Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Connections on the Mesabi Trail

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typical Mesabi Trail (photo by JHY)

OutdoorBlips: vote it up! by JHY

I've almost connected the back portion of the Minnesota Arrowhead from the Chippewa NF to the Kekakabic Trailhead east of Ely. We have 2 1/2 hiking days left. Today is a day off, with a morning at an internet cafe, so I'm trying to do a post. About half of the distance can be hiked on the Mesabi Trail, a paved multi-use trail. It's not ideal, but it's better than a road walk, and some parts are very pretty. It have met walkers, bicyclists, roller bladers and a lady being pushed in a wheelchair who uses it every day.
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partially reclaimed mine land (photo by JHY)

The trail follows the Mesabi Iron Range on Minnesota and has one basic industry- iron mining. Almost every hill is a artificial pile of red rocks, and almost every lake is an old mining pit. Yet there is a real beauty in the landscape. The mining companies are working hard to do better and improve their image and provide recreational facilities for people in the area. The Mesabi trail is about 40% rail trail and 60% on other land, which may be mining land, so it is not often the flat, straight boring surface of many paved trails.
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trailheadsign (photo by JHY)

Each town has a trailhead, with a kiosk and an archway with the town name. There is still a lot of work to be done, including completing a lot more miles to the north. It's not ideal for the North Country National Scenic Trail, but it is certainly a viable alternative to a pure roadwalk for now.
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red breasted nuthatch (photo by JHY)

We've seen a lot of small wildlife, some quite close, which has been fun. Here's a red-breasted nuthatch.

I've posted this from an internet cafe, but we have to scoot. Really soon. Total miles of NCT, almost 3850 now! Still hikin'!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful view, and what a trip! Hope you are doing well, and best wishes..

betchai said...

glad to hear from your trip Sharkbytes, wow, you now have 3850 miles!! so proud of you.

Glynis said...

My feet are sore just reading your mileage! Happy Hiking, great pics, thanks for sharing.