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.

 

 

 

Exploring The Lost 40

This past weekend, I went and explored The Lost 40 for the first time! Here are some highlights of The Lost 40. The photos show the natural beauty these trails offer.

Wildlife

The trails are filled with bird birding calling and flying high up in the tress. The lost 40 is a great trail for bird watching. The trails have good clearings and a few benches to sit and watch. Also, during our walk we saw butterflies and a  small garden snake. Evetime there was  noise from  a bush we would pause to try and see what type of animal or bug that was hiding in the bushes.

butterfly

dragonfly

Trails

The second you start the hike on the trails there is a sense of serenity. When you look up, you see old pines tower over all of the other trees. It is a fairly easy hike. There are a few hills but, they aren’t too steep. We spent about 2 hours explore the different trails.

lost 40 1lost 40 4

lost 40 2

Tips!

Around this time of year there is a good amount of mosquitos and horse flies. I would recommend wearing bug spray and comfortable shoes for the hike. There are some roots that stick up but, the trails are pretty clear and easy to walk through. Lastly, bring a camera and take photos! The pines are a perfect photo op to truly see the size comparison of these 100’s of year old trees.

History

In 1882, there was a public land survey being done and a total of 40 acers was missed which is now know as The Lost 40.  Surveyor’s mistakenly mapped the area as a Coddington Lake. This lake is actually half a mile away from the lost 40 land. The Lost 40 wasn’t re-surveyed until 1960 and was then incorporated to the Big Fork State Park.

There is so much to discover and find in The Lost 40!

Map

Lost 40

 

National Travel and Tourism Week 2021

Visit Grand Rapids Is the Power of Travel

National Travel and Tourism Week 2021 (May 2-8) spotlights the collective strength of the U.S. travel industry.

This National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), there is more reason than ever to celebrate the collective strength of the U.S. travel and tourism industry and its dynamic workforce.

The 38th annual NTTW, taking place May 2-8, recognizes the Power of Travel and the critical role our industry will play in bringing back our vibrant communities, restoring the economy, rebuilding our workforce and reconnecting America.

Prior to the pandemic, the travel industry was a powerful economic engine, supporting jobs and driving local economies in every pocket of America. The industry had experienced 107 straight months of growth, generated $2.6 trillion in economic output, supported 17 million American jobs and delivered a $51 billion trade surplus to the U.S.

Unfortunately, that strong growth trend plummeted last year due to the pandemic. Travel spending in the U.S. declined 42%, costing the economy $1.1 trillion, while hardworking Americans supported by travel made up a staggering 65% of all U.S. unemployment. In Minnesota travel spending has decreased by 7.1 billion dollars in 2020 alone. It is also estimated that over 202,000 jobs in the hospitality industry have been lost due to covid-19.

However, Visit Grand Rapids—and the travel industry—is resilient.

While we faced extraordinary challenges in the past year, our industry united like never before, lifted each other up, aided one another, and devoted ourselves fully to the task of supporting and restoring all sectors of travel. This year’s NTTW is an opportunity to turn the page to a new chapter in our industry’s story and celebrate its collective power by spotlighting the innumerable ways travel will drive recovery, bring Americans together again and help define our country’s path forward.

Visit Grand Rapids is participating in NTTW by sponsoring The Grand Rapids Downtown Spring Celebration, a safe and family friendly orientated event to bring back our community and tourists together.

From The Itasca Historical Society to MacRosties Art Center, Visit Grand Rapids travel and tourism industry contributes so much to our local economy and our community’s unique character. From all of us at Visit Grand Rapids, we are so excited to share the full power of our industry—and the strength and spirit of Visit Grand Rapids—this NTTW.

 

Top 5 Spring Break Things To Do: Grand Rapids

Tasha Connelly Fall Pedestrian Bridge6123088088 1
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.

DSC0665 HDR

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.

 

Fat Forest Fourteen

Love fat tire biking? Come up to Grand Rapids between February 13th- February 21st and participate in the Fat Forest Fourteen Fat Tire race hosted by GRIMBA (Grand Rapids Itasca Mountain Biking Association). This is now a virtual event due to colder temps. Choose between the 7-mile Short course  or 14-mile Long course (2 laps).  The race will take place at Tioga Recreation Area. The volunteers have been working hard to groom the trails to keep this top-notch course.

How to Register!

Head to the Fat Forest Fourteen Website. Click HERE to be directed to the site.

The cost is $45 dollars to register.

For More Information:

Check out the Fat Forest Fourteen Event on Facebook 

Check out the GRIMBA website for event information and mountain biking information

Ardent Bicycles

For bike parts, service and new bikes, contact Ardent Bicycles at (218) 999-5470 or go to their website.  In addition, to bikes they offer cross country skis and snowshoes for purchase or rent.

Book You Stay in Grand Rapids

Come up for the Fat Forest Fourteen race and enjoy a stay in Grand Rapids. Choose from 30 different lodging properties in Itasca County from our website. Click HERE to see places to stay. We have a wide variety of places near Tioga from Hotel/Motel, Vacation Rentals and a Bed and Breakfast. After the race have fun exploring Grand Rapids. Check out our two local breweries and wine bar all right downtown(Rapids Brewing Company, Klockow Brewing Company and UnWinded Up North). Also, downtown you can visit the historic Old Central School, Itasca Historical Society, the Mississippi River and ton of locally owned shops.

If you have any question about Grand Rapids, places to stay or things to do and want more information, email us at info@visitgrandrapids.com or call our office at 218-326-9607.

Head North and Race Tioga for the Fat Forest Fourteen!