Day Trip Ideas


Judy Garland Museum
Located in Grand Rapids. This is the historic birthplace for the legendary, Ms. Garland from the Wizard of Oz.


Forest History Center
What was it like to be a real lumberjack? The days began before dawn and were filled with swinging axes, teams of workhorses and the sounds of falling trees. Experience living history from those times with the state’s only authentic 1900 logging camp. Costumed performers act as tour guides and demonstrate what life was like working the virgin forests of northern Minnesota. See the 1901 Mississippi River Wanigan, a river log drive boat; a 1934 U.S. Forest Service patrolman’s cabin and Minnesota’s first forest firefighting vehicle. Experience the 2.5 miles of green nature trails, then head to the interpretive museum to see how the earliest settlers lived and worked. vacations/winter/trail_conditions.html


Winter Skiing: Get up-to-date ski and snowmobile trail information.
*See separate winter skiing information by clicking on “Winter Skiing” in menu above.

In the land of 10,000 lakes, Itasca County has 1,000 of them! That translates into great places to cross country ski. The Grand Rapids and Deer River area offers city, county, state, and federal trails. Most of these trails are maintained by volunteers who are members of the North Star Ski Club in Grand Rapids. Their trail grooming helps provide excellent ski areas for practice work outs and for competition.


Mesabi Bike/Hiking/Skate/Ski Trail: Access is gained on #38 at Gunn Park or at Grand Rapids Fairground
The Mesabi Bike Trail, crossing the great Land of Mesabi, offers an abundance of nature and outdoor experiences. You may choose to walk, hike, bike, skate, ski, snowshoe and, in some areas, snowmobile, along the Trail as it traverses over 130 miles, with 97 complete in 2005, and through 25 communities. These communities offer historical buildings, mining artifacts, early industry and ethnic history, plus other treasures well worth the discovery. Forests teaming with wildlife can be found between rolling hills. Streams and creeks provide habitat for birds and animals alike. Grand heaps of earth provide man-made mountains that are becoming regrowth forests lining the edges of some of the world’s largest man-made mines. These former mines are fast becoming a linked chain of watery passageways. Come enjoy a quality guest experience in the Land of Mesabi, via the Mesabit trail!


Suomi HIlls Kennel: Experience an unforgettable sled dog adventure
“Suomi Hills Kennel is devoted to sharing the joy of a sled dog experience and the beauty of Minnesota’s winter landscape with visitors and residents of Minnesota. For more information call: 1-800-620-1265


Mississippi Headwaters
Established in 1891, Itasca is Minnesota’s oldest state park. Today, the park totals more than 32,000 acres and includes more than 100 lakes. Walk across the mighty Mississippi as it starts its winding journey 2,552 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. Stand under towering pines at Preacher’s Grove. Visit the Itasca Indian Cemetery or Wegmann’s Cabin, landmarks of centuries gone by. Camp under the stars, or stay the night at the historic Douglas Lodge or cabins. Explore Wilderness Drive past the 2,000-acre Wilderness Sanctuary, one of Minnesota’s seven National Natural Landmarks. Tell me more about this park’s wildlife, history, geology and landscape.


White Oak Learning Center
White Oak offers visitors a chance to learn about the booming fur trade era in a fully reconstructed Northwest Company Post. You get a chance to visit the clerk’s quarters, the home of the bourgeois, the blacksmith shop, outdoor clay baking oven, garden, root cellar, smokehouse and winter quarters. A nature trail of plants gives you the history of how those plants were used in medicines, shelter and survival.


Hill Annex Iron Mine Tours
This is the world’s largest open pit mine. You will be guided along beautiful scenic overlooks with stops for up-close viewing of vintage mining machinery.


Various Golf Courses
Pokegama, Wendigo, Sugarbrooke and Eagle Ridge offer visitors a chance to play 72 holes of championship golf. Each of these golf courses are located within 15 minutes of Grand Rapids, with their own personality, well-maintained lay-outs and beautiful, scenic countryside.


Grand Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Still looking for more? Check out the Grand Rapids Visitor Bureau web site and find many more events and attractions happening in the area.


Canadian Border (90 miles)
Head north to Canada and feel free to touch the earth and the sky in Ontario’s great outdoors, or absorb the energy of our spectacular cities. An hour and a half drive north opens the door for you to enter Canada’s picturesque scenery.