Railroad engineers routed most of today’s bike trails, and that’s a blessing and a curse. Level rail beds allowed faster trains and used less coal, but can make for boring trails. The best outstate trails pick a flat route through spectacular scenery. That’s what distinguishes perennial favorite Root River Trail or the closer Cannon River Trail, where raptors glide between spectacular bluffs and the trail hugs a river. But the best in the state? It’s hard to beat the Mesabi Trail, with 115 miles of completed paving that squeezes through rock cuts and offers stunning overlooks of open-pit iron mines, marinated in that North Country scenery. Locals tell us to avoid the middle section that hugs 169 in favor of the east and west ends. mesabitrail.com
Poll: Who are you rooting for in tonight's Williams vs. Williams match?