to visit the end of the Duluth Traverse and Lester Park. This park offers riders plenty of chances to catch scenic overlooks of the area while pedaling over berms. Savvy riders remember to pack their swimming suits for a dip in the Lester River.

You can also head north of Duluth to Grand Marais for a less crowded experience, and equally great biking, at Pincushion Mountain. The area has a variety of technical and machine-built trails, after your ride head into town for a beer and a meal at one of Grand Marais’ outstanding restaurants.

Another must stop for avid cyclists is The Sugarbush Trail System at Britton Peak in Tofte. This system offers many different lengths and difficulty of trails with plenty of elevation changes and amazing views of Lake Superior and the Sawtooth Mountains. Plus, don’t forget to experience the new Jackpot Trail that runs from Tofte to Lutsen Mountains. It is a one-of-a-kind riding experience that flows smoothly through the boreal forest and over natural landscapes with rock bridges. Jackpot is arguably the best mountain bike trail in the state with 14 miles one-way. The best part is that you can start or end your ride right from Caribou Highlands Lodge!

Jackpot Trail, Lutsen MN

All of these popular mountain biking options are located near our collection of resorts. If you forgot your bike, don’t worry, Odyssey Resorts partners with many area retailers that have plenty of bike options.

After your ride, make sure to recharge with a relaxing swim in one of Odyssey Resorts’ pools, refuel with a meal or beverage at one of our restaurants, or retreat to an outdoor fire with friends. You’ve earned it. Happy riding.

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