Run from the lowest point in MN to the highest point in MN the next time you are in northern MN for a running vacation! The run starts along Lake Superior and goes to the top of Eagle Mountain! It is a very accessible route with multiple options as to how to get from Point A to Point B. Here is how we did it:
Start: Park at the Cascade River. There is a parking lot right off of Highway 61.
Total miles: - If you do an out and back, then the whole trip will be 38 miles - If you summit the mountain and then have someone pick you up at the Eagle Mountain trailhead, the total trip will be 22 miles
Total elevation: about 3900ft round trip
Terrain: 7 miles are on hiking trails and 12 miles are on gravel roads.
Logistics - If you choose the out-and-back option, you will need to either drop water ahead of time in a location that will give you access to it twice, or filter water from the Cascade River that parallels the route (easy access at mile 13/25). We suggest filtering water since it took us multiple hours to drop water. - Bugs: When we ran during mid-June, we dealt with deer flies on the gravel roads and mosquitos on the trail (especially near Eagle Mountain). - Time of year: It is recommended to do this runcation between mid-May (depending on snowmelt and trail conditions) and early November. Although, any time of year is fine if you are creative enough!
Directions: Take the hiking trail to Pike Lake Road (about 3.5 miles). Take a left on Pike Lake Road and take that road until you hit Cascade River road (about 4 miles). Take a left onto Cascade River Road and go about 3 miles until you hit Bally Creek Road. Take a left and follow Bally Creek Road until you get to the Eagle Mountain trailhead!