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The Best Scenic Drive In Northern Minnesota To Experience The Beauty Of Winter

There is a scenic drive in northern Minnesota that is the perfect place to view a winter wonderland. Scenic drives are not just for the summer and fall months of the year. The Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway is a 47 miles road that connects Grand Rapids, Marcell, Bigfork and Effie, Minnesota together. This scenic byway was the first to be designated as a national scenic byway in Minnesota. Along this byway you will find rolling hills and curves that cut between tall pine forests and crystal clear Minnesota lakes. Minnesota’s Edge of the Wilderness drive celebrates northern hospitality, hometown pride, and the treasures of our natural heritage.

This Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway is located in the Chippewa National Forest. The Chippewa National Forest covers over 600,000 acres of forest land. Along this rustic terrain you will find more trees than people. This allows you the perfect opportunity to experience winter’s beauty without large crowds. You will discover breathtaking vista’s and overlooks around every corner. Taking a drive after a snow storm is a winter wonderland where the orange and strawberry filled skies cast shadows over the white powder that covers the landscape. It is truly a magnificent site that one has to experience for themselves.

We encourage you to embrace winter by driving north up the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway to enjoy an outdoor recreation trail adventure. Along this scenic byway you will find many trail connections. The Suomi Trail is one of our favorite where you can cross country ski in the winter. Another location to access winter trails is the Laurentian Divide where you can access snowmobile trails. You will want to stop at the Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center in Marcell for maps, visitor guides and to view the beautiful interpretive displays about northern Minnesota’s wildlife, natural features, history, and culture and add gift shop

You will find the small towns of Marcell, Bigfork and Effie boast welcoming charm that makes you feel right at home. Along the byway there are many places to stop and rest, eat and dine, shop, and get gas. You will be surprised at the number of unique businesses that are located along the byway. God’s Country is a great place to get gas and pick up some snacks for the drive just north of Grand Rapids. Cedar Creek Grill in Grand Rapids, MN is the perfect place to grab lunch or dinner. Frontier Sports in Marcell is another great place to grab snacks, gas, use the restroom, and shop for a souvenir to bring home. The Timberwolf Inn is located right off of the snowmobile trail and the scenic byway in Bigfork, and you will find an upscale bar/grill menu. Two Rivers Cenex is the perfect place to fill up with gas and to grab more snacks for the road. The Effie Cafe is a great place where you will find good homestyle favorites.

Looking for places to lodge? Check out a wide variety of diverse lodging options offered through Edge of the Wilderness Lodging Association and Visit Grand Rapids. You will find traditional Hotels/Motels, Resorts & Bed and Breakfast, but you will also find vacation rentals.

This video doesn’t highlight the winter season, but it will give you an overview of what you might find along the scenic byway.

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