- Bowling and Miniature Golf
- Reif Center for Performing Arts
- Edge Center for the Arts
- MacRostie Art Center
- Mississippi Melodie Showboat
- Forest History Center
- Judy Garland Birthplace Historic House
- Itasca Heritage Center Museum And Judy Garland Exhibit
- UPM Blandin Paper Company Tours
- Strawberry and Blueberry Picking
- Hill Annex Mine
- Mesabi Trail
- Taconite Trail
- ATV Fun in Northern Minnesota
- Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway
- Chippewa National Forest’s “Lost Forty”
- Cut Foot Sioux Ranger Station
- Trout Lake Semiprimitive Non-motorized Area & the Joyce Estate”
- Suomi Hills
- Canoe Trips in Itasca County
- White Oak Society, Inc.
- Grand Rapids Gun Club
- Minnesota Shooting Sports Education Center
- Pheasants Plus Hunting Preserve
- Evergreen Riding Stable
Itasca County Golf Courses
With four 18-hole championship courses and several more nine-hole 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.
Finally, who says price doesn’t matter? You’ll find that Northwoods golf offers very affordable golf fees with some of the best values in the Midwest.
Golf Courses in Itasca County
|Golf Couse||Total Yards||Rating Slope||Instruc. Avail||Phone Number||Directions Location|
|Eagle Ridge Golf Club||6254||69.4121||Yes||218-245-2217||One Green Way Hwy 169 East, Coleraine|
|Pokegama Golf Club||6105||68.5117||Yes||218-326-3444||3910 Golf Course Road Grand Rapids|
|Sugarbrooke Golf Club||6195||72.2124||Yes||218-327-1462||Located at Ruttger’s Sugar Lake Lodge|
|Wendigo Golf Club||6641||70.7129||Yes||218-327-2211||20108 Golf Crest Road Grand Rapids|
|Blueberry Hills Golf Course||3121||34.6110||Yes||218-246-8010||1 mi. N of Deer River on Hwy. 6, turn E on G.C. Rd.|
|Golf on the Edge||2963||66.8104||Yes||218-743-3626||1.5 miles E of Bigfork cty Rd 261 & G.C. Rd|
|Swan Lake Golf Club||3235||35.2120||Yes||218-885-3543||Rt. 1 Box 308 Pengilly Directly off Hwy. 65|
|Blackduck Municipal Golf Course||0||0||Yes||218-835-7757 20857||Blackduck Lake Rd NE, Blackduck, MN 56630|
Bowling and Miniature Golf
Thunder Alley XL Bowling & Mini Golf located on Highway 169 North in Grand Rapids, Minnesota has bowling, a lounge, miniature golf course and batting cages. It’s fun for the whole family! Call 218-326-5950 for hours or for more information. BlueBerry Bowl is located just north of Deer River, Minnesota on Highway 6. It has 10 bowling lanes, the Lucky Strike Lounge and a large dining room. For hours and more information call 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.
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. 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 for a calendar of upcoming performances, and to purchase tickets online
Edge Center for the Arts
With the mission statement “To enhance the Edge of the Wilderness by providing a welcoming and well-managed space where creating, enjoying and sharing art experiences build community,” the Edge Center for the Arts has been a place for diverse, quality artistic performance and exhibitions, a place for community arts collaboration and growth. Completed in 2005, the goal of building community through the arts is being fulfilled at the Edge Center in Bigfork. The center is lcoated next to the Bigfork School, at 101 Second Avenue. Click here to see a calendar of upcoming performances, and also purchase tickets online.
MacRostie Art Center
Located 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 Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., visitors can view exhibits, 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.
Mississippi Melodie Showboat
Join the fun when the band plays the opening theme, a riverboat whistle is heard in the distance and the first glimpse of the Mississippi Melodie Showboat is seen around the river’s bend. Visitors are magically carried back a hundred years in time to relive the gaiety and excitement of the Showboat era on the Mighty Mississippi. With banners flying, paddle wheel churning and whistle blowing, the majestic Mississippi Melodie Showboat and her cast have been enchanting crowds in Grand Rapids for 50 years.
Mississippi Melodie provides a unique entertainment experience for the audience. Audiences sit in comfortable stadium seating in an outdoor amphitheater and are entertained by a revival of the music, dance and humor of the earlier showboat era. The captain brings Mississippi Melodie to the dock, which then becomes the stage. The length of the show is from 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Each year an entirely new show is written and different performers are featured. Featured are solo singers, specialty numbers and a talented chorus of singers and dancers. Audiences can also look forward to the featured melodrama skit. This vaudeville variety show is produced on the banks of the beautiful Mississippi River in Grand Rapids the last three weekends of July. This is one event you will make an annual tradition! For more information visit http://www.showboatlanding.com/
Forest History Center
Visitors 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. For a fantastic view of the surrounding area, climb the state’s only 100-foot fire tower with a live interpretive center. The Boulder Hill Lookout Tower was built in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) in the Chippewa National Forest on the south end of Lake Winnibigoshish near Bena, MN, along with a towerman’s cabin and garage. The 100’ steel tower with its 7’ x 7’ metal cab remained in active service until the late 1960s. In 1976 it was moved to the Forest History Center. The tower was restored to its original condition in 1997, and is now staffed by interpreters and open seven days a week from Memorial Day through October 15. It is one of the most climbed towers in the U.S.
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). The Forest History Center offers an 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. 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. Take a walk on one of three self-guided forest trails for a view of the Mississippi River and the Northern Minnesota forestland. During the winter months, the trails are groomed and track-set for cross-country skiing, and are open daily except for holidays.
For Forest History Center hours and admission costs, please visit: http://sites.mnhs.org/historic-sites/forest-history-center 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.
Judy Garland Birthplace Historic House
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 Abraham 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. This 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. For hours and admission information visit: www.judygarlandmuseum.com or call 1-800-664-JUDY or 218-327-9276.
Itasca Heritage Center Museum And Judy Garland Exhibit
Explore the people, places and resources that make up Itasca County history. The Itasca Heritage Museum captures the flavor of the turn of the century and the stories of the people, places, and resources that shaped this region. Come and explore with us the Woolly Mammoth during the Ice Age, marvel at the resourcefulness of the Ojibwe, the first inhabitants of this area. Wonder at the variety of cultures represented by the immigrants who came to the new country. See with the eye of a photographer (Eric Enstrom from Bovey, MN) who took the famous picture, “Grace”. Discover how the Mississippi River allowed access to this great land that provided the nation with lumber and iron ore. Learn about the life of CK Blandin, his paper company that still operates today and his contribution to the paper and logging industry. Find information about the Itasca County Civilian Conservation Corps Camps and the Harper Wooden Boat Factory.
The museum also tells the story of Judy Garland, who was born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. During their 12 years in this area, the Gumm family operated the New Grand Theater. The story of this family of entertainers is what you will discover in the exhibit “A Family Scrapbook” which includes rare photographs, artifacts of her childhood, family life, and movie career. It’s a must see.The museum is located at 201 Pokegama Ave North in Grand Rapids. It is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sat. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call 218-326-6431 or visit their website at: www.itascahistorical.org.
UPM Blandin Paper Company Tours
UPM Corp. purchased the Blandin Paper Mill in October of 1997, making it the first North American mill for UPM-Kymmene. Blandin was founded in 1901 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and currently employs about 450 people. Blandin’s annual paper making capacity is about 408,000 short tons, and all paper manufactured on their two paper machines is lightweight coated (LWC) publication paper, named for it’s clay-based glossy coating. Blandin currently owns and manages 187,000 acres of forest land, and is well known for its strong record on quality management, forestry, safety and environmental fronts. Blandin has earned Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification in acknowledgement of progressive environmental practices on its forest lands.
Beginning the first Wednesday in June through the Friday before Labor Day, free guided tours of Blandin’s Number 6 paper line are offered on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am to 3 pm. Tour guides escort small groups (10 or less in a group) through the mill on a continuous basis. The tour also includes a video history of the mill and of the papermaking process.
No children under the age of 12
No open-toed shoes
Please keep in mind that the ability to climb stairs is required and that the mill is very warm, so appropriate attire should be considered for the tour.
Strawberry and Blueberry Picking
Summer in northern Minnesota means succulent strawberries and blueberries. For an experience the whole family will enjoy, pick your own or buy them fresh-picked.
Blueberry Meadows – 34471 Eight Mile Road, Grand Rapids, MN, 55744. Phone: 218-326-0671. Directions: travel south of Grand Rapids on Highway 169 to Eight Mile Road. Pick-your-own blueberries beginning the last week in July.
Lavalier’s Berry Patch – County Road 441, Grandxt] Rapids, MN. Phone: 218-327-9199. Directions: 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.
Mistic Berry Farm – The Mistic Berry Farm specializes in delicious strawberries and raspberries. They offer both pick-your-own and ready picked berries. Depending on the weather; the strawberry season runs approximately 2 weeks. Regular berry picking hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Sunday hours are 9 a.m. to noon. A full-service restaurant is also available on site and open during regular berry picking hours. Mystic Berry Farm is located 20 miles north of Bemidji, MN on Irvine Avenue (County Rd 15). For more information, visit their website: http://www.misticberryfarm.com
Hill Annex Mine
Discover the history of mining on the Iron Range, vintage machinery and the beauty of scenic overlooks at the Hill Annex Mine, the world’s largest open pit mine that is open for tours.
Located in Calumet, Minnesota, just off Hwy. 169 (halfway between Grand Rapids and Hibbing) the history of Hill Annex dates back more than a century. The land was originally leased for mineral exploration in 1892. It was leased again in 1900 for a period of more than 50 years.
Mining began in 1913 and continued until 1978. Hill Annex Mine produced 63 million of iron ore during its 60 years of operation. Throughout that time mining technology changed drastically. In the early days, horses provided the power. Eventually steam and then electrical power replaced the horse-drawn equipment. When the high-grade ore finally played out, the mine was sold to the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board for $1. The IRRRB developed the tour route and the clubhouse into a museum/visitor center, then gave tours of the mine for 10 years. In 1988, the State Legislature made Hill Annex Mine a state park. It is now a national historic site. Some iron deposits may be left behind, but abundant wildlife and vegetation now fill the scarred landscape. The park is a release site for peregrine falcons and home to bald eagles, bear, timber wolves, deer, fox and other wildlife. Trees and plant life have come back to vegetate the area as well. Two different 1½ hour tours conducted at the mine illuminate the history of open pit mining on the Iron Range. The Mine Bus Tour takes visitors (in a fully air conditioned and handicap accessible bus) along scenic overlooks stopping for up close viewing of vintage mining machinery and buildings.
The Fossil Hunting Tour takes visitors to the Cretaceous Ore Pile to hunt for 86 million year old sea fossils (sharks’ teeth, clams, and other ocean critters). You are allowed to keep what you find. (Old clothes and drinking water are recommended.) The Fossil Hunting Tours are offered on Fridays and Saturdays at 10 a.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The Bus Tours are conducted Fridays and Saturdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. A Gift shop, interpretive building and observation deck are open during the tour season from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tour times may be subject to change; please call for current hours. For more information call 218-247-7215.
Located in northern Minnesota, the Mesabi Trail , a premier Minnesota bike trail, winds from Grand Rapids to Ely through some of the state’s prettiest regions. The trail traverses 132 miles and connects more than 25 communities. A superior paved bike trail that is well-mapped and well-maintained, the Mesabi Trail also makes an interesting walking path. Currently 115 miles of trail are complete and offer convenient accessibility at numerous entry points. The longest paved section connects Grand Rapids and McKinley (75 miles through the communities of Nashwauk, Keewatin, Hibbing, Chisholm, Mountain Iron, Virginia and Grand Rapids.) Once completed, the Mesabi Trail will be one of the longest paved trails in the United States. The trail head is located at the Itasca County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids. Partially built on old railroad beds, guests will find a 10-14 foot wide bituminous surface (asphalt paving). Great for summer activities such as biking, inline skating or walking, the trail also offers access to swimming, canoeing, camping and fishing. Winter activities may include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and winter hiking. For more information, including downloadable map, and wheel pass purchase, visit their website at www.mesabitrail.com.
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, including a downloadable map, visit the Minnesota DNR website: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_trails/taconite/index.html.
ATV Fun in Northern Minnesota
ATVing is popular in Itasca County and Northern Minnesota! If you have been looking for places to ride your ATV, this is the place for you. Here are a few great places to ride your ATV, where people will welcome you.
Iron Range Off-Highway Recreation Area: http://www.ironrange.org/recreation/atv-ohv/ The Iron Range Off-Highway Recreation Area offers some of the most diverse riding in northern Minnesota. It’s a former iron ore mine that encompasses 1,200 acres of trails for ATVs, 4X4 vehicles and dirt bikes. There is no charge for state registered off-road vehicles. The area is open every day May 1 to October 1; late November to April open Friday-Sunday (closed during firearm deer hunting season and dependent on snow conditions). The hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to one hour before sunset.
DNR main page about ATVing: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ohv/index.html
DNR ATV trail map: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ohv/map.html
OHV policy for Chippewa National Forest: http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/chippewa/recreation/atv_trails/index.php
Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway
Take 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 forests. 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 Edge of the Wilderness Visitor Center located approximately 30 miles north of Grand Rapids. There you can ask 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. For more information visit www.scenicbyway.com or call 218-832-3161.
Chippewa National Forest’s “Lost Forty”
Thought to be underwater as part of Coddington Lake, a surveying mistake in 1882 saved the land of the Lost Forty. Actually 144 acres, the Lost Forty, located within the 1.6-million-acre 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, deer, fox, 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 Website for more information.
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 U.S. 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.
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. 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.
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).
Canoe Trips in Itasca County
Itasca 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.Recreational 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.God’s Country Outfitters located on Highway 38 north of Grand Rapids rents canoes, paddles, life jackets and car-top canoe carriers by the day, 3-days and full week. For rates and reservations call 218-326-9866.
White Oak Society, Inc.
The 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 visit: http://www.whiteoakhistoricalsociety.org
Grand Rapids Gun Club
The Grand Rapids Gun Club, located on Peterson Road just north of Grand Rapids off State Hwy. 38, 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. There are also eight trap fields, four skeet fields, a duck tower and a Hunter’s Clays five stand course, so 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 and Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to dark and Thursday from Noon to dark and Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 5 p.m. 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.
Minnesota Shooting Sports Education Center
Located on 122 acres surrounded by forestland the MSSEC is open to the public for educational training, train the trainer programs, 4-H Shooting Sports, NRA programs, Youth Firearms Safety, Minnesota Advanced Hunter Education, and supervised recreational shooting. The twelve lane, 50-meter range provides shooters with state-of-the-art equipment and educational facilities. MSSEC specializes in airgun, archery, and small bore rifle, although the range can handle handguns up to 50 calibers. The outdoor 3-D archery range is realistically situated in a wooded setting with hunting style shots from elevated stands, ground blinds, and even an African game at a water hole.
Beginners and experienced shooters both benefit from MSSEC’s firearm rental program which allows shooters to try a variety of firearms before making a purchase. A visit to MSSEC makes a great side trip for vacationers or business travelers.The USA Olympic Shooting team coach, Dan Durben, after training with the Olympic rifle team, proclaimed MSSEC one of the finest shooting centers in the nation. The MSSEC is located at 483 Peterson Road in Grand Rapids and is open to the public. To schedule a visit or for more information visit their website at: www.mssec.org or call 218-327-0583.
Pheasants Plus Hunting Preserve
Pheasants 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. Pheasant Hunting is from Sept. 1 – Dec. 31 weather permitting. For Sporting Clays: Summer hours are 10 a.m. until dark starting June 1st on Sundays. Winter hours are from 10 a.m. until dark, Saturday and Sunday. Open at other times by appointment. Pheasants Plus is located at 14893 Sago #4 in Warba, Minnesota. To make a reservation please call 218-492-4450
Evergreen Riding Stable
Evergreen Riding Stable is dedicated to sharing the spirit of Horseback Riding in Northern Minnesota. They offer Riding Lessons, Trail Rides, and Pony Rides. Evergreen offers riding lessons for riders of all abilities ages 9 and up. Students will learn the basic principles of riding horses including how to properly mount, walk, trot, canter, and dismount a horse.
Evergreen Riding Stable also offers trail rides for ages 9 and up. Enjoy an hour-long guided tour through through the beautiful northwoods and fields of their 170 acres in the Deer River area. There is a maximum number of ten people per trip.
Evergreen offers Pony Rides for young riders, ages 8 and under. Their miniature ponies, “P-nut”, “Two Bits”, and “Cookie”, adore people! Bring the little ones out and they will give them a ride in the arena with an experienced staff member leading them.
Evergreen Riding Stable is located at 32618 Evergreen Drive in Deer River MN. For pricing and reservations call: 218-246-2417 or 218-244-2553, or visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/evergreen.ridingstable.