Minnesota State Highway 61

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For the route located in southeast and east-central Minnesota numbered 61, see U.S. Route 61 in Minnesota.

Trunk Highway 61 marker

Trunk Highway 61
Route information
Maintained by Mn/DOT
Length: 148.843 mi[1] (239.540 km)
Existed: 1991 – present
Tourist
routes:
Lake Superior Circle Tour
North Shore Scenic Drive
Major junctions
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
Location
Counties: Saint Louis, Lake, Cook
Highway system
  • Minnesota Trunk Highways
US 61 MN 62

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 route is a scenic highway, following the North Shore of Lake Superior, and is part of the Lake Superior Circle Tour designation that runs through Minnesota, Ontario, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

This roadway was designated U.S. Highway 61 until 1991. This highway, then U.S. 61, is the road that musician Bob Dylan referred to in the album and song Highway 61 Revisited.

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[edit]

Highway 61 entering Grand Marais from the south

Minnesota Highway 61 serves as a northeast–southwest route in northeast Minnesota between Duluth, Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Grand Marais, and the Canadian border.

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.

Forests[edit]

Highway 61 passes through the Superior National Forest and the Grand Portage State Forest in Cook County.

State parks[edit]

The following state parks are located on Highway 61:

Landmark[edit]

The Grand Portage National Monument is located adjacent to the community of Grand Portage on Highway 61.[9]

Features[edit]

A listing of more attractions located on or near Highway 61 is at North Shore (Lake Superior).

Termini[edit]

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.

History[edit]

U.S. Highway 61
Location: Wyoming, MNCanadian border
Existed: 1926–1991

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.

Minnesota 61 is one of three state marked highways to carry the same number as an existing U.S. marked highway within the state, the others being Highways 65 and 169.

Early history[edit]

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".

Major intersections[edit]

County Location Mile[1] km Destinations Notes
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)
Lutsen 92.528 148.909 County 4
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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]