I searched and found this old thread and would like an update.
I am interested in a Duluth to where ever north self supported tour along the shore. have the roads been improved? Would it be best to drive up to say Two Harbors and begin a four day out and back tour? Or, from Duluth?
Sorry, Just saw your request today.
They have been improving Hwy 61 bit by bit for the last 20 years or so. Every year a couple of more mile gets wider, straighter and a 6 foot shoulder. The latest section to "get the treatment" is between Tofte and a little north of Lutsen. Along with this road improvement they have also extended the trail. Gitchi Gami now extends from the old nothern terminus at Chateau Leveaux Hotel to approximately a mile and half south of Lutsen's main lodge. This includes a segregated bike bridge over the Onion River (a portion I always grited my teeth and pounded through in the past). I have some pictures of the new trail section from last years 4th of July trip
Here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/19054044@N ... 364926175/
If I was to take the ride you propose, I would drive to Gooseberry Falls and ride my bike north to the Grand Portage National Monument (or all the way to the border just to say you did). Turn around and come back.
Head's up, like I said they work on a couple of miles of road every year. While under contruction, the road is nealrly un-ridable. Do your research and find out where they're at this year. See how long it is, and if it looks like something you can walk OR Goggle lodge to lodge hiking the North Shore and see if this cooperative agreement between Hotels and Lodges can get you past the rough spot. Alternatively find a accompdating Pick Up truck at gathering spot.