Northern Minnesota Activities

Experience The North

Bowstring Shores is surrounded by dozens of area attractions to help you make the most of your trip. From golf courses and casinos to berry picking and foliage tours, there’s something for everyone to enjoy life in the Northwoods.

Contact Bowstring Shores for more information on day trips and nearby attractions to fully immerse yourself in your trip up north.

The International Wolf Center is the world’s premier wolf interpretive facility, advancing the survival of wolf populations by teaching about the species, its relationship to wild lands, and the role humans will play in its future.

Located in the heart of the Superior National Forest in Ely, MN, visitors can take a tour of the center, take in a glimpse of the resident wolf pack, and learn from the center’s award-winning exhibits. Visit wolf.org for more information, hours and directions.

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. Here visitors can walk across the Mississippi as it begins its winding journey to the Gulf of Mexico, stand under towering pines at Preacher’s Grove, visit landmarks of centuries gone by, and explore Wilderness Drive past the 2,000-acre Wilderness Sanctuary — one of Minnesota’s seven National Natural Landmarks.

The explosive growth of iron mining is what initially attracted thousands of settlers to northeastern Minnesota in the 19th century. Their courage and tenacity transformed a sparsely populated wilderness into a culturally diverse industrial landscape. Ironworld Discovery Center, the largest museum complex on the Iron Range, is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of Minnesota’s Iron Ranges.

Visitors to the site can enjoy an interactive experience including spectacular mine views and one of the finest library and archival facilities in the upper Midwest. Whether you are visiting the Iron Range for recreation or education, Ironworld Discovery Center provides a unique look at the Iron Range you are sure to find both interesting and enjoyable. Ride a trolley with spectacular mine views, explore the outdoor exhibits, take part in cultural heritage activities, and uncover links to the past at the Iron Range Research Center.

Ironworld is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $6 for students, and free to children ages 6 and under. On Thursdays from 5 p.m. to close, admission is free for all visitors. The Iron Range Research Center is open throughout the year. Call 1-800-372-6437 or visit ironworld.com for more information.

You travel back in time when you visit this park. Under ground, visitors wear hard hats and journey down 2,341 feet to listen to stories of the mining heyday. Above ground, visitors can explore the dry house, drill shop, crusher house, and engine house, before strolling the boardwalk past one of the deepest open mine pits in the country. Visitors can also hike through a northern hardwood conifer forest past the famous Soudan Iron Formation.

The mine tour leads visitors through the world of underground mining. Visitors don hard hats and enter a “cage” for the descent into the mine. The 1 1/2-hour mine tour will take you half a mile down into the earth. Once underground, you will be treated to a 3/4-mile train ride to the last and deepest area mined. The mine is 50°F year-round, so remember to bring a warm jacket or sweater and sturdy shoes. Public tours run from Memorial Day through the end of September. There is a charge for the underground mine tour.

The Soudan Underground Laboratory is the leading deep underground science and engineering laboratory in the United States today. Scientists from around the world have been working at Soudan for 25 years trying to answer basic questions about the universe in which we live: Is matter completely stable? What is the nature of the fundamental forces? Can we identify the Dark Matter that seems to permeate our universe?

Learn about our first neutrino events using the neutrino beam from Fermilab and see the massive MINOS detector (Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search). Learn about CDMS (Cryogenic Dark Matter Search) and its continued search for a WIMP (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles).

Directions: Take US Highway 169 North through Tower to Soudan. Once in Soudan, follow the directional signs.

Mine Tour: From Memorial Day Weekend through September, tours run every hour from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Sunday. After Labor Day till October 2nd, tours run at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. (on the hour from 10 to 4 on weekends).

Physics Tour: From Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day, tours run at 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. After Labor Day till October 2nd, tours run at 12:00 p.m. only.

Admission: Adults (13 and older): $9; Children 5-12: $6; Children 5 and under: No charge. Rates are subject to change without notice.

Call 218-753-2245 for more information or visit their website.

Experience the life of a miner as you take an exciting tour of a modern day mining company. Visitors will slip into steel toe boots and put on hard hats adding to the experience. These 1 ½-hour tours will walk you through the mining process of turning iron ore into taconite pellets. Visitors have the opportunity to watch miners and their massive equipment at work up close.

Watch 30-yard capacity shovels — so big that a 4×4 truck could fit inside their buckets — load overburden into three-story, 240-ton mining trucks. See 80-car trains pulled by three locomotives filled with taconite pellets cruise near 500-foot deep iron laden canyons. Discover 100-ton maintenance trucks, large drilling rigs, and huge bulldozers. A knowledgeable guide will narrate your adventure. Children who love Tonka Toys® will remember the experience all their lives. Group tours and school groups welcome. Tour guide recommended. Available by reservation.

Hibbing Taconite Tours (Hibbing)

Tours depart from Ironworld Discovery Center and take approximately two hours. Reservations are required and can be made through Ironworld at 800-372-6437. Children must be 10 years of age or older and accompanied by an adult.

Hibbing is recognized as the birthplace of the bus industry in the United States. Here visitors can see and hear the story at Hibbing’s newest attraction.

To start the tour, visitors pass through a tunnel that comes alive with auto sounds of 1914 and continues on from the Hupmobile that could not be sold. The story continues with the men and machines that created Greyhound Bus Lines told using pictorial displays, hundreds of artifacts and memorabilia, audio-visual presentations, and a video of “The Greyhound Story” from Hibbing to everywhere.

A diorama of WWII illustrates how Greyhound contributed to the war effort. Other exhibits help the visitor understand how Greyhound grew to be the largest bus company in the world. The museum also houses eleven historical buses.

Open Mid-May through September; Monday – Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Open on request for special groups in the offseason. Adults $5.00, Seniors $4.00, Family $10.00, Students $2.00, Children (6-12) $1.00, Tours $3.00 each. (rates subject to change)

Directions: Exit off Highway 169 in Hibbing onto Howard Street. Follow Howard Street nine blocks to 3rd Avenue East. Take a right and follow .7 miles to the Greyhound Bus Museum.

For more information call 218-263-5814 or visit greyhoundbusmuseum.org.

The museum, located off US Highway 53 in Eveleth, is a national shrine of historical significance dedicated to honoring hockey by showcasing all levels of the sport. Entertaining displays and memorabilia give visitors an opportunity to experience the thrilling game action and inspiring achievement of all those involved in the game of hockey.

At the Theatre of Hockey Highlights visitors can re-live the 1980 “Miracle on Ice,” the US historic and exhilarating Olympic victory over Russia, or watch as the US Women’s Gold Medal Winning Hockey Team takes center stage at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan. From the Great Wall of Fame of Inductees, the Olympic Display, Gallery of Hockey Art, Mighty Duck Scoreboard, and historic exhibits of famed hockey memorabilia, this is a must visit for anyone interested in hockey.

Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day; Mon – Sat: 9:00 – 5:00, Sun: 10:00 – 3:00

After Labor Day; Fri: 12:00 – 5:00, Sat: 9:00 – 5:00, Sun: 10:00 – 3:00

Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and juniors 13-17, $6 for children 6-12, and under six free but please note that rates are subject to change.

To learn more, visit ushockeyhall.com or call 1-800-443-7825.

Founded in 1995, the Vince Shute Wildlife Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the well-being of the black bear and other wildlife through a better understanding. Thousands of people visit the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary every year to view and learn about black bears, their behavior, habitat needs, and life cycles. Visitors also get the opportunity to view a special group of wild bears that come to this location every summer from an elevated platform.

Nestled in the Northwoods of Minnesota, the Sanctuary is located approximately two hours northwest of Duluth. The nearest town is Orr, which is about thirty minutes away. Encompassing some 360 acres, the sanctuary consists of a combination of habitats: aspen forests, cedar swamps, marshes, beaver ponds, a primary stream, open areas, and numerous other resources.

In addition to being a seasonal home to a special group of bears, this habitat is also used by such wildlife as whitetail deer, bald eagles, beavers, minks, pine martens, fishers, timber wolves, red squirrels, bobcats, lynx, blue jays, owls, ducks, songbirds, ravens, and a variety of other species. While black bears are the primary focus, the various habitats of the sanctuary are managed in a manner beneficial to the entire ecosystem.

The permanent establishment of the refuge has preserved a unique opportunity to view and to photograph the intimate world of the normally reclusive black bear. The Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary also provides a most extraordinary setting for a variety of non-obtrusive scientific studies and educational programs relating to the diverse natural resources found within its boundaries.

For more information visit the Vince Shute Wildlife Center website at www.americanbear.org or call 1-800-357-9255.

Itasca Golf Courses

Eagle Ridge Golf Club

Pokegama Golf Club

Sugarbrooke Golf Club

Wendigo Golf Club

Blueberry Hills Golf Course

Golf On The Edge

Swan Lake Golf Club

Casinos

Palace Casino

White Oak Casino

Northern Lights Casino

Bowling and Miniature Golf

Thunder Alley XL & Big Thunder Mini Golf

Rasley’s Blueberry Bowl: 218-246-8084

Blackduck Bowling Lanes: 218-835-6620

Arts

Reif Center for Performing Arts

MacRostie Art Center

Museums and History

For information, visit the Forest History Center website, email foresthistory@mnhs.org, or call 218-327-4482. The Forest History Center is located near US Highways 169 and 2 at 2609 County Road 76, Grand Rapids, Minnesota 55744.

General admission for all ages is $7 per person. Age one and under are FREE! Includes Children’s Discovery Museum. For more information, visit judygarlandmuseum.com, call 1-800-664-JUDY or 218-327-9276, or email jgarland@uslink.net.

The Children’s Discovery Museum is located at 2727 US Hwy 169 South (across from Home Depot), PO Box 724, Grand Rapids, MN 55744. For more information call 218-326-1900, Toll Free: 866-CDM-KIDS (866-236-5437) or visit their website at www.cdmkids.org.

The museum is located on the third floor of the Old Central School in Grand Rapids at the intersection of Highways 169 and 2. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays; and on Sundays during the summer from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call 218-326-6431 or visit their website at itascahistorical.com.

Outdoors and Tours

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays tour guides escort groups of up to 10 people through the mill and provide a viewing of a video of the papermaking process.
No children under the age of 12
No open-toed shoes
No cameras
Also, please keep in mind that the ability to climb stairs is required and that the mill is very warm so appropriate attire should be considered for the tour.

Pheasants Plus is located at 14893 Sago #4 in Warba, Minnesota. For more information visit pheasantsplus.com or to make a reservation please call 218-492-4450.

The Grand Rapids Gun Club hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. till dark, Thursdays from noon till dark, and Saturdays and Sundays from noon till 5:00 p.m. The club is located at 723 Peterson Road in Grand Rapids. Contact them by phone at 218-326-3348 or by mail at Grand Rapids Gun Club, PO Box 911, Grand Rapids, MN 55744.

The MSSEC is located at 483 Peterson Road in Grand Rapids and is open to the public. To schedule a visit or for more information visit mssec.org or call 218-327-0583.

For more information, call 218-246-9393, email whiteoak@paulbunyan.net, or visit whiteoak.org.

The ranger station and visitor center is located on State Highway 46 near Cutfoot Sioux Lake and Lake Winnibigoshish north of Deer River, Minnesota. For more information call 218-246-8233 or stop in to the Cut Foot Sioux Visitor Center for a summer tour schedule or to pick up more information about their self-guided tour.

For more information visit scenicbyway.com or call 218-832-3161.

North Suomi Hills is the site of the Day Lake Civilian Conservation Camp (CCC), which became a prisoner of war camp during World War II.

Suomi Hills is located 14 miles north of Grand Rapids on the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway (State Highway 38).

Mesabi Trail is a premier Minnesota bike trail winding through some of the state’s prettiest regions. Click here to download a Mesabi Trail map.

Blueberry Meadows – 34471 Eight Mile Road, Grand Rapids, MN, 55744

Phone: 218-326-0671

Directions: Travel south of Grand Rapids on Highway 169 to Eight Mile Road.

Pick-your-own blueberries beginning the last week in July.

Lavalier’s Berry Patch – County Road 441, Grand Rapids, MN

Phone: 218-327-9199

Directions: Travel Highway 2 East to SE 7th Avenue; turn right onto SE 7th Avenue, and then take a left onto River Road; follow River Road to County Road 441; turn left onto County Road 441.

Pick-your-own and pre-picked strawberries usually available around July 1 and blueberries around Aug. 1. Call for current prices and to place orders for pre-picked berries.

Lunemann’s Luney Berries Strawberry Farm

From Grand Rapids: 9 miles on County Road 63, left-hand side of the road.

From Deer River: East on Hwy. 2. Turn right on County Road 11 (Deer River Shortcut) to Hwy. 6. South on Hwy. 6 to County Road 63. Left on 63 for about mile and a half. Watch for signs. No appointment necessary! Picking begins in July.

Call 247-7726 or toll-free 1-888-FARM-FUN (327-6386). Find out more by visiting nordicridge.com.

The Big Fork River

Cass Lake to the Vermillion River

Bigfork River Canoe Outfitting located at the junction of Main Street and Highway 38 in Bigfork, MN, offers canoe rental and shuttle service as well as tents and other camping gear. Also serves Rice River. Call 218-743-3274 for more information.

God’s Country Outfitters located on Highway 38 north of Grand Rapids rents canoes and equipment. For rates and reservations call 218-326-9866.

Click Here for map.

Visitors can tour the grounds of the Joyce Estate and view the rustic log architecture and stickwork characteristic to the Adirondack tradition. The Joyce Estate is located 13 miles north of Grand Rapids, one mile east of the intersection of County Road 60 and State Highway 38.

Hill Annex Mine, the world’s largest open pit mine that is open for tours.
For more information call 218-247-7215.