Road Rube Rides
North Shore Ride
Distance: 104 miles
Time: 2 Hours 5 minutes
The North Shore of Lake Superior is a beautiful motorcycle ride with sweeping views, good road
Riding through the Land of 10,000 lakes means that roads in Minnesota feature great views of lakes and roads that wiggle and twist past them. The granddaddy of all the Minnesota lakes is Lake Superior. And it doesn’t disappoint for scenery. Highway 61 follows the North Shore of Superior and delivers scenery that, gasp, makes you want to get off of your bike and take a look.
Highway 61 picks up out of Duluth and gives you a choice. Either go the scenic route to Two Harbors or take the expressway. I’m a scenic route kind of guy, so I choose option one. Follow Highway 61 as far as you’d like to go. It’s 101 miles from Duluth to Grand Marais, but you could ride all the way to the border too. Just remember that you have to turn around and ride back because there is only one road along the shore. See the Ely run for awesome options from Highway 61.
The North Shore drive is a good ride. The scenery is more important than the ride itself. There are waterfalls and incredible vistas, rocky shores, and lighthouses to see. Riding is comfortable and the twists and turns aren’t as incredible as the views, but together they make a fun ride. There are some interesting places to stop and eat and Grand Marais is a nice destination for travelers in the summer. Lake Superior never really warms up, so the temperature changes along the lake can be severe. The day I rode in late June had a high in the upper 80s, but dropped in strange pockets of cold and was down to 59 degrees by the time I got to Grand Marais mid-afternoon. If nothing else, there will be a story to be told after riding the North Shore Drive.
The Bottom Line
The North Shore ride is an excellent ride. Plan to take time and soak up the scenery and enjoy the ride. It’s a beautiful ride. Be warned: there are plenty of travelers traversing the North Shore for the same reasons outlined above. There can be some slower traffic and people deciding to turn into sightseeing destinations, but it’s all cool because you’ve planned on having a day of relaxed riding.