Visit Cook County
Blog post by Maren Webb, Assistant Coordinator of the Moving Matters Project, at the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic in Grand Marais, MN.
While the North Shore will always be known for its natural beauty, it is also known for its opportunities for adventure. These days, one of the fun, adventurous ways to experience Cook County is on two wheels. Whether you are a serious bicyclist or a casual rider, there’s something to do and see on a bicycle in Cook County.
For you lovers of mountain biking, there are two great locations for singletrack mountain bike trails in Cook County, Britton Peak near Tofte and Pincushion Mountain near Grand Marais. Singletrack trails are narrow mountain bike trails that are approximately the width of the bike, offering an adventurous ride in our beautiful northwoods. There are also two races, the Lutsen 99er in June and the Sawtooth Mountain Bike Challenge in September, for a little competition during your visit. Fun to ride in or watch!
For more casual riders, the Gitchi Gami State Trail has several completed sections in Cook County, from Schroeder to Tofte (3 miles), from Tofte towards Lutsen (5.8 miles), and through Grand Marais (1.5 miles). This paved, non-motorized trail is great for walkers and bikers of all ages and abilities. Grand Marais has also been recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, with its local bike shop (great for rentals!), bike trail, and bike lanes downtown. Check out the Grand Marais Walking and Biking Routes Map for more route ideas, or use a bicycle as your transportation around town. By parking your car and experiencing Grand Marais on two wheels, you’ll see more of our lively and artistic small town.
And more is yet to come! A new section of the Gitchi Gami Trail, between Grand Marais and Cascade River State Park, is in the works. There is also a new project, called Moving Matters, which is working to make Cook County safer and more accessible for biking and walking. With funding from the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Moving Matters is making bicyclists and pedestrians a priority through policy change.
On your next visit to the North Shore, be sure to bring or rent a bike, so you can experience it all from two wheels.