Wednesday, June 19, 2013

North Shore Bikepack Part Two - Sawbill Trail to Finland

I came across this creek shortly after recovering from a near bonk on the trail.  "No more stumbling for me," I thought!
After a great nights sleep in my bivy sack on the picnic table, I heated up and ate my last bacon, cheese, bagel sandwich.  It rained that night, so I hung my wet gear up to dry and had a couple of cups of coffee while the morning sun did its work.  After filling up with water and packing up, I set off to travel the 31 miles to Finland.

Rested and ready for Day #2. 
Less than 5 miles into my ride that morning I turned onto a gravel road connector and saw a large gray wolf.  He stood and stared at me for a few seconds and then trotted off into the woods.  Unfortunately, I didn't get my camera out in time. Once I past the Cross River, the next 24 miles would be trail I hadn't ridden before which was pretty cool. The trail was less overgrown the further south I traveled into the infamous "Finland Hills."
The trail offers a great opportunity to see the North Shore rivers with no tourists around.

After about six hours on the trail, I came to the connector trail that would lead me into the town of Finland.  I parked my bike outside one of the two local bars and asked if they were serving food and ordered a beer.  The bartender informed me that they served until 9pm and it was 8:55, so I better hurry.  After a good meal, I grabbed a six-pack of Premium and brought it down under the Baptism River bridge and reflected on my journey while I awaited my wife and kids arrival.
  Even though the conditions were tough at times, the solitude, wildlife and scenery made it a great trip.  I'm excited to ride the whole route from Grand Marais to Duluth this winter.

It was all downhill from here.

This shirt was hanging on a sign post near the connector trail to Finland.  Fair warning before heading to town, I guess.


  1. looks like a great time bro, I wouldn't mind joining in next year if you do a similar trip, it's fathers day for me too :) Later DR

  2. Way to tough out the mosquitos and embrace some solitude Butter! Excited to hang with you somewhwere scenic soon. Lets do a fall trip. Enjoy reading your well wrought journals! Keep at it! Llama

  3. Have you ever done this trip again? I am planning on going on the North Shore trail from Duluth to GM over Labor Day weekend this year.