Area Attractions

Area Attractions Options

Golf Mesabi Trail
Casinos Taconite Trail
Bowling and Miniature Golf Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway
The Myles Reif Center Chippewa National Forest “Lost Forty”
MacRostie Art Center Cut Foot Sioux Ranger Station
First Friday Art Walk Trout Lake Semiprimitive Non-motorized Area & the Joyce Estate
Forest History Center Suomi Hills
Children’s Discovery Museum Canoe Trips in Itasca County
Judy Garland Birthplace White Oak Society, Inc.
Itasca County Historical Society Museum Grand Rapids Gun Club
Blandin Paper Company Tours Bader’s Pheasant Run
The Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center Pheasants Plus Hunting Preserve
Berry Picking ATV Info
• Minnesota Discovery Center – Chisholm, MN
(formerly Ironwold Discovery Center)
Hill Annex Mine
• Hockey Hall of Fame Soudan Mine
 • Vince Schute Wildlife Sanctuary Day Trips
Half Day River Trips – by Kayak & SUP  

Itasca County Golf Courses

Challenging courses and unmatched natural beauty await | Itasca County Golf Courses
With four 18-hole championship golf courses and several more nine-hole golf courses found within Itasca County, you are certain to find a tee-time to suit your needs. Very few northern resort areas offer the many choices we do!  Area courses include a wide variety of golf to accommodate all skill levels.  For the most enjoyable time, call ahead to set a tee time.

Golf Courses in Itasca County


Golf Course

Total
Yards

Rating
Slope

Instruc.
Avail

Phone
Number

Directions
Location

Eagle Ridge Golf Club
6,245 69.4
121
Yes 218-245-2217 One Green Way
Hwy 169 East, Coleraine

Pokegama Golf Club
6,105 68.5
117
Yes 218-326-3444 3910 Golf Course Road
Grand Rapids

Sugarbrooke Golf Club
6,545 72.2
124
Yes 218-327-1462 Located at Ruttger’s
Sugar Lake Lodge
Blueberry Hills Golf Course 3,121 34.6
110
Yes 218-246-8010 1 mi. N of Deer River on
Hwy. 6, turn E on G.C. Rd.

Golf on the Edge
2,963 66.8
104
Yes 218-743-3626 1.5 miles E of Bigfork
Cty Rd 261 & G.C. Rd
Swan Lake Golf Club 3,235 34.5
116
No 218-885-3543 Rt. 1 Box 308 Pengilly
Directly off Hwy. 65

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Casinos

casinos in the grand rapids are | northern mn casinoGaming casinos are in abundance in our area. Guests will find Palace Casino in Cass Lake, MN, White Oak Casino in Deer River, MN and Northern Lights Casino in Walker, MN all within easy driving distance.

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Bowling and Miniature Golf

grand rapids bowling and mini golf | things to do in grand rapidsMidway Bowling & Mini Golf located on Highway 169 North in Grand Rapids, Minnesota has bowling, a lounge, miniature golf course and batting cages. Fun for the whole family! Call 1-218-326-5950 for hours or for more information.

Rasley’s BlueBerry Bowl located just north of Deer River, Minnesota on Highway 6 has 10 bowling lanes, the Lucky Strike Lounge and a large dining room. For hours and more informati
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on call 1-218-246-8048.

Blackduck Bowling Lanes located on Summit Avenue in Blackduck, MN is open to the public. Call them at 218-835-6620 for more information.

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Reif Center for Performing Arts

Grand Rapids Reif Center for Performing Arts By bringing dance, theater, music and popular entertainment to its stage, the Myles Reif Performing Arts Center provides a stage for performing arts in Northern Minnesota. Completely renovated in 2016, the Reif Center is also dedicated to providing dance instruction to both the serious dance student and the recreational student.

The Reif Center is located at 720 Conifer Drive in Grand Rapids – adjacent to the Grand Rapids High School. Click here to enjoy a getaway with a Reif Center Theater Package from Wildwood Resort. Our Hot Lodging Partnership with the Reif Center allows us to offer the best prices for tickets and lodging. Contact us for more information.

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MacRostie Art Center

Grand Rapids MacRostie Art Center | things to do in grand rapidsLocated in downtown Grand Rapids, the MacRostie Art Center is a gathering place where artists and community members can share in the belief that art is the heart and soul of a community. Open to the public Tuesday thru Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. visitors can view exibits, purchase work from local artists or participate in classes such as woodworking, pottery and watercolor. For more information visit their website at: www.macrostieartcenter.org.

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Grand Rapids Arts: Friday Art Walk

The First Friday Art Walk is a community event held the first Friday of each month in downtown Grand Rapids. The event is organized by Grand Rapids Arts. For more information visit their website.

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Forest History Center

Grand Rapids Forest History Center | MN History CenterVisitors will step back in time as they walk through a turn-of-the-century logging camp located in Grand Rapids. There they will find a camp blacksmith, saw filer, clerk, cook (often called a cookee) and lumberjacks at the state’s only authentic 1900s logging camp. During your visit, board the moored river “wanigan,” a floating cook shack used when the logs and men headed downstream to the mills. Or, take a seat on the porch of a 1930s Minnesota Forest Service patrolman’s cabin and hear about the ranger’s important work protecting woodland resources. The more adventurous may climb the state’s only 100-foot fire tower with a live interpretive center.

A one-hour guided tour starts at the interpretive building. Whether on the tour or just wandering throughout the camp on your own, interpretive guides dressed in period clothing will encourage you to ask questions of the company clerk, bull cook (camp janitor), saw filer, lumberjacks, barn boss (who cares for the draft horses), the blacksmith and “wood butcher” (carpenter).

Forest History Center | Things To Do In Grand Rapids MNThe Forest History Center now boasts a completely renovated interpretive building where exhibits, films and displays help set the stage for your journey through time and help you to understand the story of the people and forests of this area. Some of the new exhibits in the renovated visitor center include a state-of-the-art timber harvester simulator, a 30-seat theater with a multimedia show that demonstrates the force and power of forest fires, a full size all-terrain vehicle, a contemporary log- fun for children to crawl through-and more hands on exhibits and displays. Later take a walk on one of three self-guided forest trails for a view of the Mississippi River and the Northern Minnesota forestland. These trails, also open in the winter, are groomed and track-set for cross-country skiing.

From June 11 through Labor Day the living history features, interpretive building and trails are open daily from 10  a.m. to 5 p.m.  (Open July 4th and Labor Day) From Labor Day to June 10th FHS is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday Noon to 4 p.m. Cross-country ski trails are open daily as snow conditions permit.

In 2016 admission is $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens & college students, and $6 for children ages 5-17. Free for children under age 4 and for MNHS members. Different fees may apply for special events. Feel free to pack a picnic lunch and stay all day. The picnic pavilions are open to the public and available for events as well. For more information log on to the Forest History Center website, send an email to: foresthistory@mnhs.org or call 218-327-4482. The Forest History Center is located near US Highways 169 and 2 at 2609 County Road 76, Grand Rapids, Minnesota 55744.

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Children’s Discovery Museum

Grand Rapids Children’s Discovery Museum | Things To Do With Kids In Grand RapidsEach year thousands of children visit the Children’s Discovery Museum in Grand Rapids, which offers both permanent and changing educational exhibits. The Children’s Discovery Museum is located on Highway 169 South in Grand Rapids and is the perfect place for families with children of all ages to explore a mix of sciences, arts and humanities while sparking a joy of discovery about themselves, where they live and the larger world.

The Children’s Discovery Museum educational exhibits include the Geo Zoooom – an interactive exhibit that introduces kids to the geography of North America; Rivertown – a child-sized town square complete with ten different shops, a Dino Dig, a special Tot Park Maze – made especially for the preschool crowd; the River Forest featuring Tree-sa, the talking forest tree and the River Water Table where kids get up close and see a replica of the dam and river visible from the bridge on Pokegema Avenue.  Kids also love the 2,000 sq. foot art room, dinosaur mounts, interactive learning tools and room to move!   In addition to the many exhibits, the art room is open for birthday celebrations or other party events. The CDM Museum Store offers a wide variety of inexpensive kid-themed toys, books and materials as well as Wizard of Oz souvenirs.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day the Children’s Discovery Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., every day of the week.  In September, April & May the museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from October through March the museum is only open on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wildwood Resort has a membership to the Children’s Discovery Museum/Judy Garland Museum so our guests can take their kids for free!  Ask us for details.

The Children’s Discovery Museum is located at 2727 US Hwy 169 South (Across from Home Depot), PO Box 724, Grand Rapids, MN 55744.  For more information call 218-326-1900, Toll Free: 866-CDM-KIDS (866-236-5437) or visit their website at www.cdmkids.org.

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Judy Garland Birthplace Historic House

Judy Garland Birthplace Historic House | Grand Rapids Minnesota attractions Birthplace of legendary actress Judy Garland, Grand Rapids now boasts the most extensive collection of Judy Garland memorabilia in the United States.

The new Judy Garland Museum, located on highway 169 South in Grand Rapids opened its doors during the 28th Annual Judy Garland Festival in 2003. The museum showcases memorabilia from Garland’s 45-year career.

Although there are thousands of items housed at the museum, one of the most popular items permanently on display is the Wizard of Oz Carriage, which carried Dorothy and her friends on the final leg to see the Wizard. President Abe Lincoln also was a passenger in the famous carriage. Visitors also may view Garland’s Test Dress from the Wizard of Oz, A Winkie Sword from the Wizard of Oz, and An Emerald City Bell-Bottom Coat. “Over the Rainbow” was named the top song of the 20th century and visitors can see the “Over the Rainbow” Gold Record presented to Judy Garland as well as Judy Garland’s Special Tony Award and a Microphone from Judy Garland’s TV Show which are all on display.

Founded in 1975 by local artist Jackie Dingmann, the Judy Garland Museum® is one of the oldest museums dedicated to a celebrity in the nation. The new museum offers guests an opportunity to visit, in one location, both Judy’s childhood home and a vast collection of memorabilia from her career.

Attached to the museum is the Judy Garland Birthplace Historic House, which has been fully restored to the 1920’s period and allows visitors to see what it looked like when Judy lived there.

The museum and home play host the most visitors from around the world each June during the annual Judy Garland in Grand Rapids. Many of Garland’s friends such as Andy Rooney, the Munchkins and June Alyson have come to the festival, as well as her children and former husband Sid Luft.

From Memorial Day to September 30 the museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, every day of the week. In October through March the museum is open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April to Memorial Day the museum is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wildwood Resort has a membership to the Children’s Discovery Museum/Judy Garland Museum so our guests can take visit for free! Ask us for details.

For more information log on to: www.judygarlandmuseum.com call 1-800-664-JUDY or 218-327-9276, or email: jgarland@uslink.net.

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Itasca County Historical Society Museum

Itasca Heritage Center Museum And Judy Garland Exhibit | Northern MNBelieving that our knowledge of the past enhances our understanding of the present, the Itasca County Historical Society is dedicated to connecting people to the history of Itasca County. Itasca County Historical Society is located in what formerly was the Corcoran Building. We now have the museum, gift shop, Karjala Research Genealogy and History Center, and storage of over 50,000 artifacts, archives, photographs and library items.

The museum and visitor center is located at 201 North Pokegama Avenue. (169S) It is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information call 218-326-6431 or visit their website at: www.itascahistorical.org.

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Blandin Paper Company Tours

Blandin Paper Company Tours | Grand Rapids MN Attractions

Founded in 1901 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, UPM Blandin, a wholly owned subsidiary of UPM Corp. is one of North America’s leading producers of lightweight coated magazine and catalog printing papers and one of northern Minnesota’s largest employers. Its two paper machines have an annual capacity of about 408,000 short tons and manufacture No. 5 grade of publication paper with basis weights ranging from 28 to 50 pounds. All paper manufactured by Blandin is lightweight coated (LWC), named so for its clay-based glossy coating that makes it an attractive publication paper.

UPM – the Biofore Company:  UPM leads the integration of bio and forest industries into a new, sustainable and innovation-driven future. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable.

In 2013, Blandin was awarded UPM’s Safety Frontrunner award. The objective of the UPM Safety Awards is to recognize and reward outstanding safety performance and commitment to reaching world class safety.

Blandin Paper Company Quick Facts: Employs about 450, annual papermaking capacity: 408,000 short tons; forest land owned and managed: 187,000 acres.

Free guided tours of Blandin’s Number 6 paper line are offered on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am to 3 pm, from the first Wednesday in June through the Friday before Labor Day. Tour guides escort small groups (10 or less in a group) through the mill on a continuous basis. The tour also includes a video presenting the history of the Mill and of the papermaking process. Children under the age of 12, open-toed shoes and cameras are not allowed. Please note that the ability to climb stairs is required, and the paper mill is very warm and humid.

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The Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center

Located in Marcell, Minnesota (about 20 miles north of Wildwood on Hwy 38) the Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center is a visitor & environmental education center. It is home to a variety of displays & exhibits about the Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway and the surrounding area. It includes a gift shop, and an environmental education room, and best of all it offers a FREE naturalist program throughout the summer. The property also has an amphitheater, walking trail and a fishing pier. Summer hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 7 days a week. The Center is located at 49554 State Highway 38, Marcell, MN 56657. For more information call them at: 218-832-3161, email: nijpb@bigfork.net or visit their Facebook page: Edge of The Wilderness Discovery Center.

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Strawberry and Blueberry Picking

Strawberry and Blueberry Picking in Grand RapidsJune and July in northern Minnesota mean succulent strawberries and blueberries. Pick your own or buy them fresh-picked!

Blueberry Meadows – Come to Blueberry Meadows, where your blueberry dreams come true! PYO blueberries in the new meadow, Meadow No. 5, featuring the new variety, Chippewa & old favorite Northblue. Call for picking dates beginning late July & most of August, sometimes through Labor Day. 8am-dusk. Located 8mi S of Grand Rapids on Hwy 169. Turn right on 8 Mile Rd, go 1mi, follow the signs to the Meadow No 5.

Lavalier’s Berry Patch – County Road 441, Grand Rapids, MN. Phone: 218-327-9199. Directions: travel Highway 2 East to SE 7th Avenue; turn right onto SE 7th Avenue, and then take a left onto River Road; follow River Road to County Road 441; turn left onto County Road 441. Pick-your-own and pre-picked strawberries usually available around July 1 and blueberries around Aug. 1. Call for current prices and to place orders for pre-picked berries.

Lunemann’s Luney Berries Strawberry Farm – From Grand Rapids: 9 miles on County Road 63, left hand side of the road. From Deer River: East on Hwy. 2. Turn right on County Road 11 (Deer River Shortcut) to Hwy. 6. South on Hwy. 6 to County Road 63. Left on 63 for about mile and a half. Watch for Signs. No Appointment Necessary! Picking begins in July.

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Hill Annex Mine

Grand Rapids Hill Annex Mine Overlook | Vacation Attractions | Family Activities

Go down in history with a tour of the Hill Annex Iron Mine. On the 1 1/2-hour open pit mine tour, visitors make a spectacular descent into mining’s past. Learn about the mine operation, the people who worked here, and where they came from. Discover marine fossils in northern Minnesota. Get a sense of the mine’s deep, rich history. Learn how this National Historic Site played an important role in state, national, and world history.  Tours run Fridays and Saturdays starting on 5/22/2015 and ending Labor Day weekend. For more information visit the Hill Annex Mine website, call 218-247-7215 or 218-743-3362, email: scenic.statepark@state.mn.us or visit their website.

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Soudan Mine

Adventure abounds at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park. Whether it’s taking a tour of the historic underground mine, visiting the high energy physics, boating on Lake Vermilion, or hiking through acres of old growth pine, there are new discoveries around every corner. The addition of nearly 3000 acres and five miles of Lake Vermilion shoreline in 2010 will no doubt add new opportunities to experience everything that northern Minnesota has to offer.

The mine tour leads visitors through the world of underground mining. Visitors don hard hats and enter a “cage” for the descent into the mine. The 1 1/2-hour mine tour will take you half a mile down into the earth. Once underground you will be treated to a 3/4 mile train ride to the last and deepest area mined. The mine is 50°F year-around, so remember to bring a warm jacket or sweater and sturdy shoes. Public tours run from Memorial Day through the end of September. There is a charge for the underground mine tour.

The Soudan Underground Laboratory is the leading deep underground science and engineering laboratory in the United States today. Scientists from around the world have been working at Soudan for 25 years trying to answer basic questions about the Universe in which we live: Is matter completely stable? What is the nature of the fundamental forces? Can we identify the Dark Matter that seems to permeate our Universe? Learn about our first neutrino events using the neutrino beam from Fermilab and see the massive MINOS detector (Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search). Learn about CDMS (Cryogenic Dark Matter Search) and its continued search for a WIMP (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles). Soudan Underground Laboratory.

Directions: Located in Soudan. Take US Highway 169 North through Tower to Soudan. Once in Soudan follow the directional signs.

Historic Underground Mine Tour: Public tours begin for the season on Saturday, May 23, 2015.

High Energy Physics Lab Tour: Public tours begin for the season on Saturday, May 23, 2015.

Tour Rates (cost per tour): Adults (ages 13+) are $12, youth (ages 5-12) are $7, and there is no charge for children under 5 (you must still ask for a ticket).

Call 218-753-2245 for more information or visit their website.

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Mesabi Trail

Located in northeastern Minnesota, the Mesabi TrailTM is a premier bicycle trail winding through some of the most scenic parts of the state. Currently over 120 miles of trail offers convenient accessibility at numerous entry points.

When completed, this well-mapped and well-maintained trail will traverse over 145 miles connecting 28 communities, making it one of the longest paved trails in the United States.

Travel through forests, past streams and creeks found between rolling hills, all teeming with wildlife and birds. Grand heaps of earth provide man-made mountains that are becoming regrowth forests lining the edges of some of the world’s largest mines. Explore historic buildings, mining artifacts, early industry, ethnic and cultural  history, plus other treasures well worth the discovery.

Partially built on old railroad beds, old logging and mining roads, guests will find a 10 foot wide bituminous surface (asphalt paving). Great for summer activities such as biking, inline skating hiking or walking. Winter activities may include fat tire biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and winter hiking – but the trail is not groomed for these activities. Some portions of the trail offer snowmobile access.

Many campgrounds and local parks are easily accessible from the trail, highways, and nearby communities. Food, lodging, shopping, golfing, swimming, canoeing and fishing are all in close proximity to segments of the trail, with communities and services available near all entry points.

PLEASE NOTE – the Mesabi Trail is currently closed between the cities of Virginia and Gilbert until sometime in 2018 due to re-routing of State Hwy 53 and bridge construction. When completed the Trail will be re-located on the highest bridge in Minnesota – 200 ft from the surface of the Rochleau pit entering Virginia.

A Wheel Pass is required for all trail users 18 and older on wheels. Passes may be purchased online, at any wheel passes vendor along the trail or at entry point self pay boxes. Click here for a interactive Mesabi Trail map.

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Taconite Trail

The Taconite State Trail stretches 165 miles from Grand Rapids to Ely and intersects with the Arrowhead State Trail just west of Lake Vermillion. The trail head is located at the Itasca County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids and the first 6 miles are paved for biking and in-line skating. The remainder of the natural surface trail is used primarily for snowmobiling in the winter. The trail goes through a few areas that have standing water in the summer, however portions of the trail are suitable for horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking.

The Taconite Trail winds through forests of birch and aspen intertwined with pine, leading the visitor by many isolated lakes and streams. From Grand Rapids heading north, you see the impact of the taconite and iron mining industry. The northern portion of the trail terrain is rolling and tree covered as it winds through state and national forest land.

Eight trail waysides and picnic facilities offer scenic vistas of the hills, lakes and rivers of this area. The trail also links three state parks: Bear Head Lake, Soudan Underground Mine, and McCarthy Beach. The landscape in and around Bear Head Lake State Park is very rolling and rocky. For more information visit the Taconite Trail websiteDownload a Taconite Trail map. (326 MB .pdf file)

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ATV Fun in Northern Minnesota

ATV Fun in Northern Minnesota | ATV Trails in Grand Rapids

As the popularity of OHV/ATA trails increases so do the number of great trails in our area! Itasca County offers thousands of acres of federal, state, county and industrial forest land that are open to off-highway vehicle riding, but very few designated trails exist. Forest or logging roads are an excellent choice for ATV/OHV use. Each municipality or level of government has a different management plan that governs off-highway vehicle use on their lands. Please check with those governing bodies and know the rules for the type of land you are riding on. Not all classifications of forest roads are open to traffic so be sure to know the rules before you travel.

Most snowmobile trails are not designated for ATV or other off-highway vehicle use. Many snowmobile trails cross private property under a conditional use easement that is specific to winter travel, other snowmobile trails cross swampland that is not designated for ATV or off-highway vehicle use. A sincere effort is being made to develop a comprehensive map of off-road riding opportunities and create more designated trails.

For more information on ATVing in Minnesota as well as area maps go to:
Wildwood Resort ATV page
VisitGrandRapids.com ATV page
Ironrange.org ATV page
Minnesota DNR OHV map page

Gilbert (about 63 miles from Grand Rapids) is home to Minnesota’s first designated state recreation area for off-highway vehicles (OHV) and all-terrain vehicles (ATV). This park features more than 1,200 acres of recreation trails, scramble areas, training, hill climbs, rock crawls, special events. This northern Minnesota OHV facility is for use by off-road motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, and 4×4 Jeeps and trucks. This park is open to the public for recreational riding and will also host state and national competitive events. Park hours from May 1 to October 31 are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. or until 1 hour before sunset…whichever is earlier and November 1 to April 30 the park is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 1 hour before sunset. You can learn more about the park at: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ohv/trail_detail.html?id=13

OHV policy for Chippewa National Forest: http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/chippewa/recreation/atv_trails/index.php

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Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway

Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway Map | Grand Rapids Trail MapsTake the afternoon to drive and enjoy the 47-mile Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway that meanders from Grand Rapids north to Effie on Minnesota’s State Highway 38. The region is studded with lakes and thick with aspen, birch, pine and maple trees that pop with color in the fall season. The road winds around 36 lakes, and through state and national forest. The Chippewa National Forest is home to the largest population of bald eagles in the continental United States. Keep your eyes on the sky to see them soaring above the byway. White tailed deer also are known to graze in the fresh grasses along the side of the road.

Some of the best wildlife viewing takes place when you head off on a back road leading to one of the 1,000 lakes in the county. Or, get out of the car and go for a hike or a ski because there are several trails located just off the road.

Along The Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway, there are selected Discovery Sites where you can explore the hidden natural and cultural history of northern Minnesota. As you drive the Byway, look on the east side of the road for green reference point markers approximately one mile apart. These can assist you in navigating your way along the Byway. Also look for The Edge Byway signs and reference numbers along the roadway alerting you to the next Discovery Site just ahead. Take a few minutes or an entire day to navigate all the sites.

In the byway communities of Grand Rapids, Marcell, Bigfork and Effie you can find shopping and the essential travel services you’ll likely need including unique gift and antique shops, restaurants, fuel, food, lodging, public telephones, restrooms and emergency services.

The center for information concerning the Edge of the Wilderness is at the Marcell Rang
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er Station located approximately 30 miles north of Grand Rapids. There you can ask the Rangers about wildlife, history, park facilities or obtain maps, fishing information, and more.

As you make the meandering drive north be aware of lower speed limits, (the average miles per hour is 40) other traffic and weather conditions which can create slippery roads and black ice. The roadway is the main thoroughfare for residents who live in the northern region of the state, tourists and logging trucks.

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Chippewa National Forest’s “Lost Forty”

Grand Rapids Chippewa National Forest Trails | Walking Trails in MNThought to be underwater as part of Coddington Lake, a survey mistake in 1882 saved the land of the Lost Forty.

Actually 144 acres, the Lost Forty, located within the 1.6 million acres Chippewa National Forest is one of the few places in Minnesota to experience truly virgin forest land that never has been logged. Less than 2 percent of Minnesota’s forests are considered old growth today.

Located northwest of Wirt, Minnesota the Lost Forty is found approximately two miles north of the intersection of County Roads 29 and 26. It is somewhat off the beaten path, but worth the drive to see the majestic pines and walk through these pristine woods.

Most of the mature red and white pine is found on the east end of the Lost Forty. These trees are up to 400 years old and between 22 and 48 inches in diameter. Biologically, pine can live up to 500 years. Old growth such as the Lost Forty is full of wildlife habitat, including bald eagles, hawks and woodpeckers, red squirrels, weasels and many more important species.

A one-mile self-guided trail winds its way through the majestic pines of the Lost Forty. A picnic area is also available at the site. Visit the Chippewa National Forest Hiking page for more information.

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Cut Foot Sioux Ranger Station

The Cut Foot Sioux Ranger Station, which was completely restored over a period of four years between 1994 and 1998, is the oldest remaining ranger station building in the Forest Service’s Eastern Region. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, tours are arranged through the Cut Foot Sioux Visitor Information Center.

To restore the nearly 100-year-old building, the foundation, floor and roof all were rebuilt. Damaged logs were reconstructed and new logs were cut from the very same stand as the original logs. Today the interior is set up as if it were the early 20th century, when Horace Lydick, the first ranger to man the station, and his young bride were sent to man the station in 1908. At the time, there were no roads so they came by boat and built the small cabin by hand. Lydick’s main job was to build roads so loggers could get in to cut the timber.

The ranger station and visitor center is located on State Highway 46 near Cutfoot Sioux Lake and Lake Winnibigoshish north of Deer River, Minnesota. For more information call 218-246-8233 or stop in at the Cut Foot Sioux Visitor Center for a summer tour schedule or to pick up more information about their self-guided tour.

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Trout Lake Semiprimitive Non-motorized Area & the Joyce Estate

Trout Lake Semiprimitive Non-motorized Area & the Joyce Estate offer 6,000 acres of forest with 26 miles of shoreline on 11 lakes. Ten miles of old roads and trails provide for hunting, hiking or skiing. The rolling terrain provides scenic views over area lakes wrapped with maple, aspen, birch and scattered pine. Click Here for map.

In the 1880s, William T. Joyce came to the area and started buying land and timber. The area was logged in the early 1900s and the logs were floated out through the chain of lakes to the prairie river and then to the Mississippi River. About 1918, the heir to the family fortune originating in lumber taken from northern Minnesota, David Joyce of Chicago, surveyed the area around Trout Lake with the intention of building a hunting camp. Over the next 17 years he built a 4,500 acre private resort with 40 buildings, a golf course, private telephone line and airplane hangar. The Joyce Family called this place “Nopeming” (meaning place of rest in Ojibwe). The estate operated as a plush private resort for the Joyce Family until 1972 when it was sold to the Nature Conservancy. The Forest Service subsequently acquired it in 1973.

Visitors can tour the grounds of the Joyce Estate and view the rustic log architecture and stickwork characteristic of the Adirondack tradition. The Joyce Estate is located 13 miles north of Grand Rapids, one mile east of the intersection of County Road 60 and State Highway 38.

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Suomi Hills

The remote setting of the Suomi Hills semiprimitive nonmotorized area is made up of rolling hills, clear lakes and some of the most spectacular fall color in the area. There are 21 miles of trail, numerous small lakes and several primitive campsites for day or overnight hiking, biking, skiing and canoe trips. The rolling topography offers cross country and mountain bike trails for intermediate and advance skiers and bikers. The trails are groomed and track-set in the winter and mowed in the summer.

North Suomi Hills is the site of the Day Lake Civilian Conservation Camp (CCC), which became a prisoner of war camp during World War II.

Suomi Hills is located 14 miles north of Grand Rapids on the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway (State Highway 38). View Map.

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Canoe Trips in Itasca County

Canoe Trips in Itasca County | Grand Rapids Canoe Trips | Canoe in MNItasca County is an idyllic destination for canoeing enthusiasts.

The Big Fork River flows north to the Rainy river. Most of the river is easy to canoe with several areas of Class I rapids. There are two spectacular water falls that need to be portaged by all but the most experienced paddlers: Little American Falls (Class III-IV) and Big Falls (Class IV-VI).

From Cass Lake to the Vermillion River, this segment of the river consists mostly of marshlands. The area has a rich history and provides great opportunities for viewing wildlife. Paddling skills for marshy areas and for making sharp turns are needed for this stretch of the river but no special skills for paddling through rapids are required. This part of the river is among its first 420 miles which is denoted as the Mississippi Headwaters River Trail.

Re
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creational canoe enthusiasts enjoy the Prairie River. Much of this stream is located in Savanna State Forest which was once part of an important portage route during fur trade era.

Bigfork River Canoe Outfitting located at the junction of Main Street & Highway 38 in Bigfork, MN offers canoe rental and shuttle service as well as tents and other camping gear. Also serves Rice River. Call 218-743-3274 for more information.

God’s Country Outfitters located on Highway 38 north of Grand Rapids rents canoes and equipment. For rates and reservations call 218-326-9866.

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White Oak Society, Inc.

Northern Minnesota White Oak Fur PostThe year is 1798 and the fur trade is booming in the upper reaches of the Mississippi River in the northwoods of Minnesota. Minnesota will not actually become a state for another 60 years but today the Norwesters, gentlemen, traders and Anishanabe are all gathered for the annual rendezvous at the White Oak Fur Post.

Members of the White Oak Society operate the White Oak Fur Post. The White Oak Society provides “living history” interpretations of the fur trade era within the Great Lakes region. Along with the White Oak Fur Post, the society operates The White Oak Learning Centre which houses The Great Hall, The Rick Balen Library, The White Oak Society Office. The Learning Centre also offers the opportunity for a variety of educational programs for youths and adults alike which supports their goal to expand today’s horizons with a “hands on” experience of the past.

Volunteers and a part-time staff of interpreters, portray authentic characters of the fur trade at the White Oak Fur Post and in communities throughout the region. By portraying the lifestyle of the people from the era, the food they eat, the clothes they wear and the language they speak, White Oak Society members help visitors learn about the actual working and living conditions of the time period.

The 18th Century Fur Post comes alive each year during the first full weekend of August when the White Oak Society sponsors the White Oak Rendezvous and Festival. The event includes a participant family camp that allows reenactors and the public an opportunity to relive the vibrancy and ambiance of a thriving Northwest Company Fur Post.

The fur post not only bustles during the summer months, but in January holds the Annual White Oak Sled Dog Classic which showcases classic fur trade dogs in its races. Teams can compete in a 120-mile, 60-mile or a 40-mile race for beginners. Even if you are not a sled dog racer there also are events for the children and whole family. Other events include sled dog demos/lessons, ski-joring demos/lessons, cross-country skiing trails, and many more winter outdoor activities.

The White Oak Fur Post is located north of Deer River, Minnesota on Highway 6 North. For more information call them at 218-246-9393 or email them: whiteoak@paulbunyan.net or log on to http://www.whiteoakhistoricalsociety.org/.

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Grand Rapids Gun Club

The Grand Rapids Gun Club, located on Peterson Road just north of Grand Rapids, is regarded as one of the nicest facilities of its type in the state. This is a public facility and it is open to the public, from April through September. Grand Rapids Gun Club is a non-profit and all the money raised is put back into the club. They also have a diverse set of certified and qualified instructors available to assist shooters of all skill levels at the club. With it’s recent expansion of eight trap fields, four skeet fields, a duck tower and a new Hunter’s Clays five stand course the club is able to welcome league, individual and tournament shooting. At the Grand Rapids Gun Club you will always find a welcoming clubhouse and a friendly atmosphere, along with on site sales of ammunition, clothing and accessories for all your shooting needs. The Grand Rapids Gun Club hours are Tuesday & Thursday from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. The club is located at 723 Peterson Road in Grand Rapids. Contact them by phone at 218-326-3348 or by mail at: Grand Rapids Gun Club, PO Box 911, Grand Rapids, MN 55744.

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Bader’s Pheasant Run

Bader’s Pheasant Run has six fields of natural and planted cover which provides an exciting and challenging game bird hunting experience. Morning and afternoon hunts are available and hunters can make use of their own dog or Bader’s dogs. It’s a great outing for one hunter or a group. Novice or professional – you and your dog will find Bader’s your #1 game bird experience!

Bader’s Pheasant Run is located at 2590 112th Street NE, Federal Dam, MN 56641. For reservations call 218-654-5097.

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Pheasants Plus Hunting Preserve

Pheasants Plus Hunting Preserve | Grand Rapids Hunting | Hunting in Grand RapidsPheasants Plus Hunting Preserve is owned and managed by Dale & Amy Slettom. Open since 1993 Pheasants Plus offers upland bird hunting and sporting clay shooting for shooters of all skill levels. The Slettom’s offer several fun and challenging managed fields for hunting. Special attention is given to terrain, size, and cover to match you to the ideal field. Each field features neat shelters and hot coffee.

No alcohol is allowed on the sporting clays range or in the hunting fields. Safety is the number one priority.

You may hunt with your own dog, or use Pheasants Plus pointing dogs. Guides are available for pheasant hunts. Please call and book your guide in advance as this is a popular option with the guests and it will ensure availability for your hunt.

Blaze orange vests or caps are required for hunting. They are available at the clubhouse if you need them. As well as ammunition and other supplies. The clubhouse is handicapped accessible and you will always find a warm friendly atmosphere.  Open to the public, hours vary by season.

Pheasants Plus is located at 14893 Sago #4 in Warba, Minnesota. For more information visit them on Facebook or to make a reservation please call 218-492-4450.

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Minnesota Discovery Center – Chisholm, MN (formerly Ironwold Discovery Center)

This facility began as a way of celebrating the ethnicities that migrated to this region at the turn of the 20th Century to find work in the burgeoning iron ore mines and related industry.  Today, the Minnesota Discovery Center Museum is a 33,000 square-foot facility that houses artifacts, examines mining methods, explores regional geology, and hosts traveling exhibits that help illuminate the spirit and sensibilities of the region’s immigrant people and their descendants. Their stories document the development of the “Iron Range”, a region that would become the nation’s largest producer of iron ore. A special area of the museum is dedicated to the life and work of Minnesota’s Longest-Serving Governor, Rudy Perpich, an Iron Range native.
Our facility began as a way of celebrating the ethnicities that migrated to this region at the turn of the 20th Century to find work in the burgeoning iron ore mines and related industry.

Today, the Minnesota Discovery Center Museum is a 33,000 square-foot facility that houses artifacts, examines mining methods, explores regional geology, and hosts traveling exhibits that help illuminate the spirit and sensibilities of the region’s immigrant people and their descendants. Their stories document the development of the “Iron Range”, a region that would become the nation’s largest producer of iron ore. A special area of the museum is dedicated to the life and work of Minnesota’s Longest-Serving Governor, Rudy Perpich, an Iron Range native.

The Minnesota Discovery Center’s museum features permanent exhibits about Iron Range history, including interactive displays that help explain and explore taconite mining and the people who worked in the region’s mines. Our Immigration Area includes information about the nationalities that came to the Iron Range at the turn of the last century, and includes a listening station where visitors can hear the sounds of a train station during that era. A Depression-era shanty illustrates the conditions of many out-of-work miners and others on the Iron Range at the time.  In the Hall of Labor, visitors hear representations of miners tell about working underground, receiving their wages and striking for better conditions. Other areas of the museum examine ore transportation, logging, early education on the Range and other aspects of regional life through World War II. An exhibit about the geology of the region can be found in Geology Hall, while recordings, videos, artifacts and artisan demonstrators help bring the story of Iron Range pioneers, miners and many others to life.

Beginning May 29, 2010, our museum, mini-golf, gift shop, and trolley are open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  We are closed on Mondays.  Our research center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Call 1-800-372-6437 or visit www.ironworld.com for more information.

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Hockey Hall of Fame

The museum, located off US Highway 53 in Eveleth, is a national shrine of historical significance dedicated to honoring hockey by showcasing all levels of the sport. Entertaining displays and memorabilia give visitors an opportunity to experience the thrilling game action and inspiring achievement of all those involved in the game of hockey. At the Theatre of Hockey Highlights visitors can re-live the 1980 “Miracle on Ice,” the US historic and exhilarating Olympic victory over Russia, or watch as the US Women’s Gold Medal Winning Hockey Team takes center stage at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan. From the Great Wall of Fame of Inductees, the Olympic Display, Gallery of Hockey Art, Mighty Duck Scoreboard, and historic exhibits of famed hockey memorabilia, this is a must visit for anyone interested in hockey.  Regular Hall Hours: Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  After Labor Day hours are Friday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to  3:00 p.m.  Hall Rates:  Adults (18+) – $8.00, Seniors (55+) – $7.00, Juniors (13-17) – $7.00 and Children (6-12) – $6.00.

To learn more, visit www.ushockeyhall.com or call 1-800-443-7825.

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Vince Schute Wildlife Sanctuary

The Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary is open Tuesday through Sunday from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day weekend, closing for the season on Sunday September 6th. Opening hours are 5pm – 8pm and viewing continues until dusk. We are closed on Mondays, except for holidays. We are open Memorial Day and 4th July.  Please note that because of the open viewing deck, the Sanctuary must close during adverse weather that includes lightening.

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Half Day River Trips by Kayak or SUP

Paddle Hoppers is a local company specializing in stand-up paddle board (SUP) and kayaks sales and rental. Located on the Mississippi (at the corner of Highway 2 & County Road 63) they also offer half day river trips via kayak or SUP. Visit the Paddle Hoppers website for more information!

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