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  • camping (18)
  • museum (14)
  • bandb (19)
  • golf (2)
  • art (1)
  • historichouse (2)
  • beach (23)

Minnesota State #61 Highway Guide

Miles Kms Item Summary
Duluth's historic Canal Park
Duluth's historic Canal Park is the perfect place to begin or end your drive along Lake Superior's scenic North Shore. Once an area of junkyards and abandoned warehouses, Canal Park has taken on new life in the past two decades as a focal point of Duluth's vibrant tourism industry. Ships from the Great Lakes and all over the world pass through the Duluth Ship Canal and under the city's landmark Aerial Lift Bridge as they enter or leave the harbor with loads of grain, coal, taconite, and other trade commodities. You can't get a better close-up view of these giant 'lakers' and 'salties' than from the walkway atop the Canal Park breakwater. The Lake Superior Maritime Visitors Center at the foot of the aerial bridge features information on the history of Lake Superior and the shipping activity of the Twin Ports.
Historic Downtown Duluth

Leif Erikson Park & Rose Garden
This beautiful park, along the shores of Lake Superior off London Road, is the site of a full-scale replica of a wooden Viking ship reminiscent of the type used by Norse sailors hundreds of years ago. A spectacular extension of Leif Erikson Park, Duluth's Rose Garden offers a beautiful arrangement of more than 3,000 rose bushes and other floral delights. There's also a fountain, a marble gazebo, an herb garden and plenty of benches overlooking the lake.
A.G. Thomson House
This historic bed & breakfast inn was voted one of the Top 15 B&Bs in the U.S. for 'Best Weekend Escape' and has earned a 3-diamond approval rating from AAA. It features spacious whirlpool and fireplace suites with private baths, Lake Superior views, gourmet breakfasts served in a sun-drenched dining room, and over an acre of peaceful park-like grounds.
Glensheen Historic Estate
Glensheen, Duluth's American Castle, as showcased on A&E's America's Castles, is a 7.6 acre estate built between 1905-08 by Chester A. Congdon. First opened to the public in 1979, Glensheen resembles an English, early seventeenth century country estate. The focal point of English estates were the manor house which were located near the center of the property. Formal gardens dotted the grounds and added color. What is phenomenal about Glensheen is that, to this day, it closely resembles the way it looked when the Congdon family first moved in on November 24, 1908. The majority of the furnishings are original to the time the estate was first occupied.
Brighton Beach Park
A pretty place to picnic along the Lake Superior shore just outside of Duluth.
French River Fish Hatchery
Self-guided tours of this cold water fish hatchery are available weekdays from 8am-4pm. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources incubates herring, suckers, walleye, rainbow trout, steelhead and salmon here. If you are traveling in the autumn, stop to see the heavy fall spawn run.
New Scenic Cafe
A great stop for lunch or dinner!
Tom's Logging Camp
An authentic re-creation of a 1900s logging camp and Northwest Fur Company Trading Post. Includes a nature trail, Hell's Creek and eight museum buildings: the trading post, museum, harness shop, shoemakers shop and horseshoeing stall, a horse barn and blacksmith shop, bunkhouse and cook's shanty, the Knife River Fishing Museum and a Finnish Sauna. Small entry fee is charged. Open seasonally.
Knife River
The Village of Knife River is famous for its smoked fish, commercial fishing, and sport fishing.
Larsmont School
1900-vintage one room schoolhouse added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
Two Harbors
Two Harbors is the largest Minnesota town along the Lake Superior shore north of Duluth and definitely worth a stop. Here you'll find some interesting shops along the main drag. But detour off Hwy 61 a few blocks on Waterfront Drive to visit the historic Two Harbors Light Station, Edna G. tugboat, original steam locomotives, ore docks, and Lake County Historical Society Museum. Housed within the Duluth-Iron Range Depot, the museum interprets a glorious era gone by, when Two Harbors was the busiest port and transportation hub north of Duluth and when iron ore, timber, and fishing were in their heyday.
Lake County Visitor Information Center

Lakeview National Golf Course
One of the most scenic public golf courses you'll ever see. The awesome views of Lake Superior alone are worth the the reasonable greens fees. In the winter a lighted cross country ski trail meanders through the course.
Flood Bay State Wayside
Stop here for a potty break or to take a walk along a pretty pebble beach. A popular spot for skipping rocks and hunting for agates.
Betty's Pies
One of the most famous landmarks along the North Shore. With several dozen varieties to choose from on any given day, if you can't find a slice or two you like here you obviously don't like pie. Oh yes, you can also order breakfast, lunch, or dinner (but don't forget to save room!).
Silver Creek Cliff Tunnel
The longest of several North Shore tunnels at 1400 feet, it was completed in 1995 and replaced a dangerous steep and narrow two-lane roadway on the side of the cliff.
Gooseberry Falls State Park
One of Minnesota's best known and most visited state parks, Gooseberry features spectacular waterfalls, river gorge, Lake Superior shoreline, Civilian Conservation Corps log and stone structures, and Northwoods wildlife. For many motorists Gooseberry Falls State Park is a wayside rest with spectacular scenery. To get the most out of your visit, stop by the Joseph N. Alexander Visitor Center where you can find park information, interpretive displays, a park video, Nature Store, and more. Or visit the Gateway Plaza for outdoor interpretive signs on area resources and history.
Split Rock River Wayside Rest

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Besides offering numerous recreational opportunities, this park is perhaps best known for its historic lighthouse. Along Lake Superior are pristine campsites where visitors can bring in their supplies. The spectacular Superior Hiking Trail is connected to scenic lakeside trails. Anglers can fish for salmon, lake trout, and brown trout. Skip stones into Lake Superior from the rocky beach.
Beaver Bay
Beaver Bay is the oldest continuous settlement on the North Shore of Lake Superior.
Grampa Woo Excursions
Jump aboard the Grampa Woo on a two hour cruise along Lake Superior's beautiful North Shore. Take in the scenery of lush green birch forests, crystal clear waters and rugged rock cliffs as the Captain delivers a fascinating interpretation of the Northlands history, wildlife and plantlife.
Silver Bay
Developed essentially as a company town, the Silver Bay city charter was filed in 1956, although the townsite was started in 1952. Reserve Mining Company owned and operated a taconite plant in the community for nearly 30 years, until the mid 1980's, when the plant closed and nearly 40% of the population left the area. Today, Nothshore Mining Company owns and operates the plant; a Veterans Home has been established; and small businesses are developing in the area. Most of the community is actually hidden from the highway and you need to turn inland at the stoplight or you'll pass right by.
Palisade Head
This scenic viewpoint offers a spectacular view of the lake and Sawtooth mountains up the shoreline. Perigrine falcons nest nearby in the cliffs.
Tettegouche State Park
Visit Tettegouche to get a better feel of the North Shore: High Falls of Baptism River; the historic Tettegouche Camp where visitors can stay overnight, and the spectacular Shovel Point overlooks; 60-ft cascading waterfall; rocky steep cliffs and inland bluffs. Miles of trails overlooking the Sawtooth Mountains make this park a hiker's paradise. These trails pass through inland lakes which can only be accessed on foot. The Palisade Valley Unit higlights broad scenic landscapes and extensive multi-use, four-season trails. The park also has rock climbing opportunities and quality birdwatching during spring, summer, and especially in the fall.
Caribou River Wayside Rest
A good place to stretch your legs with a short 1.5 mile round-trip hike on moderate terrain, alongside the Caribou River to Caribou Falls.
Sugarloaf Cove
Sugarloaf Cove is a beautiful rocky cove on the shore of Lake Superior, accessible via a short hike from the highway. From the 1940s through the 1970s, Sugarloaf Cove was used by Consolidated Papers, Inc. as a pulpwood landing, a place to collect logs before rafting them across Lake Superior to Ashland, Wisconsin. Today ownership of the 35-acre site is shared by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Sugarloaf Interpretive Center Association (SICA). Approximately 10.2 acres of the site are dedicated as a Minnesota State Scientific And Natural Area (SNA).
Cross River State Wayside/Cross River Heritage Center
Stop here to admire the sweeping Cross River falls as they tumble toward Lake Superior. Across the highway from the falls is the new heritage center.
Temperance River State Park
Take the trail that winds along the edge of the Temperance River gorge and enjoy the rushing waterfalls surrounded by pine, spruce, cedar and birch forests. The rapidly flowing river has cut deep potholes in and along the riverbed. Hike the trail to Hidden Falls or connect up with trails into the Superior National Forest and the Cross River Wayside. Visitors come to camp and picnic along the shore of Lake Superior. Carlton Peak, a recent addition to the park, is popular with rock climbers and offers even more recreational opportunities to park visitors.
North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum & Visitor Center
This fabulous museum is a replica of a 1905 twin fish house that originally stood directly across the bay. It tells the story of commercial fishing along the Shore and at Isle Royale and displays many relics, photos and artifacts. The Schroeder-Tofte-Lutsen Visitor Center also is located here.
Oberg Mountain
Turn inland here on Onion River Road (Forest Road 336) for a wonderful 2.2 mile round-trip hike to the top of Oberg Mountain. Don't let the name scare you. Most of the elevation will be gained on your drive to the parking area, making the hike generally moderate, with a bit steeper section near the end. You'll be rewarded with great views of Lake Superior, along with several inland lakes. Especially stunning in the fall.
Superior National Golf Course
Championship course offers 27 holes carved from 400 acres of the Superior National Forest, winding through the Poplar River Valley with breathtaking views of nearby Lake Superior.
Lutsen Mountains Ski Area
Popular ski area that boasts an 808-foot vertical drop, more than 30 miles of Nordic tracks and 72 downhill runs from novice to expert.
Cascade River State Park
Come to Cascade for the rushing river and grand waterfalls that lay within a gorge, lush with moss and ferns that grow on black volcanic rocks. Hike the trail through birch, spruce and white cedar; stop to see the views of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world.
Geological marker & Lake Superior overlook

Cut Face Creek Wayside Rest

Grand Marais
Grand Marais is a scenic harbor community offering unique shopping, dining, lodging, artistic and recreational experiences. Named as one of America's top art communities, Grand Marais provides a broad menu of activities and opportunities for the art visitor. With a large population of resident artists as well as a steady stream of visiting talent, the arts flourish year around.
Angry Trout Cafe
Fresh products, including organic and locally produced foods. Indoor and outdoor dining. Tasty pasta, fresh fish, appetizers, salads, sandwiches and scrumptious desserts. Seasonal. Highly recommended!
North House Folk School
North House Folk School was created to promote and preserve knowledge, skills, and crafts of the past and present, and through them, to better understand the future and our role in it. The mission of the North House Folk School is to enrich the lives of individuals and build community by teaching traditional northern crafts in a student-centered learning environment that inspires the hands, the heart and the mind.
Judge C.R. Magney State Park
Come for the quiet, the solitude, and the famous waterfall, Devil's Kettle. The most popular hike leads from the trailhead upstream along the Brule River to Devil's Kettle, where the river splits around a mass of volcanic rock. Half of the river plunges 50 feet into a pool, while the rest pours into a huge pothole.
Grand Portage Indian Reservation
The Grand Portage Reservation, located in Cook County at the extreme northeastern tip of Minnesota, encompasses a historic fur trade site with spectacular northwoods Lake Superior shoreline. The reservation extends about 18 miles along the lakeshore and from nine miles to a quarter mile inland. The community of Grand Portage is the location of the tribal buildings and homesites.
Grand Portage National Monument
Grand Portage National Monument is of international and regional significance because it was the central hub of a once flourishing fur trade. Here the bold economic strategy and exploration by the North West Company voyageurs and traders opened up a transcontinental trade route. Grand Portage was and remains a meeting ground of diverse cultures. The site is home ground for contemporary Grand Portage Ojibwe.
Grand Portage Bay Travel Information Center
24-hour rest area. Open May through October. Complete Minnesota travel information. Scenic overlook with picnic area.
Scenic Overlook

Grand Portage State Park
Torrents of wild water plummet 120 feet over the High Falls down to the Pigeon River in this park on the U.S. - Canadian border. The falls, the highest in the state, presented a serious obstacle to river travel, so a 'carrying place,' or portage, was necessary. American Indians created the ancient nine-mile trail from Lake Superior to bypass the falls. This trail became known as 'The Grand Portage.' Today, visitors of all abilities can take a one-half mile trail and boardwalk to the falls overlook area.
U.S. - Canadian border
United States law permits citizens visiting Canada remaining 48 HOURS OR MORE to take back with them goods valued at $400 for each person duty free, for personal use only. Americans may purchase souvenir items valued to $25.00 for a visit less than 48 hours. Retail sales slips or receipts should be kept to show the value of goods re-entering the United States. The Canadian Government requires any visitor entering Canada to be in possession of adequate funds to maintain their visitor status for the time they will be in Canada.