HISTORY OF THE TRAIL
In the late 1980's and early 1990's, a group of resort owners and others began discussing the possibility of constructing a recreational trail to provide a safe corridor for bicyclists, in-line skaters, joggers and walkers along Highway 61, paralleling the North Shore of Lake Superior. Originally the scope of the trail was confined to the Tofte-Schroeder-Lutsen area.
When the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) agreed in 1996 to support the idea of a separate trail for the North Shore, the proponents of the trail officially organized as the North Shore Touring Trail Association (NSTTA), and the proposed trail was to be named the North Shore Trail. In 1999 the NSTTA voted to change the name of the trail to the Gitchi-Gami State Trail (GGST) and the name of the organization to Gitchi-Gami Trail Association (GTTA). Today the GGTA is an all-volunteer, self-sufficient 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with a Board of Directors, which meets regularly.
The GGTA works closely with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR) and MnDOT in trail design, construction and maintenance. The GGTA also oversees trail activites, including the Annual Ride, and the promotion of the trail. There is no charge to use the trail, but all who enjoy using it are encouraged to join the GGTA to support its efforts.
PROGRESS OF THE TRAIL
The GGST is comprised of many planning and construction segments. Currently, over 25 miles of trail are complete in several segments, the longest of which is the 14.6-mile segment between Gooseberry Falls State Park northeast to the town of Beaver Bay.You can consult the trail map for details. Another four miles are scheduled for completion in 2012.
The table below shows completed and planned trail construction. You can follow the progress of the trail by periodically consulting this table.
|Construction Year||Project Name||Project Area||Total Miles|
|Completed||Gooseberry Falls State Park Phase I||E. Limits of Gooseberry Falls SP to Gooseberry River||1.2|
|Completed||Split Rock Lighthouse State Park||Split Rock River to Mary Street in Beaver Bay||7.8|
|Completed||Tofte||Tofte to a .5 mile west of the Onion River||2.5|
|Completed||Beaver Bay Trail||Mary Street to Beaver River Trail Head Area||0.6|
|Completed||Grand Marais||W. Limits of Grand Marais to 8th Avenue West in Grand Marais||1.5|
|Completed||Temperance River SP Phase 1 & 2||Schroeder to Tofte||3|
|Completed||Silver Creek Cliff Trail||West Limits of Silver Creek Cliff to Overlook on west side||1|
|Completed||Gooseberry to Split Rock Connector||East Limits of Gooseberry Falls SP to Split Rock River||3.5|
|Completed||Gooseberry Falls State Park Phase 2||Gooseberry Falls SP Trail Head to .5 miles east of TH 61 Bridge||1.5|
|Completed||Onion River||.5 miles west of the Onion River to CR 34||3|
|Completed||Beaver Bay to Silver Bay||West Road in Beaver Bay to Silver Bay||2.3|
|2013||Lutsen Phase 1||CR 34 to CR 5 (Ski Hill Road)||1.6|
|2013||Beaver Bay Trail Head||Beaver Bay Trail Head to east end of West Road||0.8|
|20??||Cascade River State Park Phase 1||Cascade River to West Limits of Grand Marais||8|
|20??||Tettegouche State Park||Silver Bay to Tettegouche State Park||7|
|20??||Lutsen Phase 2||CR 5 (Ski Hill Road) to CR 41||4.8|
|20??||Town of Tofte||USFS to east side of Tofte||1|
|20??||The Tunnels||Silver Creek Tunnel to Lafayette Tunnel||2.3|
|20??||Castle Danger||Lafayette Tunnel to Gooseberry Falls State Park Trail Head||4.2|
|20??||Cascade River State Park Phase 2||CR 41 to Cascade River||3.9|
|20??||Illgen City||Tettegouche State Park to 3.3 miles north TH 1||5|
|20??||Two Harbors Phase 1||Two Harbors to Stewart River||2.4|
|20??||Two Harbors Phase 2||Stewart River to Silver Cliff Tunnel||2.8|
|20??||Taconite Harbor||Cook County Line to Schroeder||7.7|
|20??||Little Marais||3.3 miles north TH 1 to 1.75 miles north of Little Marais||3.1|
|20??||Caribou Falls State Wayside||1.75 miles north of Little Marais to Cook County Line||5.7|