Bigfork River State Canoe Route (Northern Itasca County)
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).
The low-lying Big Fork valley is pastoral in places and in other
parts wild. Scattered small farms break up a forest of pine,
spruce, fir, cedar, aspen and birch. The areas of major development
are the towns of Bigfork and Big Falls. The geology is clay,
silt and sand deposits, in many places less than five feet thick,
overlying Precambrian igneous and metamorphic rocks. Most of
the watershed was once covered by glacial Lake Agassiz.
The river offers excellent fishing for walleye, northern pike
and muskies. Wildlife is abundant including, timber wolves,
bobcats, lynx, beavers, otters. Big game includes moose, black
bears and white-tailed deer. Birds include bald eagles, osprey,
ruffed grouse and several species of ducks.
Buena Vista Ski Center
View the colors in a horse-drawn covered wagon
on the High Ridge trail, known for centuries as "The Top Of
The World." Autumn hues reflect in nine lakes from
the pinnacle of the continental divide, where waters either
run to the Hudson bay or south, to the Gulf of Mexico. This
the Leech Lake/Red Lake trail, the same route traveled by Native
Americans, early explorers and pioneers.
One of 155
National Forests, the Chippewa was the first National Forest
established east of the Mississippi. The Forest boundary encompasses
1.6 million acres, of which over 666,542 acres are managed by
the USDA Forest Service. Aspen, birch, pines, balsam fir and
maples blanket the uplands. Water is abundant, with over 1300
lakes, 923 miles of rivers and streams, and 400,000 acres of
wetlands. These unique qualities offer an abundance of outdoor
recreational opportunities all year long.
Avenue of Pines Scenic Byway in the Chippewa National
the Wilderness Scenic Byway (Grand Rapids to Effie)
Wind your way over the hills and along the shores of
thirty six lakes connecting Grand Rapids, Marcell, Bigfork and
Effie in Itasca County. The route begins in Grand Rapids
with meadows and lakes, then winds through mixed hardwoods and
stands of conifers and aspen of the Chippewa National Forest.
As travelers round bends in the road and reach the tops of hills,
views of lakes and forest appear. During the fall color season,
travelers see brilliant red sugar maples, glowing gold aspen
and birch and the deep bronze of the oak trees. For the visitor
interested in the heritage of the area, a Self Guided Auto Tour
brochure will be available for the summer of 1997. Few roadways
embrace the terrain and natural resources like the Edge of the
Wilderness. The route truly represents Northern Minnesota with
its unique variety of landscapes, recreational opportunities,
wildlife and rich heritage.
Center (Grand Rapids)
Experience the excitement of life in a 1900 logging camp,
the danger of a 1901 river drive and perhaps climb the 100-foot
fire tower. When the glaciers left the land, the forests
took over and shaped human culture for centuries. The Forest
History Center demonstrates, through "living history", the story
of the forests and the ways man has used and valued them over
time. Come talk with the lumberjacks, camp blacksmith, clerk
and cook in the reconstructed 1900 logging camp. Journey to
the spring of 1901 and board the moored river wanigan--a floating
cookshack that white-watered with the logs down the mighty Mississippi
River to the lumber mills. Then travel to 1934 and learn to
fight a raging forest fire or talk to the patrolman about living
and working in Minnesota's forests during the "Great Depression."
Headwaters Science Center
Located near the headwaters of the Mississippi
River, Headwaters Science Center is a non-profit facility under
a parent organization called Opportunities in Scie nce, Inc.
HSC is dedicated to science education and environmental
awareness. Opened in 1994, it is the only such facility between
Winnipeg and the Twin Cities affiliated with the Association of Science and Technology
Centers. Large, hands-on exhibit center and live animal
Hill Annex Mine State Park (near Calumet)
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 there, 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.
Ironworld Discovery Center, where the heritage
of northeastern Minnesota is preserved, celebrated and showcased
for visitors of all ages. Hear stories from the past and experience
a slice of life as pioneers and immigrants from 43 nations experienced
it so many years ago. Don't forget to enjoy miniature golf,
a scenic trolley ride, ethnic cuisine and traditional song and
dance. There's so much to see and do! Join us! Ironworld is
open from May - September. The Iron Range Research Center is
open year round.
Center (Grand Rapids)
Discover our past in the present. Explore the people,
places and resources that make up Itasca County history. Museum
exhibits interpret life at the turn of the century, logging,
mining, immigrants, homesteading, and native Americans (Ojibway)
of this region. Includes a Judy Garland exhibit (born Frances
Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids). A yellow brick road leads up to
Central School, a unique market place that is home to the museum,
gift shops, frame shops and a nationally renowned restaurant.
All in an 1895 restored grade school listed on the National
Register of Historic Places.
Itasca State Park
Established in 1891, Itasca is Minnesota's oldest state park.
Today, the park totals more than 32,000 acres and includes more
than 100 lakes. Walk across the mighty Mississippi as it starts
its winding journey 2,552 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. Stand
under towering pines at Preacher's Grove. Visit the Itasca Indian
Cemetery or Wegmann's Cabin, landmarks of centuries gone by.
Camp under the stars, or stay the night at the historic Douglas
Lodge or cabins. Explore Wilderness Drive past the 2,000-acre
Wilderness Sanctuary, one of Minnesota's seven National Natural
Landmarks. Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history,
geology and landscape.
From November 1, 2005
through March 31, 2006, The Judy Garland Museum® is open two
days a week -- Friday and Saturday -- from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Judy Garland Museum® is open Monday through Saturday from
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 1 through May 27, and seven days a week
Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. General admission
for all ages is $6 per person - includes Children's Discovery
The Judy Garland Museum® is open on Memorial
Day, July 4, and Labor Day. The Museum is closed on Easter,
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
Lost 40 (near Dora Lake)
Lost 40, so-called due to
a surveying slip back in 1882, is located in the Big Fork State
Forest in the Agassiz Lowlands. This site includes a narrow
peninsula extending from a large upland esker. The peninsula
is flanked by a black spruce and tamarack bog on one side, and
a willow and alder marsh on the other. The area contains 28
acres of red pine forest and 18 acres of spruce-fir forest.
The virgin old-growth red pine forest is the largest and oldest
stand in the Blackduck Forestry Area. White pine over 300 years
old can be found on the site. The U.S. Forest Service administers
adjacent lands with old growth red and white pine, as well.
Fringed polygala, bluebead lily, twin flower, and Canada mayflower
occur in this area. Early to mid-summer is a good time to see
wildflowers in bloom.
Slam of Golf (near Grand Rapids)
Minnesota's Grand Slam of Golf offers golfers a chance
to play four 18-hole championship courses with savings and convenience.
Choose from four professionally designed and individually unique
courses - Eagle Ridge, Pokegama, Sugarbrooke and Wendigo. All
of our green fees are $26 or less for 18 holes - on weekends.
Combine that with one of our participating lodging properties,
and you have a winning combination. We offer 72 holes, at discount
prices, or packages which include carts, meals and accommodations.
River Parkway Commission
The river begins its 2,552 mile journey to the sea from
its headwaters in Itasca State Park. From its ankle-deep source,
the mighty Mississippi winds its way through Minnesota - from
the northern wilderness through contemporary, cosmopolitan cities
to rich farmlands and plains. Each bend of the river offers
something new in the land of 15,000 lakes. From professional
baseball thrills in the Metrodome, to the Mall of America, the
nation's largest fully enclosed shopping and entertainment complex,
to more than 500 beautiful golf courses, the good times flow
like the river.
Pennington Bog is a virtually undisturbed
tract of coniferous forest, providing critical habitat for a
diverse array of plant species. A wide assortment of beautiful
and unusual plant species grows beneath a dense canopy of white
cedar, balsam fir, and black spruce. The forest floor can be
easily damaged from visitor use, given the wet nature of the
forest community. The best time to visit the site is early-
Rabideau CCC Camp Restoration
Tucked away among the birches in
the northern Minnesota woods is a precious relic of our Depression
era past. Built in 1935, Rabideau CCC Camp was one of
2650 Civilian Conservation Corps camps established as part of
Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal program. Thirteen of the
original 25 buildings remain standing, and include the mess
hall, four barracks, three officer quarters, recreation hall,
hospital, laundry building, and education building. Rabideau
was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
We believe it has the largest number of unaltered frame-constructed
buildings in federal ownership. As you may imagine, restoration
and maintenance of so many structures has been quite a challenge.
With the help of cost-share grants and partnerships from federal
sources, local businesses, and organizations such as the Preservation
Alliance of Minnesota, restoration of the Education Building
has been completed, largely through the efforts of PIT volunteers.
Scenic State Park (near Bigfork)
This park deserves its name with seven pristine lakes,
virgin pines, swimming beach, and nesting osprey. Hike
the Chase Point Trail for hypnotic views of Coon and Sandwick
Lakes and see the giant pines. Overnight facilities include
campsites (boat-in, drive-in, backpack), and a lakeshore cabin.
Stop by the historic lodge, which has displays, summer interpretive
programs, and a forest fire tower.
Scenic State Park near Bigfork
Schoolcraft State Park (near Deer River)
This secluded north woods park is the perfect place to
unwind. Quiet and peaceful, the Whisper Trail leads hikers through
the virgin pine forest that includes a white pine more than
300 years old. Canoeists and anglers enjoy the gentle
waters of the Mississippi River. A boat access, picnic area,
canoe and drive-in campsites are available to visitors.
Taconite State Trail (Grand Rapids to Ely)
The Taconite State
Trailstretches 165 miles from Grand Rapids to Ely and
intersects with the Arrowhead State Trail just west of Lake
Vermillion. The first 6 miles from Grand Rapids 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.
States Hockey Hall of Fame
The United States Hockey Hall of Fame is America's
hockey designated shrine and showcase to all levels of the sport.
Since 1973, 107 great American hockey people with outstanding
hockey achievements from all of the competitive levels of the
game have been enshrined. Visitors experience the thrilling
game action and inspiring achievements of players, coaches,
administrators, player/administrators, referees, and teams through
authentic, informative and entertaining displays and memorabilia.
Eveleth, Minnesota, "The Capital of American Hockey", has been
given that designation and the home of the United States Hockey
Hall of Fame because of it's rich hockey traditions. No community
the size of Eveleth has produced as many quality players or
has contributed more to the growth and development of the sport
in the United States. The United States Hockey Hall of
Fame is a national shrine of historical significance dedicated
to honoring the great sport of ice hockey in the United States.
White Oak Fur Post (near
The White Oak Fur Rendezvous has just completed its Ninth
season. Rendezvous is held each summer at the beginning of August.
White Oak Rendezvous draws more than 8,000 visitors each year.
There are displays, demonstrations, music, food, Trader's Row
and camping facilities for overnight stays. Family camp for
participants starts one week prior to Rendezvous, and is a great
vacation experience. If you have an interest in history and
enjoy the company of others with like interests, Rendezvous
Reenactment and Participation is a great avenue to explore.