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Bass Lake County Park and Campground is a pristine park surrounding beautiful Bass Lake and encompasses 663 acres of red and white pine, spruce, aspen, and cedar forest.  It is located off of Minnesota State Aid Highway 1, eleven miles east of Effie or eleven miles west of Togo , Minnesota .  The property was purchased by Itasca County in 1984 from the Boise Cascade Corporation with the help of a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant.  Campground fees are comparable with other public campgrounds.  Camping visitations are limited to fourteen days per camp unit.


The Chippewa National Forest has been selected as the provider for the 2014 Capitol Christmas Tree to Washington, D.C. in 2014. A generation has passed since a tree from Minnesota has visited our nation’s capital as part of the nation’s holiday celebrations.

Beginning in 1964, the Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition in Washington D.C. Since 1970, a national forest has been selected with providing the tree that will represent the U.S. Forest Service and the state which it comes from. In 1992, the Chippewa National Forest and Leech Lake Reservation sent a 60-foot white spruce along with thousands of ornaments made by local school children. Groups, organizations, and individuals interested in helping with the year-long celebration and planning for the 2104 Capitol Christmas Tree can contact Chippewa National Forest either by phone at 218-335-8600 or by e-mail at 

Joyce Estate:  Off County Road 335, the hike into the Joyce Estate is approcimately three miles from the parking entrance to the Trout Lake Tract.

Lost Forty:  The front quarter-mile loop weaves through virgin pine, never logged due to a surveying error in 1882.  The back loop winds three quarters of a mile along rolling hills, with pine that originated after a fire at the turn of the century.  Off Forest Road 2240.


Drumbeater Island Natural Area is a 17-acre island located in Pokegama Lake , south of Grand Rapids .  It’s acquisition was funded through the cooperative efforts of the Greater Pokegama Lake Association, Blandin Paper Company, Itasca County , and the State of Minnesota .  In 2001 Itasca County acquired the island from the Blandin Paper Company with the assistance of a State of Minnesota-Department of Natural Resources Natural and Scenic Area Grant, a Blandin Paper Company donation of a portion of the island, and a donation from the Greater Pokegama Lake Association.

The County Park and Recreation System manages the island as a Natural Area to properly protect the natural and/or scenic resources in perpetuity.  There are no developed recreation facilities on the island. Drumbeater Island has important natural and scenic qualities including a maturing old growth forest and possible cultural resources.  It also provides an important habitat for wildlife and undeveloped lakeshore for fish on an already very developed lake.  “Funding for this project was provided in part by the State of Minnesota by Chapter 404, Sec. 7, subd. 26 of the 1998 Capital Improvements Bill, better known as the Omnibus Bonding Bill.”

The Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway is a 47-mile long winding drive from Grand Rapids, Minn. to Effie, Minn., on State Highway 38.  Each year, visitors enjoy the byway’s numerous recreational, historical, cultural, scenic, and interpretive opportunities set against a gorgeous northwoods backdrop of rolling hills, clear lakes, lush evergreens, and a variety of hardwoods.


Gunn Park is a highly developed model community park located north of Grand Rapidsalong Highway 38, the Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway.  It is located on the shores of PrairieLakeinArboTownship.  This park was developed and managed by the Blandin Paper Company in the 1960’s. Itasca Little League, who retained ownership of the baseball fields, donated the park property to ItascaCountyin 2003.  GunnParkencompasses 50 acres of red and white pine, spruce, and aspen forest.

Grand Rapids


The Itasca Bike Trail is a seven mile bituminous trail which stretches from the County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids north to Gunn County Park on Minnesota Trunk Highway 38.  Planning began in 1989 and the trail was constructed in 1994.  This is a multiple-use trail that includes hiking; bicycling, in-line skating, cross-country skiing, and some ATV travel in designated areas.  The trail provides safe and healthy recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors.


The Mesabi Bike Trail is a 132 mile long trail that will link over twenty communities across Minnesota’s Iron Range.  The trail traverses from Grand Rapids to Ely utilizing abandoned railways, logging and mining roads, along with existing community bike trails.  This is a multiple-use trail that includes hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, cross-country skiing, and some snowmobile riding in designated areas.  Several segments of the trail have been constructed in Itasca County including 13 miles from Grand Rapids to Taconite and 5 miles from Nashwauk to Keewatin.  The Taconite to Pengilly segment is scheduled for construction in 2003-2004.  The trail provides safe and healthy recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors to the area.  The alignment will emphasize the historic, scenic, environmental, and educational aspects of the region while connecting communities.  It is destined to become a high quality attraction for the tourism industry and give a boost to the area.

With its pristine lakes, virgin pines, swimming beach and wilderness-like setting, Scenic State Park is well deserving of its name.  Here, visitors can hike the Chase Point Trail for hypnotic views of Coon and Sandwick Lakes and listen to the wind whistle through the giant pines.  The park’s overnight facilities include campsites (boat-in, drive-in, backpack), and a cabin.  The historic lodge houses interpretive displays.