Northeastern Minnesota

Discussion in 'Central – From Da Nort Woods to the Plane States' started by arrowhead rider, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. Northwoods Snowman

    Northwoods Snowman Adventurer

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    Apr 30, 2019
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    Hi all! I'll admit, I'm not going to read all 247 pages of this thread... but being relatively new (5yrs) to the Cloquet/Duluth area and finally getting another off road bike this summer, I've been trying to see what's in the area to ride. I've been riding the single track trails down at the Nemadji state forest and having a ton of fun on my KTM 525 EXC. Are there many guys around Duluth, and anyone know of any forest roads locally to go play on? KTM is plated so I'm all legal on the road, but it seems there's not much in the way of dirt roads locally.
  2. playharder

    playharder Just a rider

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
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    Location:
    cloquet, mn
    You mention Cloquet in your post, so might want to try riding the ditchbanks which are located about ten miles west of that town off the Big Lake Road. The main road takes you over to Highway 73 just north of Cromwell, but there are many side roads and trails to explore.
  3. Northwoods Snowman

    Northwoods Snowman Adventurer

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    Cloquet, MN
    Sweet. I'll have to check it out. Thanks!
  4. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    South of the Border on the Minnesota Riviera
    What about the "bird sanctuary" in the Gordon area? Sand roads there as I recall. Also, dirt roads/railroad grade from Superior to Delta, WI. The owner of Delta Diner knows a bit about good roads in that area. There also have to be a lot of fun roads off 210, west of the Black Bear Casino in what I know as "the 100 mile swamp"
  5. bidda444

    bidda444 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
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    Location:
    Buchanan, MN
    500 miles and many smiles on a new 2020 Moto Guzzi V85TT Adventure. Replaced an 02 BMW R1150 GS.
    Lots of info @ 280 pages in this forum, production started Jan 2019, much anticipation for this mid size ADV bike.
    New 850cc engine, state of tech dash, cruise, abs, 3 riding modes, 6.1 gal+.25 reserve, 45-50mpg, shaft drive, comfortable ergos with upright riding position, 500# wet, Anakee Adv tires, optional center stand, panniers.$13 K

    20190717_184035.jpg
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  6. wildknits

    wildknits Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Duluth, MN
    [QUOTE="Are there many guys around Duluth, and anyone know of any forest roads locally to go play on? KTM is plated so I'm all legal on the road, but it seems there's not much in the way of dirt roads locally.[/QUOTE]

    Had a fun evening exploring some gravel roads off of Hwy 4 north of Island Lake/Boulder Lake. Tonight it was the Northeast Grade (just north of the Brimson Road), an unnamed road and N. Boulder Creek Rd (unnamed on Google, but had a street sign). The Northeast Grade eventually turned into logging roads and we turned around when we caught up with the person who was creating more road. According to Google this road branches and one arm will connect with a road into Fairbanks but we must have missed that branch. The other two roads eventually just ended in the woods after passing through logged areas.

    For this relative newbie to dirt trails there was a lot of learning happening as we got onto the logging roads. The new Shinko tire on the front of the TW was confidence inspiring and made it a LOT more fun then with the stock tire!

    Lots of gravel roads and dirt tracks to explore in the area! Next up: Marshall Truck Trail.

    And not to be a pain, but not every rider on this forum is a "guy" :-)
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  7. Lutz

    Lutz Fuzzy Rabbit

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    Location:
    North Shore of Lake Superior
    I guess it depends on what you mean by local...seems everything is miles away in this neck of the woods. Are you more interested in easier road/trail cruising, or more technical, semi-difficult terrain?

    I live just north of Two Harbors, and I tend to head north from here to get to the closest “good stuff.” There are many, many miles of fun Forest Roads in the Superior National Forest, Cloquet Valley State Forest, Finland State Forest...especially as you get further north.

    I do also like the sand in NW Wisconsin, but I haven’t ridden there in years.

    The Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area in Gilbert seemed to have potential for gnarly, rocky goodness while spectating during the National Trials competition in June...I plan to go back there.

    The Paul Bunyan State Forest to the west has a bunch of single track. I’ve never been there, I hear it’s fun.
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  8. c-zulu

    c-zulu Works with Turds

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    fullsizeoutput_766.jpeg

    Mostly dry conditions here in the SNF.. Wringer Lk Rd
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  9. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    That's pretty unique. I wonder if Timber/Freer road is also dry. Has anyone been on that loop recently?
  10. c-zulu

    c-zulu Works with Turds

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    North shore of Gitchigumi
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  11. Northwoods Snowman

    Northwoods Snowman Adventurer

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    Location:
    Cloquet, MN
    I guess I'm thinking of "local" as stuff I can go hit in an afternoon and ride from home. Back in high school and college I would often go out for 100-200 miles on back roads and snowmobile trails (you can do that in Michigan) in an afternoon. I'll ride about anything from dirt roads to single track. I'm definitely going to have to do some weekend exploring between Duluth and Canadian boarder. Would be fun to connect with some guys (gals are not excluded, lol) in the area. I'm planning to go to the north shore shindig to do just that!

    I've been up to the park at Gilbert and that was fun. I'm excited for them to eventually finish the expansion.
    Lutz likes this.
  12. wildknits

    wildknits Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    54
    Location:
    Duluth, MN
    I just got in from an afterwork tour of the Carroll Truck Trail north of Duluth. My original plan was to have a picnic dinner where the road dead ended into the Cloquet River. But first I got side tracked on the North Branch of the Carroll Truck Trail, traveling quite a ways before deciding to turn around because the "road" started getting more technical then I was comfortable with when riding solo. I backtracked and headed down the branch that had signs indicating public water access. I didn't spend much time at the boat put-in as there were a couple of groups of folks camped there (not sure that it's technically a camping area but whatever).

    58570710156__D11A8E54-3B3A-4B10-AB46-9A295A05379A.JPG

    Looked like there were a lot more roads and trails to explore off of the main road so I will need to get out there again.

    I am planning to keep exploring the truck trails and grades north of Duluth (Island Lake and Boulder Lake) at least once per week while weather permits, usually on a Thursday as that is my midweek day off from work, and with darkness falling earlier each night it allows me to get a little more riding time in. Tonight I barely made it home before dusk, and the influx of deer that graze on the side of the roads.

    ATGATT served a whole new purpose tonight as the deer flies are horrendous right now! In a couple of spots I could barely see due to the cloud of them around my helmet. Their presence while riding quickly put an end to any thought of sitting in a scenic spot to eat my dinner and enjoy the nice evening.
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  13. cra_fizzer

    cra_fizzer Adventurer

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    North Branch, MN
    That road looks lovely. That's the stuff I like to ride.
  14. wildknits

    wildknits Adventurer Supporter

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    That was the easy part of the ride and a fair portion of the road was like this. As I got further north, away from the main highway and the boat put-in, the road got sketchier and sketchier until I opted to turn around. I might have gone on further if I had been riding with someone else and knew I would have help if needed. I have a 100 mile race in a month and a half so am taking no chances of getting injured.
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  15. Nick MN

    Nick MN Been here awhile

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    USA - Minnesota
    Thank you for sharing wildknits!
    I now know where to target my ride for this weekend. I will be up there on a CRF250L Rally with a DRZ400 on my tail.

    Hope you all have a great weekend!

    -Nick
    Golden Valley, Mn
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  16. dckiteboards

    dckiteboards Braaper

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    Mar 12, 2012
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    sister bay,wi
    ill be in the Duluth area 14-18th with my 07 525..would be fun to meet up with some guys..
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  17. bernuski

    bernuski Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Cloquet MN
    My eldest daughter is back in MN for a short time, which just happened to coincide with my annual MC trip with my college buddy! My buddy and I are always looking for something new so this year we decided to head north till the pavement ended. Ontario Highway 599 ends just north of Pickle Lake, the furthest North and west you can ride pavement in Ontario. 51 Degrees N 29 Minutes and the pavement turns to granular. My daughter had a great time, talking with locals and First Nations people, making reservations from her phone and taking the lead during a downpour when there was no place to hunker down. Two ol' Boomers sure learned a lot from the Millenial! Her CX500 sure ran nice on Canadian low lead! Capture.PNG
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  18. bernuski

    bernuski Adventurer

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    Jun 16, 2009
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    Cloquet MN
    For what it is worth, Google Maps indicates no gas pumps between Pickle Lake ON and Ignace ON. A distance of 255 KM or 150 miles+/-. The can on the CX500 is listed at 3.3 Gallons (12 L) and she averaged 55 MPG. I brought along a siphon in case I needed to resupply from the massive 6 Gal KLR 650. Anyhoo, as we hit Savant Lake, ON (100 miles in South of Pickle Lake), we stopped and lo and behold, the store there had just installed a 5,000 gal Bulk tank and pump. So there is gas between Ignace and Pickle Lake, albeit 87 Octane (a bummer for my buddy as he was on his RT1200R sucking 91 octane). But if you ride from Sioux Lookout to Pickle Lake (as we did) it is 145 miles without a gas pump. Her CX500 had 2 liters to spare, according to the pump.
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  19. Serow

    Serow n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2019
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    Location:
    Duluth, MN
    @wildknits , it seems like you've started a trend. I was planning on packing up my XT225 and trying some motorcycle camping last Sunday but the rain spoiled it for me. So Monday I headed north and explored Carroll Truck Trail and the roads branching off also.

    XT5.jpg
  20. wileskws

    wileskws Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
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    The Carroll Truck Trail is one of my favorites to get out for a quick ride from Duluth. Lots of other fun options right around that area as well!
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