Established in 1909, the Superior National Forest is known for its boreal forest ecosystem, numerous clean lakes, and a colorful cultural history. The one million-acre Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness lies within the boundaries of the Forest. Management by the USDA-Forest Service, under principles of ecosystem management and multiple use, the Forest provides for a diverse community of plants and animals as well as products for human needs. The concept of “all lands” management maintains strong partnerships and collaboration across the landscape. Popular recreational activities include fishing, hunting, camping, canoeing, swimming, hiking, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and ice fishing. Links to more recreational activities can be found on the left sidebar under Recreation.
LOCATION: Pincushion Mountain Trailhead
1 Pincushion Dr, Grand Marais, MN 55604 | Website • 3.1 Miles From Hotel
LOCATION: Superior National Forest
8901 Grand Ave Place, Duluth, MN 55808 | (218) 626-4300 | Website • 32.2 Miles From Hotel
Via Gunflint Trail
Pincushion Mountain Trail to Grand Marais
Pincushion Mountain provides a spectacular view down the mountain to the town of Grand Marias and its harbor and lighthouse. Picnic tables and hiking trails make this a great stop for lunch on the way up the Gunflint Trail. Mountain Biking: There are about 6 miles of singletrack mountain bike trails starting from the trailhead at Pincushion. Hikers may be found on these trails, so be watchful for them. The trail intersects the Pincushion XC ski trail system. In dry conditions, some ski trails may be used by bikes, but they are not designed for bicycles. If you see that the ski trail surface is too soft and you might cause erosion, please use only the bike trails. Also, be aware that the mountain bike trail maps do not show the entire ski trail system, and it is very easy to lose your way on the ski trails.
The Pincushion Mountain Singletrack Mountain Bike Trails begin from this trailhead.
Pincushion Mountain Trail System Webpage • 3.1 miles from Superior Inn Grand Marais
Day Hiking: Hikers at Pincushion may use either the XC ski trails or mountain bike trails. If you are hiking the bike trails, keep alert for cyclists and yield the trail to them when you meet. If you are using the XC ski trail system, note that it is complex and it is easy to turned around.
Superior National Forest Scenic Byway
The Superior National Forest Scenic Byway, designated as Forest Highway 11, runs from the taconite town of Silver Bay to the logging town of Aurora. There are long stretches of unbroken forest along this 54 mile road, giving the driver a good sense of being away from it all. Several trails and campgrounds are on or near the route for perfect resting areas.
The byway begins in Gilbert, at the intersection of State Highway 37 and Sparta Road. The route follows Highway 37 to State Highway 135, continuing eastward along the latter through Biwabik and then to Aurora, where it leaves Highway 135 and follows St. Louis County Road 100 to the center of town. From there it turns south until the city border, and then resumes its eastward travel along County Road 110 to Hoyt Lakes. From Hoyt Lakes the road gradually arcs southward. This portion is also called Skibo Lookout Road, after the Skibo Vista Scenic Overlook, which overlooks the Laurentian Divide. County Road 110 ends at its junction with County Road 16 (Town Line Road), and the byway route again continues east, through the unincorporated towns of Fairbanks and Basset. Crossing the St. Louis-Lake county line, the roadway becomes Lake County Road 15 and passes through Toimi. This is the longest portion of the route, traveling 23 miles to Lax Lake Road, where it turns south along County Road 4 for approximately 2 miles. It then travels east along County Road 5 into Silver Bay, ending at Highway 61 near the North Shore.
Tags: Superior National Forest, Pincushion Mountain, Pincushion Mountain Trail System, Grand Marais Parks, Cook County Parks, North Shore Parks, Grand Marais Summer Activities, Grand Marais Outdoor Activities, North Shore Outdoor Activities
Grand Marais Outdoor Activities Guide
In Grand Marais and Cook County, Minnesota you can enjoy Lake Superior – the world’s largest freshwater lake, visit Minnesota’s tallest mountain peak at Eagle Mountain, view the state’s highest waterfall in Grand Portage, ski the largest ski resort in the Midwest at Lutsen Mountains and enjoy Minnesota’s longest and most scenic biking trails. Stay awhie and find your adventure in Cook County!
Experience the spectacular chain of state parks, waterfalls, and seemingly endless list of year-round outdoor activities that are located on Highway 61 on the North Shore. From Gooseberry State Park (69 miles southwest) to Grand Portage State Park (40 mile northeast), eight State Parks provide a wide array of summer and winter outdoor fun. Grand Marais and the Superior Inn are a great place to stay for your outdoor adventure and easy access to these Highway 61 parks and all the other activities to be found north in Cook County, Minnesota.
Grand Marais and the Lake Superior North Shore offer hundreds of miles of cross-country skiing trails (hiking and biking trails in summer). In fact, Cook County, Minnesota has the largest network of cross-country trails in North America. You can stay close to Grand Marais, or head up from the lake shore area to the other cross country skiing trails. A Minnesota Ski Pass is required on all trails unless otherwise noted.