Your City, Your Business: All roads lead to Duluth in autumn
What is a byway? A byway is a road, yes, but it goes way beyond that. It is exclusive, one of a very few, special thoroughfares containing unique and treasured qualities. It's like the roads you see in the car commercials -- winding, beautiful, a...
What is a byway? A byway is a road, yes, but it goes way beyond that. It is exclusive, one of a very few, special thoroughfares containing unique and treasured qualities. It's like the roads you see in the car commercials -- winding, beautiful, a treasure to drive. And in autumn, when the horizon is ablaze with color, these special roadways provide some of the most spectacular scenery you'll ever see.
Minnesota has 20 such drives that explore the state's history, arts, parks and trails -- and six of these unique roadways connect directly with highways near Duluth and Lake Superior. So no matter what your favorite mode of transportation may be -- car, bicycle, motorcycle or hiking boots -- you can create your own byway adventure in and around our city. If you're a history buff, an adventurer, a photographer or just someone who wants to see the best fall colors around, you'll find our beautiful, historic highways are truly magnificent.
Veterans Evergreen Memorial Scenic Byway is located on Minnesota Highway 23, just off I-35 at the Askov/Finlayson exit near the outskirts of Duluth. This peaceful, scenic, two-lane route travels 50 miles through the serene landscapes of east-central Minnesota.
Rushing Rapids Parkway is a nine-mile drive through the brilliantly colored hills of Jay Cooke State Park, southwest of Duluth. Highlights include the river gorge and suspension bridge, mountain biking, hiking and rafting.
We all know Skyline Parkway, but when's the last time you drove all 38 miles? Seven-hundred feet above the city, this spectacular drive is laced with overlooks and offers unsurpassed views of our red, gold and orange hillsides set against the deep, sapphire blues of Lake Superior. Highlights include Spirit Mountain Recreation Area, Enger Park, Chester Park and Hawk Ridge raptor and bird watching.
In addition to offering some of the most impressive fall foliage anywhere, the North Shore Scenic Drive of Lake Superior has the distinction of being named as one of our nation's All American Roads by the National Byways System. In the company of such places as the Las Vegas Strip and the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, our North Shore Drive offers the many scenic, natural, historical, cultural and recreational qualities required for All American Road designation. Plus, it offers eight state parks, countless rugged cliffs, rushing rivers and scenic waterfalls. So start in Canal Park, and enjoy autumn's splendor all the way to Grand Portage.
Linked to Duluth off the North Shore Drive Scenic Byway are two more wonderful drives: the Superior National Forest Byway and the Gunflint Trail Byway.
The 61-mile Superior National Forest Byway explores the woodland areas of northeastern Minnesota, weaving through the Superior National Forest. This new byway links Lake Superior's North Shore with the Mesabi Iron Range to the west. Marshes and 250-year-old forests blaze with color and offer camping, rivers, lakes and villages depicting the area's mining heritage. Popular highlights along the way include the Superior Hiking Trail, the White Pine Interpretive Trail, the 1913 Finnish Toimi School and the 1890 Longyear diamond-bit drill site.
The Gunflint Trail Byway provides 57 miles of fall colors as it travels into the rugged Superior National Forest from Grand Marais. No towns disturb the solitude, and side roads lead to secluded lodges, cabins, campgrounds and lakes. The popular Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Eagle Mountain (Minnesota's tallest peak), are of particular interest to visitors.
Six scenic byways and hundreds of miles of uninterrupted fall colors -- right out your back door. For a detailed America's Byways map, feel free to stop by the Duluth Convention and Visitors Bureau, 100 Lake Place Drive in Canal Park, or call 722-4011.