Highway 61, Duluth to Grand Portage

Minnesota’s Highway 61 has been designated by the U.S. National Byway Center as one of the most beautiful drives in America.

Also known as North Short Scenic Drive, this highway has been named an All-American Road, starting at Duluth to Grand Portage on the U.S.-Canadian border. The total distance is approximately 154 miles.

The drive along the sweeping shoreline of Lake Superior with spectacular vistas is breathtaking. The highway is bordered by the Sawtooth Mountains and thousands of acres of aspen, birch, and pine trees.

Canal Park, Duluth, Minnesota

Canal Park in Duluth, Minnesota has a 4.2-mile lakewalk, a pier and lighthouse, etc. Operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center is a museum located in Canal Park.

Weighing 1 1/2 ton, this Trotman Folding Stook anchor was used in the whaleback streamer Thomas Wilson that sunk outside the Duluth Harbor. The anchor was recovered from the sunken wreck in 1973.

Aerial Lift Bridge, Duluth, Minnesota

Spanning the Duluth Ship Canal, the Aerial Lift Bridge is a vertical lift bridge. Within a minute, the bridge can be lifted to approximately 135 feet. Vessels from around the world enter Duluth's port through the Aerial Lift Bridge.

French River Watershed, Minnesota

The 13-mile long French River flows into Lake Superior. Located close by, the French River Hatchery incubates a variety of fish. Since 1962, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have planted over 300,000 lake trout each year along the North Shore.

Lake Superior

Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes of North America. The lake is 350 miles in length and 160 miles in width, with a shoreline of 1,826 miles.

Because water is slower to absorb and release heat than land, shoreline temperatures are warmer in winter and much cooler in summer. Lake Superior can modify the daily weather through a phenomenon known as "lake effect." This "lake effect" can also super-size storms by adding moisture and speed to wind that passes over the lake.

Lake Superior

A quiet picnic spot along the shores of Lake Superior. There are three pull-offs on the lake side of the Highway 61 and one features picnic tables and restrooms. Eight State Parks along the North Shore offers a wide range of facilities and activities. In addition, the Minnesota State Park and Trail system includes nine waysides

"To Lake Superior" by Samuel G. Goodrich

"Boundless and deep the forests weave / Their twilight shade thy borders o’er, / And threatening cliffs, like giants, heave / Their rugged forms along thy shore."

Highway 61, North Shore Scenic Drive, Minnesota

Marker honoring S. Rex Green, an engineer who was instrumental in constructing Highway 61. The marker reads, "As engineer of Lands and Right of Way, he helped establish this highway for the public's full enjoyment of the glories of forest, stream, and lakes."

Highway 61, North Shore Scenic Drive, Minnesota

Highway research initiatives in Minnesota study the performance of asphalt-, aggregate-, and concrete-surfaced roadways. The goal is to gain a better understanding of pavement response and behavior to traffic and environmental effects. Highway surfaces are also designed to handle wintry weather conditions. Recycled materials are used in highway construction.

Lake Superior

The shoreline along Lake Superior is a great spot for a picnic.

Lake Superior

Plaque by roadside in Good Harbor Bay. Sedimentation and renewed volcanism appears in the cliff face across the highway from this marker.

Highway 61, North Shore Scenic Drive, Minnesota

Sedimentation and renewed volcanism along Highway 61 on the North Shore Scenic Drive in Minnesota. My Subie!

Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior

View of Lake Superior with Isle Royale National Park in the background. No cars allowed. You can access the park via boat or seaplane. Due to extreme winter weather conditions, the island is closed from November 1 through April 15.

Falls Trail, Grand Portage State Park, Minnesota

A 700-foot boardwalk provides easy access on the last part of the Falls Trail. At the end of a half-mile paved trail and boardwalk is the High Falls. Several areas are wheelchair-accessible.

High Falls, Grand Portage State Park, Minnesota

Water plummet 120 feet over the High Falls down to the Pigeon River in Grand Portage State Park located on the US-Canadian border. The land on the Grand Portage State Park is leased to the State of Minnesota by the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa.

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