Scenic Highway 61

Things To Do Along Scenic Highway 61

This lakeside drive, Scenic 61, is part of the original Highway 61, running about 20 miles from Brighton Beach to the entrance to Two Harbors. It offers overlooks, access to Lake Superior, shops, restaurants and lodging. Mostly it gives the flavor of what Highway 61 was like back in the day.


Things to do along Scenic Highway 61

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Stops Along the Way

canal park artCanal Park (mile marker 0.0)

Where it all starts! The Aerial Lift Bridge, the Marine Museum, the lakewalk, sculptures and public art [like this sculpture wall], shops and restaurants and lodging.

–> You can walk quite a bit of Scenic 61. Enter the lakewalk from several points in Canal Park and walk along the shore, into Leif Erikson park, through the Duluth Rose Gardens and continue to Brighton Beach [see below].

Brighton Beach (mile marker 5.2)

Kick-off to Scenic 61, the cobblestone beach is part of the Kitchi Gammi park, and is perfect for skipping stones, agate-hunting, ship-watching, picnicking and lolly gagging; summer-use restrooms, too.

You say Gitchi Gami, she says Kitchi Gammi, he says Gitche Gume and in The Song of Hiawatha, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said,

On the shores of Gitche Gumee,

Of the shining Big-Sea-Water,

Stood Nokomis, the old woman,

Pointing with her finger westward,

O’er the water pointing westward,

To the purple clouds of sunset.

Read the rest of his poem here.

McQuade Harbor Rest Area (mile marker 10.0)

A spanky little safe harbor with a boat launch, kayak ramp, restrooms, interpretive panels, shelter and walkway with tunnel to the east breakwall which includes three fishing platforms.

Stoney Point (mile marker 15.0)

A scenic drive off a a scenic drive, this one-mile side road is ideal for wave watching, lake gazing, quiet driving, picnicking.

Knife River (mile marker 19.5)

A DNR marina, the river, Lake Superior beach, Rec Center and a few businesses make this little burg home. Originally founded as Buchanan, after President Buchanan, this unincorporated village has been home to commercial fishermen for the past 150+ years.

-> Head south 3.5 miles to the Buchanan Wayside for a quick read about the area.

Larsmont (mile marker 22.0)

Home of the Little Red Schoolhouse, on the National Register of Historic Places, which acts as a community hub for area residents – stop and see what’s happening.

For more Things To Do, click on specific choices under Activities, Attractions and Events