Thursday, September 18, 2014

Multiple gems await day hikers in Hibbing

Carey Lake Recreation Area.
Photo courtesy of City of Hibbing.
Scenic Northwoods lakes, an all-American beach, and migrating birds by the score await day hikers on trails in the Hibbing-Chisholm, Minn., area.

Located northwest of Duluth, Minn., the Hibbing-Chisholm region can be reached via U.S. Hwy. 53 from Duluth-Superior or U.S. Hwy. 169 from Grand Rapids, Minn.

Among the best Hibbing-Chisholm area day hikes are:
g Alborn-Pengilly Trail – The former rail line turned OHV trail runs 39 miles from Pengilly through Meadowlands to Alborn. In Pengilly, park off of County Road 529 between County Road 570 and Simpson Boulevard, taking the trail about 2 miles around Swan Lake for a 4-mile round trip.
g Bennett Park Walking Trails – The urban park in Hibbing offers three walking trails – Trail A, Trail B, and Trail C – that cover a combined 1.37 miles. Park in the lot off of 16th Street east of Greyhound Boulevard.
g Highland Trail – A 1-mile loop offers views of Carey Lake at Hibbing’s Carey Lake Recreation Area. Access the trail via the parking lot for the swimming beach.
g Maple Hill Park trails – Unnamed trails loop about the Hibbing city park, with the best one a half-mile round trip to a vista overlooking the area. A parking lot is at the end of Tower Road south of Lindquist Road.
g McCarthy Beachwalk – When you think of great beaches, “Hibbing, Minnesota” probably doesn’t come to mind. But one of America’s best beachwalks can be found only a few miles out of town at McCarthy Beach State Park. A hidden gem of the Northwoods, the half-mile sugar sand beach on Sturgeon Lake makes for a pleasant mile-long round-trip.
g McDavitt-Admiral Corridor Trail – Day hikers can enjoy prime birdwatching country on a trail in the Sax-Zim Bog. The McDavitt-Admiral Corridor Trail runs 1.5-miles round trip (The trail actually is unnamed but has been christened here for convenience sake.). Park off of County Road 213, south of County Road 27.
g Mesabi State Trail, Carver Road to County Road 125 segment – In Buhl, head east from the parking lot off County Road 582 north of Culver Avenue to County Road 125 for a 2-mile round trip. The trail heads alongside a lake through a wooded area.
g Mesabi State Trail, County Road 25 to Whiteside Road segment – South of Kinney, walk west from the parking lot off of County Road 25 north of U.S. Hwy. 169, turning around at Whiteside Road. The trail heads past two ponds for a 3-mile round trip.
g Mesabi State Trail, Greyhound Bus Museum to Morton Road segment – In Hibbing, the trail runs 5.2-miles round trip past three ponds. Park at the Greyhound Bus Museum, head west on the trail, and turn back at Morton Road.
g Sturgeon River State Forest Sections 35 & 35 trails – A short 1.5-mile (one-way) trail with a number of spurs runs through pine barrens in Sections 35 and 36 of the state forest. Park off of County Road 766 at the trailhead (on the west side of the road), just under two miles north of Shoepack Lake.
g Sturgeon River Trail segment – In the Superior National Forest north of Chisholm, the 22-mile trail rambles alongside the Sturgeon River with four access points. A pleasant segment runs 2.5-miles round trip alongside the meandering river with parking off of Minn. Hwy. 73 north of County Road 688.
g Taconite State Trail segment – A 2.6-mile round trip segment rambles through pine barrens through Superior National Forest to the Sturgeon River. Park at the trailhead off of Minn. Hwy. 73 north of County Road 65; from the lot, head west on the trail.
g Thistledew Ski Trails – A set of three stacked loops in George Washington State Forest offer a variety of difficulty levels; take the first loop counterclockwise for a little more than 2.5-mile hike. Park in the lot off of County Road 551 at Thistledew Lake.

Read more about day hiking Northeast Minnesota in my Headin’ to the Cabin: Day Hiking Trails of Northeast Minnesota guidebook.