When I’m not sitting on the lanai at the Lahaina Shores Beach Resort looking at the island of Lanai in the morning and enjoying my breakfast, my second favorite place to be, my happy place, is the Willard Munger State Trail. This trail runs 70 miles from Duluth to Hinckley, and is fully paved…errr, except for where it crosses the Douglas Road in Carlton County. They tore up the pavement late last year and still haven’t replaced the blacktop, creating a minor hazard for road bicyclists and a not-so-minor hazard for roller bladers.
Anyway, I first “found” the Munger Trail during a two-month abstinance from smoking in 1993. My first ride took me from Duluth to Thomson, a 26 mile roundtrip excursion, and it was “love at first bike”. These days, my biking takes places from Carlton to points southward, usually a jaunt to Moose Lake (totally 45.5 miles). I prefer this section for two reasons: 1) most of this section is wider and in better shape and 2) it’s quieter.
Riding this trail has been extremely instrumental in staying smokefree for the past five years. I simply can’t understate the importance and what this trail has meant. It’s a place where I can kick up the speed, blow off whatever stress I may be feeling, and let my mind float from thought to thought. Some of my best ideas and inspirations happen on this trail. Probably some of my worst ones, also
You can see some of the pictures I’ve taken, especially the Duluth to Carlton segment, here. Enjoy and let me know what you think.