Area Attractions and Links
Below are links to some of the nearby family attractions that we feel celebrate the history as well as the beauty of Itasca County, Minnesota! Please be aware that some of the attractions listed below are not free and do have admission and/or other fees.
We are located in the Chippewa National Forest which covers 1.6 million acres across 3 counties. It was initially called the “Minnesota National Forest” when it was created in 1908, but in 1928, the name was changed to the Chippewa National Forest in order to honor the Chippewa Indians who first inhabited the forest. This national forest offers many activities for its visitors.
Click here to see a listing of them.
The forest contains an area known as the “Lost Forty”; this area (actually 144 acres) was accidentally mapped as part of Coddington Lake when the original maps of the region were laid out in 1882. As a result of this mapping error, the Lost Forty was never logged. This area has become some of the oldest forest in the state, with some trees over 350 years old. Less than two percent of Minnesota’s forested land today is old growth, never logged forest. These unique qualities offer an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities all year long. Inside the forest the Cut Foot Sioux Trail runs along the North-South U.S Continental Divide (Information from
Located in Grand Rapids, the Minnesota Historical Society presents a great educational experience for kids and adults alike in this portrayal of a logging camp in the 1900s. Learn about foresty and logging through pictures, films, and exhibits in the museum and then watch as the guides who are dressed in lumberjack clothing perform the tasks of actual logging camp workers. You can also take a ride on the river “wanigan,” as well as climb the 100-foot fire observation tower overlooking the forest. Pack your picnic lunches and enjoy lunch with your family at the Center’s picnic grounds and pavilion. For other Minnesota historic sites and museums and/or more information, click here to go the Minnesota Historical Society’s website.
Mississippi Melodie Showboat (Grand Rapids)
For family fun, let your family be entertained with singing, dancing, and comedy by costumed performers while sitting outdoors on the showboat on the Mississippi River. Please call toll free 866-336-3426 for show dates, times, and other information.
Itasca County has four 18-hole championship golf courses all located within 15 minutes of Grand Rapids, namely Pokegama Golf Course, Eagle Ridge Golf Course, Sugarbrooke Golf Course, and Wendigo Golf Course. Two local 9-hole golf courses are Blueberry Hills Golf Course, Deer River, and Golf on the Edge Golf Course, Bigfork.
There are various trails available in the summer for biking, hiking, in-line skating, etc., as well as trails for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and hiking in the winter. For more information on Minnesota State Trails, click here for trail listings as well as maps. The Mesabi Trail also allows for activities in the summer and winter.
The Minnesota DNRs website gives an abundant amount of information on birdwatching and wildlife viewing, including viewing tips, birding checklists, a listing of scientific and natural areas (SNAs), wildlife management areas (WMAs), and much more.
Off-highway vehicles (OHVs)
Rising Eagle Resort is located in the North East section of the Chippewa National forest. You’ll enjoy access to multiple roadways and trails within Itasca County and the Chippewa National Forest. To find an OHV/ATV State trail map, click here or click here to find the OHV/ATV accessible trails and roadway information for the Chippewa National Forest.
Black Bear Viewing
Although not in Itasca County, your family might enjoy going to Orr, Minnesota, to visit The Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary operated by the American Bear Association. Here you can view wild black bears in their natural habitat!