Minnesota State Highway 61
|Maintained by Mn/DOT|
|Length:||148.843 mi (239.540 km)|
|Existed:||1991 – present|
| Lake Superior Circle Tour
North Shore Scenic Drive
|South end:||I-35 at Duluth|
| County 2 at Two Harbors
MN 1 at Illgen City, near Silver Bay
County 12 at Grand Marais
|North end:||Highway 61 near Grand Portage|
|Counties:||Saint Louis, Lake, Cook|
Minnesota State Highway 61 (MN 61) is a highway in northeast Minnesota, which runs from the junction of Interstate Highway 35 and Minnesota 61 in Duluth at 26th Avenue East, and continues northeast to its northern terminus at the U.S.–Canadian border near Grand Portage. The roadway becomes Ontario Highway 61 upon entering Canada at the Pigeon River Bridge, and terminates at the Trans-Canada Highway in Thunder Bay. Minnesota Highway 61 is 149 miles (240 km) in length.
The North Shore Scenic Drive is an All-American Road scenic byway designated route that follows Saint Louis County Road 61 / Lake County Road 61 / State Highway 61, formerly U.S. 61, from the city of Duluth, Minnesota to the Canadian border near Grand Portage. The route stays close to the rocky North Shore of Lake Superior, offering spectacular vistas of the lake to the southeast as it skirts along the foothills of the Sawtooth Range to the northwest.
Route and features
21 miles (34 km) of Highway 61 from Duluth to Two Harbors is a four-lane expressway officially designated the Arthur Rohweder Memorial Highway. There are no markers on the highway showing this designation, but there is a plaque at a wayside.
The roadway is located close to and in many places next to Lake Superior. Sights include forests, wildlife, cliffs, state parks, and a national monument.
The following state parks are located on Highway 61:
- Gooseberry Falls State Park is located 13 miles (21 km) northeast of Two Harbors in Lake County.
- Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is located in Lake County between Two Harbors and Silver Bay.
- Tettegouche State Park is located in Lake County at the base of the Baptism River. The park is located immediately northeast of Silver Bay.
- Temperance River State Park is located immediately northeast of Schroeder in Cook County.
- Cascade River State Park is located in Cook County between Lutsen and Grand Marais.
- Judge C. R. Magney State Park is located on the banks of the Brule River. The park is located 14 miles (23 km) northeast of Grand Marais in Cook County.
- Grand Portage State Park is located in Cook County on the banks of the Pigeon River. The community of Grand Portage is nearby.
A listing of more attractions located on or near Highway 61 is at North Shore (Lake Superior).
The southern terminus for Minnesota 61 is its junction with Interstate Highway 35 in Duluth in northeast Minnesota. The national northern terminus for I-35 is also located at this same junction with 26th Avenue East.
The northern terminus for Minnesota 61 is at the U.S.–Canadian border, near Grand Portage, where it becomes Ontario Highway 61 upon entering Canada at the Pigeon River Bridge. The roadway continues to Thunder Bay.
|Location:||Wyoming, MN—Canadian border|
Minnesota Highway 61 was designated and signed in 1991. The roadway was originally part of U.S. Highway 61 from 1926 to 1991.
After construction of I-35 in the 1960s, U.S. 61 was co-signed with I-35 until 1991. During that year, U.S. 61 was decommissioned from the Canadian border south to its present day junction with I-35 at the city of Wyoming, MN near Forest Lake. The section of U.S. 61 north of Duluth was re-designated Minnesota 61 that same year.
Highway 61, between Duluth and the Canadian border, was commissioned as part of U.S. Highway 61 in 1926, ready for use by 1929, and paved by 1940.
The section of Highway 61 from Hovland to the Pigeon River formerly ran inland, bypassing the community of Grand Portage. The new highway alignment and border crossing were constructed in the early 1960s.
The Highway 61 expressway between Duluth and Two Harbors was constructed inland in the 1960s. The state then turned over maintenance of the original U.S. 61 between Duluth and Two Harbors to Saint Louis and Lake counties. The two counties then re-designated this section as "County 61 / Scenic 61".
|St. Louis||Duluth||1.471||2.367||I-35 / LSCT||Southern end of LSCT concurrency|
|5.425||8.731||North Shore Drive (Scenic 61, to County 61)|
|Duluth Township||14.890||23.963||County 42 (Homestead Road)|
|Lake||Two Harbors||24.668||39.699||County 61|
|26.189||42.147||County 2 (4th Street)|
|Silver Creek Township||28.526||45.908||County 3|
|Beaver Bay||51.162||82.337||County 4 (Lax Lake Road)|
|Silver Bay||54.315||87.412||County 5 (Penn Boulevard / Outer Drive)|
|Illgen City||59.308||95.447||MN 1|
|Little Marais||65.271||105.043||County 6|
|Cook||Tofte||82.682||133.064||County 2 (Sawbill Trail)|
|West Cook||101.704||163.677||County 7|
|Grand Marais||110.256||177.440||County 12 (Gunflint Trail)|
|West Cook||110.725||178.195||County 7 (5th Street)|
|Hovland||128.867||207.391||County 16 (Arrowhead Trail)|
|East Cook||134.643||216.687||County 17|
|Grand Portage||143.353||230.704||County 17 (Mile Creek Road)|
|Pigeon River||150.870||242.802||U.S.-Canadian border
Highway 61 / LSCT continues into Ontario
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- "Trunk Highway Log Point Listing: Construction District 1" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Transportation. August 20, 2010. Retrieved October 24, 2010.
- Gooseberry Falls State Park
- Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
- Tettegouche State Park
- Temperance River State Park
- Cascade River State Park
- Judge C. R. Magney State Park
- Grand Portage State Park
- National Park Service - Grand Portage National Monument
- Media related to Minnesota State Highway 61 at Wikimedia Commons