Last year, the Iron Range Tourist Board contacted me about making a visit and really exploring the Range area. I certainly couldn’t say no to that, and recently made a (too short) visit north. This is the first of several blog pieces about what I discovered on my travels, and I’ll also be blogging over at A Closer Look at Flyover Land about it too.
First, though, let’s talk lodging. The Tourist Board made arrangements for me to stay, gratis, at the Lodge at Giant’s Ridge, a golf and ski resort just east of Biwabik. Giant’s Ridge is an all-seasons resort, with two 18-hole golf courses, hiking, and mountain biking in the warmer months, and downhill and cross-country skiing in the snowy season.
The resort offers both ownership and short-term rental accommodations ranging from 1-4 bedroom condos to 2- or 4-bedroom lakeside villas. I had a one-bedroom condo overlooking the beginning ski hill:
Even in the rainy, misty weather, it was a beautiful view. As well as a beautiful lodging.
With full kitchen and living area.
Cozy with its northwoods décor, and very peaceful.
In the winter, Giant’s Ridge offers 34 downhill runs, two snowboard terrain parks, and the latest addition: a tubing hill. It’s also ground zero for many national cross-country ski events, with 60 km of groomed trails running through Superior National Forest.
In the summer, those hills don’t go to waste; hikers and mountain bikers get to enjoy the view.
The Mesabi Trail, a paved biking trail that starts in Grand Rapids and will eventually end 132 miles to the northeast in Ely, runs through the property. The latest addition is this beautiful bridge, spanning the narrows between Wynne and Sabin Lakes.
There’s also golf. Giant’s Ridge has two courses, the Legend:
Which is a more traditionally designed course. Then there’s the Quarry:
Which is the newer of the two courses. What’s unique about the Quarry is that it’s built on reclaimed mine land. The architect designed it around the existing geography, and barely any land was moved. Golf Digest named it the #1 golf course in Minnesota and #20 in the U.S. in 2009-2010. The final hole overlooks a “pit lake”—a lake developed from a former pit mine.
The lakes along the property offer boating, fishing, kayaking, and canoeing opportunities. In other words—you’ll never get bored. Oh, and the restaurant and bar are pretty attractive too. And did I mention there’s a spa?
My thanks to Giant’s Ridge for having me as their guest.
What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.