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The Great Northern Route

In its trek across northern Minnesota, US-2 offers more than 260 mi (420 km) of open road before winding up in the busy but surprisingly attractive lakefront city of Duluth. Midway across the state, after the endless wheat fields of the west, the scenery turns slightly turbid with the remnants of old iron mines and a series of still-busy lumber and paper mills.

Opportunistic little cells of roadside community crop up to serve the beer-and-bait needs of those bound for the myriad recreational opportunities of Minnesota’s Lake Country along the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River. At either edge of this summertime playground, two largish towns, Grand Rapids and Bemidji, serve as gateways to the gaping spreads of Chippewa National Forest and many of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes.

Map of the Great Northern through Minnesota.
Map of the Great Northern through Minnesota.

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