Complimentary for all guests:
- Canoes, Kayaks
- Stand up Paddle boards
- Rave Water Trampoline
- NEW FOR 2017 – The Water Mat
- Little Tykes water slide
- Safe, sandy swimming beach
- Beach Campfire Pit
- Rainbow Play set
- Concrete Boat Landing
- Dockside tackle lockers for each cabin
- Hiking trails
- Yard games
- Pack n Play & Highchairs available upon request
- Life Jackets
You’re sure to enjoy the wildlife in the area. An eagles nest is on Island 1 – in view of the resort – so you’re sure to view the eagles soaring and picking up fish. Loons are plentiful and the calls will relax you in the evening. As you walk through our woods, you’re sure to see many birds. Chipmunks are plentiful and very friendly. Occasionally guests catch a glimpse of mink, fox, otters, and on a rare occasion, a wolf, bear or moose. Deer are, of course, much more common.
Restaurants: The nearest restaurant/bar is Scenic Pines Bar and Grill . Other nearby restaurants includes The Antler Lodge, Balsam Cafe, and the many restaurants in Grand Rapids, Marcell and other nearby communities. Just ask us what you’re in the mood for and we’ll direct you there!!!
Area Activities & Attractions
Listed below are but a few of the many ways you might want to spend an afternoon or two while vacationing in this wonderful part of Minnesota! Some of these attractions have their own web sites. For your convenience we have provided some links.
- Chamber of Commerce
- Visit Grand Rapids
- Children’s Discovery Museum
- Forest History Center
- Judy Garland Museum
- Minnesota DNR
- Reif Center – Performing Arts
Bigfork & Marcell area
- Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center
- Scenic State Park
- Golf on the Edge – offers a 9 hole par 36 course and foot golf!!
- Hull Rust Mahoning Mine View
- Hibbing Taconite Active Mine Tours
- Hibbing High School – built in the early 1920s for the exorbitant price of $4 million. The Hibbing High School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its construction was bankrolled by mining companies to appease townspeople forced to move their homes from “North Hibbing” to make way for mining operations.
- Iron Man Statue
- Hibbing Historical Society Museum
State Parks & Tourism Information
- Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway
- Find State Parks to Visit
- Joyce Estate – highly recommended (our favorite)!! We’ll give you information and tell ya how to get there.
- Mesabi Bike Trail
- Antique Shops
- Dining out
- Message & Day Spas
- Scenic Tours
- Shopping in nearby Grand Rapids, MN (let us recommend some places to shop)
Go to Visit Grand Rapids for more information on local events.
The Reif Performing Arts Center is a facility in which a wide variety of arts are experienced, exhibited and taught. It is a regional attraction drawing people from over 100 miles for regular performances.
Each year, the Reif Center hosts about 40 national and international touring performances, representing a diverse range of artistic disciplines, including country music artists, rock tributes, classical musicians, classical and contemporary dance, musical theater, children’s theater, comedy – the list goes on! In addition, the Reif Center hosts performances by local music, theater and dance organizations and school groups.
The Reif Center is located at 720 Conifer Drive in Grand Rapids – adjacent to the Grand Rapids High School. 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 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.
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. 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).
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. Take a walk on one of three self-guided forest trails for a view of the Mississippi River and the Northern Minnesota forestland. The trails, also open in the winter, are groomed and track-set for cross-country skiing.
From June 8 through Labor Day the living history features, interpretive building and trails are open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and are closed on Sundays and Mondays. From September through May the visitor center and gift shop are open on weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The center is closed on winter holidays. Cross-country ski trails are open daily as snow conditions permit.
Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for senior citizens, and $5 for children ages 6-17. Free for children under age 6 and for MHS 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, email email@example.com 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.
Children’s Discovery Museum
Each year thousands of children visit the Children’s Discovery Museum in Grand Rapids, which offers both permanent and changing educational exhibits. The new Children’s Discovery Museum opened in June, 2003 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 Zoom – an interactive exhibit that introduces kids to the geography of North America; the Exchange City – a child-sized town square complete with ten different shops, a Dino Dig, a special Tot Park Maze – made especially for the preschool crowd; and the River Forest featuring Tree-sa, the talking forest tree. A new exhibit features the one-of-a-kind hand-crafted dolls of doll maker extraordinaire Faith Wick.
The River Water Table is a working replica of the Mississippi River Dam that is visible from the bridge on Pokegama Avenue in Grand Rapids. Children can learn about the fundamentals of hydro-physics as they increase the flow of water thru the dam, watching the lights in the hydroelectric plant get brighter and observing the effect on river current as they operate wing dams. 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.
HOURS: January – March, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April to Memorial Day the Children’s Discovery Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, Monday thru Saturday, and closed on Sundays. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In September, the museum is open Monday thru Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from Noon to 5 p.m. October thru December 31, the museum is open on Friday and Saturday only from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum is open on Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day. It is closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Admission is $8 per person over the age of 1 and includes admision to The Judy Garland Museum. A special $4 per student school discount rate is available for groups of 20 or more.
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.
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 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.
Hours: From Memorial Day through September the museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.
From April 1 to Memorial Day, the museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday thru Saturdayand is closed on Sunday. The Museum hosts school groups only on Thursdays.
From October thru March, the museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
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.
General admission for all ages is $8 per person – age one & under FREE! Includes Children’s Discovery Museum. For more information log on to: www.judygarlandmuseum.com call 1-800-664-JUDY or 218-327-9276, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. And new to the museum is the Itasca County Barns exhibit which shows a nice collection of barns found throughout the Itasca County area. Each family barn has a written oral history and artifacts to go along with the photographs.
The Itasca Mercantile Shop at the entrance to the museum includes American Indian goods, old-fashioned candy, regional history books and Wizard of Oz Memorabilia. Central School, a restored grade school originally built in 1895, is now a unique market place which not only features the museum but Auntie Em’s Coffee Shop, a Stain Glass Shop, Yarnworks and other gift shops.
Judy Garland Exhibit: A Family Scrapbook.
Judy Garland 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 on the third floor of the Old Central School in Grand Rapids at the intersection of Highways 169 and 2. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays; and on Sundays during the summer from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call 218-326-6431 or visit their website at: www.itascahistorical.com.
Blandin Paper Company Tours
UPM-Kymmene 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 employs about 500 people. Making it one of northern Minnesota’s largest employers, with approximately 2,000 more jobs being indirectly attributable to the company’s local operations.
Blandin’s annual paper making capacity is about 380,000 short tons, all paper manufactured by Blandin on their two paper machines is lightweight coated (LWC). Named for its clay-based, glossy coating that makes it ideal as a publication paper.
Blandin currently owns and manages 194,000 acres of Forest land. Blandin Paper Mill is well known for its strong record on quality management, forestry, safety and environmental fronts. In 1999, Blandin 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 the mill are offered. From 10 am to 3 pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays tour guides escort groups of up to 10 people through the mill and for a viewing of a video of the papermaking process.
Blandin’s does ask the following from their tour guests:
No children under the age of 12
No open-toed shoes
Also, 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.
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 (now Iron Range Resources) for $1. The IRR 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.
Scarce 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 and other wildlife. Trees and plant life have come back to vegetate the area as well.
Two different 1 ½ 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.
Tours are conducted Wednesday thru Saturday and holidays from May 20th to September 5th 2009. The Mine Bus Tour begins at 12:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m., the Fossil Tour begins at 10 a.m.. All tours are 1 1/2 hours long. Tour busses and facilities are handicap accessible. Museum, gift shop and observation deck are all open year round. Club House/Museum Hours: Memorial Day to Labor Day, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Mon. – Tues. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Wed.- Sun. Labor Day to Memorial Day, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Mon. – Fri. Tour times may be subject to change; please call for current hours. For more information call 218-247-7215.
Located in northern Minnesota between the cities of Grand Rapids and Ely, the Mesabi Trail is a premier Minnesota bike trail winding through some of the state’s prettiest regions. When completed, the trail will traverse 132 miles and connect 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. In 2007, 97 miles of trail were planned to be complete and offer convenient accessibility at numerous entry points. The longest paved sections connect Marble and McKinley (60 miles through the communities of Nashwauk, Keewatin, Hibbing, Chisholm, Mountain Iron and Virginia), and Grand Rapids to Scenic Highway 7. 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. Click here to download a Mesabi Trail map. (105 MB .pdf file)
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. Click here to download a Taconite Trail map. (315 Kb .pdf file)
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 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 Ranger 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. For more information visit www.scenicbyway.com or call 218-832-3161.
The Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center located in Marcell, MN is a visitor & environmental education center that is home to a variety of interpretive displays & exhibits about the Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway and surrounding area. It includes a gift shop, and an environmental education room, and offers FREE naturalist programs throughout the summer. An outdoor amphitheater, interpretive trail and a fishing/wildlife-watching pier are being added to the site.
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.
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 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.
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.
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).