Top 10 Spring Adventures in Grand Rapids, MN

The perfect spring road trip to seek spring adventure up north in Grand Rapids, MN. 

Let’s be honest, winter has been great this year, but we all have a little cabin fever. That feeling of being cooped up inside is leaving all of us seeking Spring Adventures in Minnesota. Grand Rapids, Minnesota is the perfect up north spring road trip where you can get outside, seek adventure, and also enjoy a little rest and relaxation as well. Below is a list of Top 10 Spring Adventure you can find in Grand Rapids, Minnesota…

Grand Rapids Hiking Legion Trail1. Hike

Everyone gets a little, or a lot, of cabin fever around the transition from winter to spring. Grand Rapids, Minnesota offers over 1 million acres of public forest land made up of the Chippewa National Forest, UPM Blandin Foundation, George Washington State Forest, and the Scenic State Park. These are all great places to hike on well-maintained trails. We suggest the following: Simpson Creek (Easiest) is located in the Chippewa National Forest 45 miles northwest of Grand Rapids, Minnesota on the Avenue of the Pines Scenic Byway. This trail is a nice entry-level that is perfect for families of young children. Enjoy rolling topography through pines and along glacial eskers, with overlooks onto Cut Foot Sioux Lake and journeys into the cedar swamp. Legion Trail (Easy/Beginner to More Difficult Level) located north of town inside the City limits of Grand Rapids is a 7-mile hand-cut trail that is fun, flowy, and twisty in a mixed forest that wraps around Hale Lake. Suomi Hills (More Difficult Level) is a remotely located hiking and skiing trail located twenty-three miles north of Grand Rapids up the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway. An interesting site is The Day Lake Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp remains, a prisoner of war camp during World War II is located on the north end of Suomi Hills. Learn more about places to Hike in the Grand Rapids, MN area.

Itasca Historical Museum Grand Rapids MN2. Explore Minnesota’s History

Grand Rapids, Minnesota was established in 1872 and has rich forestry, logging, and mining history to learn about. You will want to check out the Itasca County Historical Society Museum.  The Museum is FREE, houses a lot of interesting Minnesota artifacts, and houses a genealogy center, gift shop, and escape room. The Judy Garland Museum and Children’s Discovery Museum are two museums under one roof where you can learn about the life of Judy Garland, born as Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Find the largest Judy Garland and Wizard of Oz artifacts in the nation. Walkthrough the home Judy grew up in. The Children’s Discovery Museum offers hands-on educational exhibits, activities & programs for kids, plus a gift store. Learn more about Grand Rapids, MN area Historic Attractions.

Grand Rapids MN Off Road Adventures3. Four Wheel Forest Adventures

Grand Rapids, Minnesota has over 300 miles of ATV trails to ride in the Spring. ATV/OHV trails open April -middle of May. The ATV trails that are located on old railroad beds open first (Alborn-Pengilly (39 miles), Blue Ox (74 miles), and Thistledew (25 miles). With Alvwood/Squaw Lake (159) and Island Lake Connection Trail (2 miles) opening May 2nd. The rest of the Itasca County ATV/OHV trails open middle of May (UPM-Blandin (21 miles), Balsam to Bigfork (33 miles), Little Moose (18 miles), and Northwoods Regional Trail (19 miles). All of these trails are well maintained and offer a wide variety of easy to moderate riding levels. All of these trails will take you through mixed forest, tamarack bogs, across boardwalks, and around lakes, rivers and streams. This is a wonderful way to get deeper into Minnesota’s forest on designated trails. Download the Itasca County ATV Map.

DSC0914 HDR 14. Explore Grand Rapids Public Art & History Tour

Take a walking tour around Grand Rapids and visit different murals, sculptures, and historic buildings. The art and history around Grand Rapids represent what Grand Rapids was founded on and you can find different art pieces that represent the Ojibwa culture, forestry, logging, and mining history, and the splendor of surrounding Minnesota’s nature. Also on the tour is MacRostie Art Center and The Reif Center which have rotating art exhibits and galleries. The new walking bridge across the Mississippi River is a wonderful place to start this self-guided tour. Download the Grand Rapids Public Art & History Tour.

 

Grand Splash Water Slide Grand Rapids MN5. Indoor Water Fun

Many Grand Rapids lodging properties like Timberlake Lodge Hotel, AmericInn, Country Inn & Suites offer pools and hot tubs. This allows kids of all ages to enjoy pool time while the parents relax in the hot tub. Timberlake Lodge Hotel has a Grand Splash waterpark, which offers a 98-foot slide, 20-person hot tub, and kiddie pool. A wonderful way for the kids and adults alike to burn off some energy and the parents to relax in comfort. Find Grand Rapids, MN places to Stay with pools and hot tubs.

Mesabi Trail Grand Rapids MN6. Bike Mississippi to Boundry Waters

The Mesabi Trail is 145 miles of mostly paved bicycle trail that runs from the Mississippi River in Grand Rapids to the Boundry Waters in Ely. Cutting through the forests of northeast Minnesota, your adventure will take you past lakes, creeks, and ponds, by vast red pits of old iron ore mines now filled with emerald, green water.  Learn more about the Mesabi Trail and purchase a wheel pass. The Tioga Recreation Area is a 25-mile single-track trail that was created for mountain biking and fat-tire biking. Playground Pathfinder will also be officially opening sometime in the Spring of 2022. Learn more about the Tioga Recreation Area.

 

Reif Center Grand Rapids MN7. Be Entertained

Mother Nature sometimes brings showers so our spring flowers can bloom. If this is the case, don’t fret, we have several indoor locations that can keep everyone entertained. The Reif Center is our hidden gem of a theater that brings the stars to northern Minnesota. Another place to relax and be entertained indoors is Mann’s Cinema Theater. Take in an afternoon matinee or evening show. They offer comfortable theater-style seating and a full-service concession stand. Thunder Alley XL offers a bowling and indoor adult-style arcade game area, an onsite bar that serves great pizza and other concession snacks. Find Grand Rapids, MN Area Attractions.

Klockow Brewing Grand Rapids MN8. Eat, Drink & Shop Local

Check out the two craft breweries and Minnesota wine bar. At Klockow Brewing Company you can order or bring your own food in and enjoy live music every week. Rapids Brewing Company located in historic downtown offers wood-fired oven cuisine and live music and events occurring weekly. Unwined Up North is also located in historic downtown and serves Minnesota wine and craft beer, charcuterie boards, flatbreads, salads, and sandwiches. In Grand Rapids, you will find many locally-owned restaurants, bars, and grills that offer one-of-a-kind up north cuisine like hearty wild rice soup and juicy bar burgers. Find Places to Eat & Drink in Grand Rapids, MN. Downtown Grand Rapids is best known for boutique-style shops that offer one-of-a-kind gifts, home decor, clothing, shoes, jewelry, local art, and Northwood memorabilia to take home with you as a memento of your visit to Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids, Minnesota area has several other retail shops and vintage boutique-style shops where you can shop to your heart’s delight.

Pokegama Golf Course Grand Rapids MN 10 spring adventures9. Grand Lakes of Golf

Three 18-hole championship golf courses make up the Grand Lakes of Golf: Eagle Ridge Golf Course, Pokegama Golf Course, and Sugar Brooke Golf Course. Each course is beautifully manicured with different degrees of difficulty. All have cart rentals and restaurants on-site. Whether you want 18 or 9 holes, to take an extended vacation, long weekend, or just get in a few holes after work, Grand Rapids has many options, and won’t disappoint. There are four additional 9-hole courses located in the Grand Rapids, MN area as well that are perfect for entry-level golfers and families. Find more information and book a tee time for Grand Rapids, MN area Golf Courses.

Cozy Lodging Grand Rapids MN10. Seek Rest and Relaxation

Grand Rapids, Minnesota offers a wide variety of cozy lodging options where you can find rest and relaxation while up north. You will find conveniently located in town Hotels/Motels and Bed & Breakfast. You will also find Minnesota Resort cabins and Vacation Home Rentals where you will have the opportunity to make your own meals and gather together. And we also offer in-town Air B&B’s as well that are hosted in a mixed commercial and residential area that is close to being able to walk to shops, restaurants, and breweries downtown. Find Places to Stay in Grand Rapids, MN.

 

 

 

Family Fun In Grand Rapids, MN

The kids are officially out of school. Whether your children were attending school  in-person or virtually from home, EVERYONE needs a vacation. Time to head to Grand Rapids, MN for some family fun. Here are a few trip ideas!

Lake Day

Rent a cabin on the lake and enjoy a few days of lake fun. Bring floaties, fishing poles and relax down by the water. Some properties offer boat rentals but, for the ones that don’t there are two places in Grand Rapids that you can rent fishing boats, pontoon, speed boats or jet skis(R&R Rentals, Grand Rapids Marine).  Right on Lake Pokegama you can rent paddle boards, kayaks and canoes at Paddle Hoppers! There is not shortage of lakes near Grand Rapids, there are many public access points and a local favorite fishing spot is Cohasset beach. Pack up and head down to the lake. Don’t forget sunscreen and a towel!

Family Resort

Biking

Summer time is perfect for biking with the family. For a paved path, check out the Mesabi trail that begins at the Itasca County Fairgrounds. For a more adventurous path, check out Tioga Recreation. They have trails that vary from beginner to advanced. Most bikers like to even take a dip in the crystal blue mine pit after a fun ride.

Family on Mesabi Trail

Museum’s to See

Grand Rapids has the Itasca Historical Society and the Judy Garland and Children’s Museum. At the Itasca historical Society they have a train room, river room, a war room and a escape room! All of the rooms are filled with history and the volunteers and employees there are extremely knowledge. Their escape room currently is 50’s themed. Solve the mystery by unlocking clues.

The Judy Garland and Children’s Museum are in the same building but are split. One side is the children’s museum with rooms for play and the Judy Garland Museum is filled with mementos and stories of Judy Garlands life. the Museum itself is connected to the house that Judy spent the first part of her life in.

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Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway

Take a mini road trip to the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway. The road is 47 miles long up to Effie. On this drive you are able to explore numerous discovery spots to pull off and see lakes, read about the tamarack trees, hiking trails and see the see the Chippewa National Forest. This drive flows through 4 different towns with so much to see. It truly is an experience in Minnesota’s Nature.

Summer is booking up fast…..

Find lodging  by clicking HERE!

Eat, Drink, Play & Stay in Beautiful Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is home to great dining, craft drinks and all types of outdoor and indoor fun for everyone. Take a weekday trip or an extended weekend. No matter the time of year, Grand Rapids is a destination for all seasons.

Family Fun

Some of our local family favorite locations are Itasca Historical Society, where you can learn about world and local history. They also have an escape room that changes out every few months. The next must see spot is the Judy Garland & Children’s Museum. Let the kids fun free and check out the different exhibits. Lastly, stay at a hotel, vacation rental and enjoy a pool or beach front access and relax next to that water.

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Family fun on the lake!
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Judy Garland & Children’s Museum
Veterans Memorial Exhibit
Itasca Historical Society

Adventure Seekers

Want to try something new? Grand Rapids is home to, two world class bike trails. Rent a bike from Ardent Bicycles and take a ride along Tioga Recreation or Mesabi Bike Trail. If you are looking to adventure though the forest, discover the beauty of the Chippewa. Hike along the many trails we have along highway 38 on Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway. If you are adventurous with food, after fun day of exploring, try any kinds of food from Mexican cuisine, sushi, or enjoy Forest Lake Restaurant and Steak House. If you’re adventurous day makes you think…. pizza or a great burger Grand Rapids has that too! No matter that adventure you choose fill up and relax to great food and a beer at one of our local breweries or wine bar.

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Wine at UnWinded Up North
Hibbing arch credit Seaquest Productions
Mesabi Trail
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Tioga Recreation

Couples Getaway

Take a loved one for a little getaway. Relax and reconnect with each other and the outdoors. Enjoy a cozy hotel room, cabin, or vacation rental to take in the beauty of Grand Rapids. During the day take a walking tour of Grand Rapids Art and History or take a 47 mile drive up highway 38 and discover the different Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway discovery spots. After a day of exploring grab some food and do a little shopping at locally owned shops downtown.

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Walking tour
Couple on Dock with Dog
Relaxing by the lake
Dining on Patio
Dinner on the patio

 

 

 

 

 

Places to Eat/ Drink

Rapids Brewing Company, Klockow Brewing Company, UnWinded Up North, El Patro, Boulder Tap House, Forest Lake RestaurantBrewed Awakenings Coffee Shop, Zorbas, Pickled Loon, Fuji and Timberlake Restaurant.

To inquire about a Visitor Guide call our office at 218-326-9607 or email us at info@visitgrandrapids.com!

Top 5 Spring Break Things To Do: Grand Rapids

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Fall Pedestrian Bridge, By: Tasha Connelly

5. Getting Outdoors

Everyone get’s a little, or a lot, of cabin fever around the transition from winter to spring. Grand Rapids, Minnesota offers over 1 million acres of public forest land, 1,007 lakes, and over 2,000 miles of trails to explore. Get Fit Itasca offers FREE bike share program where you can check out bikes at City Hall, the Library and Itasca YMCA. You can ride the in town bike trails, but also access the Mesabi Trail which opens April 1. A ride around the city offers access to the downtown businesses and area restaurants. Spring is the perfect time to come to Grand Rapids and ride Fat Tire Bike trails like the Legion located at the Grand Rapids High School. Also, with the beautiful weather we have been having it is a great time to get outdoors and hike!

 

murder in craigville4. Explore Minnesota’s History

Grand Rapids, Minnesota was established in 1872, and has a rich forestry, logging and mining history to learn about. You will want to check out the Itasca County Historical Society Museum. They just opened a new escape room. Follow the clues to figure out the Craigsville murder. The Museum is FREE, and houses a lot of interesting Minnesota artifacts, and also houses a genealogy center and gift shop.

 

 

 

DSC0914 HDR 13. Grand Rapids Art & History Tour

Take a walking tour around Grand Rapids and visit different murals, sculptures and historic building. To view the map to follow along click HERE. The art and history around Grand Rapids represents the what Grand Rapids was founded on and you can find different art pieces that represent the Ojibwa culture.

 

 

2. Water Fun

In Grand Rapids you will find many lodging options to choose from while on Spring Break in Grand Rapids, and many offer onsite pools and hot tubs. This allows the kids of all ages to enjoy pool time while the parents relax in the hot tub. Timberlake Lodge Hotel has a Grand Splash waterpark, which offers a 98 foot slide, 20 person hot tub, and kiddie pool. A great way for the kids to burn off some energy and the parents to relax in comfort.

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1. Entertainment

Mother Nature sometimes brings showers so our spring flowers can bloom. If this is the case, don’t fret, we have several indoor locations that can keep the everyone entertained. The Reif Center is our hidden gem of a theater that brings the stars to norther Minnesota. Another great place to relax is Mann’s Cinnema Theater. It is a great location to take in an afternoon matinee or evening show. They offer comfortable theater style seating and a full service concession stand. Thunder Alley XL offers bowling and indoor adult style arcade game area, and onsite bar that serves great pizza and other concession snacks. Lastly, check out our new craft brewing. At Klockow Brewing Company you can order or bring your own food in, and enjoy live music every Saturday night.