Mesabi Bike Trail Named to “Best of Minnesota” List

BestofMN_logo_stackedThe Mesabi Bike Trail runs right through Giants Ridge, and was just named Best Rural Bike Trail in the state by Star Tribune journalists.

In describing the Mesabi Trail, Tribune editors said: “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.”

The Mesabi Trail currently stretches from Grand Rapids to McKinley, with additional paved spurs to Fayal Township, and between Biwabik, Giants Ridge and Aurora. An annual trail pass is just $15, with three-day passes available for $5. Passes may be purchased online at, or in person at the Giants Ridge Rental Shop.

The Giants Ridge Rental Shop also offers a “Lodge to Lodge” program and will design a package to suit your style.Craig Johnson and the Rental Shop staff can help you plan lodging, luggage shuttles, box lunches along the trail, as well as shuttle you and your  bikes back to your vehicle when you’re finished. Part of your package includes suggestions on great places to eat, awesome overlooks to see, cool historical sites to visit, and practical things like convenience stores & rest stops. Hosted rides, group rides for up to 25 people, and sag-wagon supported rides are available. Email for Lodge to Lodge information or call 218-865-8024.

View the Mesabi Trail Interactive Map

Mesabi Trail

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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Biking


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Legend & Quarry Honor Flag Day

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In observance of Flag Day today, Legend & Quarry have American flags on each flagstick, with stands beside each green to keep the flags from touching the ground when out of the hole. Flag Day commemorates the adoption of United States flag in 1777. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.

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Posted by on June 14, 2013 in Uncategorized


Winter Video Contest Winners

Congratulations to the three video contest winners.

HUNTER GULAN: 1st Place won a pair of Zeal Goggles, a banner with his photo displayed on the chalet next winter, and a pizza at Mountainside Grille named after him next winter!

DAVID HUGHES, JR.: 2nd Place won 4 lift tickets next season and a Giants Ridge beanie hat.

THE WALLINS.: 3rd Place won 2 lift tickets next season and a Giants Ridge beanie hat.

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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Winter Sports


Get Golf Ready!

New this year at Giants RidgeGet Golf Ready is designed to teach everything you’ll need to play golf in just a few lessons. Our PGA Professionals will show you that there are lots of ways to play by combining fun, friends and fitness. Each session will focus on the various golf skills you will use while playing. In addition to learning the basics, you will be guided onto the golf course to put your skills into action in a casual, friendly setting.

When May 20-24 and/or June 17-21, 2013.  5:30-7:00 p.m.

What You Need to Bring Just yourself, a desire to have fun and perhaps a few friends to enjoy the great outdoors. Golf Clubs, balls and other equipment will be provided for your use.

How to Register Email Ben Meidl or call him at 800-688-7669, ext. 8030.

Get Golf Ready

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Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Golf


John Filander Wins Lifetime Achievement

John Filander, Giants Ridge Winter Sports Director, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Minnesota Nordic Ski Association(MNSA). Filander has played a key role in Nordic skiing in Minnesota and on the Iron Range by organizing events, and overseeing trail maintenance and recreational land usage for the past 27 years at Giants Ridge. “I am blessed and honored to receive this award,” said Filander. “Giants Ridge has played a major role in the development of Nordic skiing in Minnesota, and it has been a pleasure to be part of it.”

John Filander Lifetime Achievement 2

Filander has been a central force in the many Nordic events hosted at Giant Ridge, including the Pepsi Challenge; International Classic races; multiple World Cups; multiple Junior Olympics; numerous Olympic trials; ski clinics; the Mesabi East-Giants Ridge Invitational (the largest high school cross-country event in the nation); and, the Minnesota State High School Cross-Country Ski championships.

“Nordic skiing remains a strong draw among youth,” said Filander. “I am confident the sport will continue to grow locally and in Minnesota. In fact, Giants Ridge is touted as the best trails in the nation by many skiers due to the variety of terrain.”

Additionally, as a qualified Technical Delegate, Filander has officiated at World Cup, Olympic Trials National Championships, and many Birkies. He also served as Assistant Chief of Course at Soldier Hollow at the Salt Lake Olympics where he led 80 volunteer course workers in setting up course signage and markings, along with trail grooming.

Filander began alpine skiing at nearby Lookout Mountain as an elementary student, and emerged himself into Nordic skiing while attending the University of Minnesota.  His love for alpine and Nordic skiing and skiers continues to grow each year.

Past recipients of this Lifetime Achievement Award include George Hovland, who founded Duluth’s Spirit Mountain and Snowflake Nordic Center. Hovland competed as a Nordic skier in the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway.

Congratulations, John! Thank you for your many years of service to Giants Ridge and to the sport of Nordic skiing.

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Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Winter Sports


2013 Ski Challenge

This year’s Ski Challenge was fantastic! One of the folks out at Giants Ridge during the Challenge took a lot of footage and produced this video. A must see. Thank you to DRONE LLC for producing this.

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Posted by on March 7, 2013 in Winter Sports


National Safety Awareness Week

A Helmet Is A Smart Idea! Giants Ridge encourages the use of helmets for all adults and children while having fun skiing, boarding and tubing. National Safety Awareness Week occurs every year in January, and this year it is January 19-27. During Safety Week this year, guests may purchase a new helmet in the Giants Ridge Snow Shop and receive a voucher to return to SKI FREE. (See details.)

National Safety Awareness Week

In 2002, Lids on Kids debuted as a resource for consumers to learn about helmet use in skiing and snowboarding. According to Lids on Kids helmets do have limits and users need to be aware of them, however helmets can make a difference in reducing or preventing injury from falls or other impacts. Helmets are designed to reduce the severity of head injuries, but they are most effective at providing protection from a direct blow to the head at speeds under 14 mph. Keep in mind, if you lose control and hit a tree, object or another skier at moderate or high speed, a helmet may not prevent or reduce a serious injury. It’s important not to take more risks because you are wearing a helmet. Whether wearing a helmet or not, you should always ski responsibly and within your ability. According to Lids on Kids, parents should educate their children about the benefits and limitations of the helmet. Wearing a helmet doesn’t give permission to ski or snowboard faster or recklessly. Parents and children should learn and adhere to the KNOW THE CODE guidelines.

According to Lids on Kids, when your child wears a ski helmet, remember you may have to speak louder to get their attention because a helmet may slightly stifle their hearing. Make sure the helmet fits correctly. A Snow Sport helmet is only as effective as its fit.  A helmet is not an item you buy for your child to grow into. Our Snow Shop can fit your child with the correct sized helmet. If you don’t want to buy a helmet this season, the Snow Shop also rents them for $8/day.

Ski and snowboard helmets are specifically designed for skiing and snowboarding usage. Wearing another sport’s helmet, such as a bicycle helmet, may or may not afford adequate protection. Ski and snowboard helmets are insulated for cold weather and bicycle helmets provide more ventilation than ski helmets. A ski and snowboard helmet should provide better coverage and impact protection than wearing a bicycle helmet on the slopes.

The Top Five Things To Remember When It Comes To Helmets: (source: Lids on Kids )

  1. Skiing or boarding responsibly is your first priority. Helmets are a second line of defense. Be able to stop or avoid other people or objects and follow “KNOW THE CODE
  2. Helmets can reduce head injuries by 30-50%, and may be the difference between a major and minor injury.
  3. Helmets do have limitations. Helmets provide the most protection at slower speeds – but most of us ski and snowboard faster. Check your speed.
  4. Helmets should not give you a false sense of security and do not allow you to take more risks. Wear a helmet, but more importantly, ski or snowboard as if you are not wearing one.
  5. For kids, parents should ensure that the helmet is properly fitted and the chin strap fastened.

“You wouldn’t play football without wearing a helmet – same rules applies for skiing. Plus helmets are way warmer than hats.” – Lindsey Vonn

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Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Winter Sports


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