Minnesota Wilderness 1 Day RV Itinerary

Image from www.byways.orgTailing Pile at Old Lind-Greenway Mine Image from www.byways.org

Day 1

Start: Grand Rapids

Suggested Time at This Site:       30 minutes

From an isolated cluster of cabins to the region's commercial hub, Grand Rapids has marshaled its natural and cultural resources to become the economic and government center of Itasca County.

Stop 2: Lind-Greenway Mine

Directions from previous place:      From Grand Rapids, follow State Route 38, or the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway, northwards for 3.4 miles. The mining compound will be on the right.
Distance from Previous Site:          3.4 miles / 5.4 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     7 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:        20 minutes

Tour Minnesota's mining history at the Lind-Greenway Mine, nestled in the Mesabi mountain range along the byway route. Learn about the tenacity of Minnesota's miners, who extracted iron from a relatively poor grade of ore.

Stop 3: Birch Stand at Pughole Lake

Directions from previous place:      From the Lind-Greenway Mine, turn right and continue northward along the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway for 10 miles.
Distance from Previous Site:           10 miles / 16.0 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     15 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          45 minutes

Stop at this stand of birch trees to learn about competition in nature. Slowly but surely, the short-lived birch trees are losing out to hardier species such as pine and aspen. Enjoy a quiet picnic by the lake, or bring a kayak and go for a paddle.

Stop 4: Day Lake Civilian Conservation Corps Camp

Directions from previous place:      Continue north along the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway for 5.6 miles.
Distance from Previous Site:           5.6 miles / 9.0 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:    10 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:         20 minutes

Explore the Minnesota forest to find the remains of the Day Lake Civilian Conservation Corps Camp. During the Great Depression, this facility housed CCC members who planted hundreds of trees in the surrounding forest. Later, the camp would house German prisoners of war from World War II.

Stop 5: Marcell Ranger Station

Directions from previous place:      From the Day Lake Civilian Conservation Corps Camp, travel 9.7 miles northward along the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway. The ranger station is on the other end of the town of Marcell.
Distance from Previous Site:           9.7 miles / 15.5 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:    20 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:        15 minutes

The Marcell Ranger Station is the last remaining ranger station in Chippewa National Forest that was built in the Rustic Style. Long redwood logs form the five historic buildings in the station complex, built to accent the nature around it.

Find authoritative information on the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway here. This ranger station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Stop 6: Gut and Liver Line

Directions from previous place:      From the Marcell Ranger Station, continue north along the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway for 1.8 miles.
Distance from Previous Site:          1.8 miles / 2.9 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     5 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:        15 minutes

This oddly named railroad line once provided lumber shipping all along the Edge of the Wilderness corridor. Visit one of the stations along this line, and form your own theory on the origin of the name. Current local versions include everything from liver sausage to train roadkill.

Stop 7: Bigfork

Directions from previous place:      From the Gut and Liver Line, continue 9.5 miles northward along Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway.
Distance from Previous Site:           9.5 miles / 15.2 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:    15 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:         15 minutes

Bigfork has an extensive logging and fur-trading history. Tour the streets of this town, which still has a large lumberjack influence today.

End: Effie

Directions from previous place:      From Bigfork, travel 7 miles northward on the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway
Distance from Previous Site:           7 miles / 11.2 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:   10 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:        15 minutes

Our tour of the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway ends in the town of Effie, another small logging and farming town. Enjoy the small town atmosphere, or time your visit to see the North Star Stampede rodeo.

Totals for Day 1

Total Distance Traveled:      47 miles / 75.2 km
Total Travel Time:                1 hour 22 minutes
Total Stopping Time:            2 hours 55 minutes

Featured content and image from www.byways.org

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