Apostle Islands Inline Marathon Traffic Advisory


Skaters headed north to the Apostle Islands for the Apostle Island Inline Marathon are advised to stay off of I-35 due to substantial constructions projects in multiple locations along the route and high traffic due to runners headed to Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth.

First, drivers will encounter single lane traffic and/or divided lanes in the Forest Lake area.  MNDOT in its infinite wisdom has planned a multi-year headache that routinely backs up traffic for miles near the northbound I-35E and I-35W junction.  This location was a cluster before construction (and likely will also be after).  Should you navigate through this route headed north you will proceed for a half hour or so before your next major slowdown.  A large section of northbound I-35 from Rush City to Pine City is rerouted onto a lane of I-35 South. Both north and southbound traffic are reduced to one lane.  The northbound pavement is being replaced from Rush City to the Snake River bridge south of Pine City.  At the Snake River the northbound bridge has been removed and all traffic crosses the southbound bridge.  When the northbound bridge is eventually replaced, demolition of the southbound bridge will begin and traffic will remain single lane each way.  Finally, once you navigate that disaster you will again likely be slowed down in Hinckley.  The road intersecting I-35 is being repaved and that is impairing traffic leaving the highway and causing the right lane to back up during busy periods.  Most of these projects will still be a problem when you head north for the NSIM.

The recommended route to the Apostle Islands is to take MN 36 to Stillwater.  At the WI border the road becomes Highways 64/35. Follow 64 until it becomes 63 and heads north.  63 will take you to just west of Ashland. Highway 2 will take you to Ashland and Highway 13 will take you north to Bayfield.



I-35 North Metro Split project area location map


Overview map of the projects on I-35 between Duluth and Pine City