Going off of a tip from a book about offbeat Minnesota attractions, we made our way up to the “Reverse Road” outside of Finland, MN which is a tiny little town on Highway 1; the windy, curvy road that connects Ely to Highway 61 along the North Shore. It’s a beautiful area, nestled in between the Boundary Waters/Iron Range and the dramatic shoreline of Lake Superior, right in the Sawtooth Mountains. The book talks about a road outside of town which climbs up some elevation to an old abandoned airbase, where a locked gate advises No Trespassing. Supposedly, you drive to the top, and as you make your way back down the crests that lead up behind you, put the car and park, and the car starts rolling uphill.
It’s easy to make a case that Stillwater might be the prettiest city in Minnesota. There’s a lot to do there, most of which is found along the main stretch of the downtown buildings: there are shops, restaurants, a winery, a brewery, antique stores, and parks along the scenic, bluff-lined St. Croix River. Head up the steep hill towards the historic courthouse and see blocks and blocks of impossibly beautiful Victorian homes. It’s one of the coolest cities in the state, and is also and the official birthplace of Minnesota. And part of Stillwater’s downtown is cut right into a section of a sandstone bluff; inside there are man-made caves which date back to the late 1800′s. Continue reading
Moorhead, MN, has graced the pages of HighwayHighlights.com several times before. Back in 2013 I wrote about the Hjemkomst Viking Ship, a replica of a famous Norwegian ship from the 1800′s that a guidance counselor named Robert Asp from Moorhead and his crew built in the 1970′s. After Asp died in the early 80′s, the ship was sailed from Duluth, MN all the way to Norway. In keeping with the Viking theme, there was later built a replica of a Norwegian Stave Church, or “Stavkirk,” on the grounds of the Hjemkomst Heritage Center, where the ship is permanently housed. Continue reading
Mostly a thing of the past, one-room schoolhouses used to dot the prairie in the Midwest, during the formative years of states like Minnesota and North Dakota. As the towns grew, schools often consolidated and newer, bigger buildings were built. Often the schoolhouses were simply abandoned, some were demolished, or some were repurposed into township halls, like today’s subject: The Moland Township Hall, formerly known as the “Gunderson School.” Continue reading
If pressed to name the most idyllic, tranquil, heavenly place in Minnesota, the Illgen Falls Cabin at Tettegouche State Park on the north shore would almost have to be it. The log cabin-style retreat is a secluded A-frame managed by the park service, available to rent every night of the year. Not only is it completely private, furnished, and clean- it sits about 100 feet away from a roaring waterfall. Continue reading