Grand Rapids, MN

About Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is the largest town in Itasca County with 11,228 residents according to the 2020 census. Many people call the greater Grand Rapids area ‘Minnesota’s Outdoor Sports Capital’ due to the sheer number of outdoor sports in the area, including trail and mountain biking, hiking, fishing and kayaking the more than 1,000 lakes and rivers in the county, ski jumping, biathlon training, hunting, volleyball, and more. The city is also home to a thriving arts, theater, and music community.

Grand Rapid is the birthplace of singer and actress Judy Garland. The City has preserved her family home as a museum and built the Judy Garland (and Wizard of Oz) Museum & Children’s Museum next to it to honor her memory. A Judy Garland Festival is held every June.

Top Attractions

Attractions include a remarkable 31 miles of paved bike trails, dedicated mountain bike trails, Itasca County Historical Society, the restored 1895 Central School, Pokegama Golf Course, Veterans’ Memorial Park, and the gateway to the beautiful Chippewa National Forest.

Travel back in time to 1900 at the Forest History Center where costumed interpreters recreate life as it was in logging camps of the day. There is a visitor center as well as a moored Wanigan, the latter used as a floating bunkhouse and cook shack by river drivers moving logs downriver. Tip: Climb to the top of the fire lookout tower for a spectacular view.

History

Following the final retreat of glaciers from northeastern Minnesota approximately 10,000 years ago, native peoples migrated north and west. The Dakota people historically occupied the area. Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe/Anishinaabe), the most populous tribe in North America, migrated westward and the Dakota moved west of the Mississippi in the seventeenth century. There were periods of peace and conflict between the two tribes. The stream of European American settlers into their territories inevitably resulted in the U.S. Government removing both tribes from their native territories and putting them on reservations.

Steamboats could travel the entire length of the Mississippi until they encountered the 3 ½ mile long impasse called the ‘The Grand Rapids.’ River trade made Grand Rapids, incorporated in 1872, one of the oldest settled communities along the Mesabi Iron Range. The rapids now lie flooded behind the 1902 Blandin Paper Mill.

The first major industry was the wholesale logging of the entire northeastern (‘arrowhead’) portion of the state. The Mississippi River was optimal for floating logs downstream to mills. While not quite a ‘major industry,’ fur trading with Native Americans preceded and overlapped logging. Mining soon followed and while there are inactive iron mines on three sides of Grand Rapids, many locals favor its timber heritage over mining. Tip: Ride across the footbridge east of the library and look at how narrow the Mississippi River is this far north.

Events & Festivities

Visit Grand Rapids has up to date information on the many local events and festivals such as Tall Timber Days, Itasca County Fair, Judy Garland Festival, White Oak Rendezvous, and the World’s Largest Wild Rice Festival.

Services

Grand Rapids is a major community offering any services needed, including a hospital.

Access Point From combined Highways 169 & 2, turn north onto 3rd Ave NE to Itasca County Fairgrounds. Direct Trail access and parking are located at the north side of the fairgrounds.
Grand Rapids Access Point

From combined Highways 169 & 2, turn north onto 3rd Ave NE to Itasca County Fairgrounds. Direct Trail access and parking are located at the north side of the fairgrounds.

Grand Rapids Attractions Grand Rapids Attractions

10 Northwest 5th Street
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-326-9607

Website

There’s a lot to do in Grand Rapids with a wide variety of attractions offering something for every age, from art & culture to education & history. Home to many talented artists, experience art in many different ways; including live performances, art galleries, art walks & self-guided tours. Step back in time and relive history at one of our historical attractions. More information in one convenient spot at VisitGrandRapids.com/area-attractions.

Ardent Bicycles – Sales, Service & Rental Ardent Bicycles – Sales, Service & Rental

951 Northwest 4th Street
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-999-5470

Website

A cycling & outdoor adventure shop. Carrying bikes, parts, gear & clothing from leaders in road, mountain and outdoor brands. Full service from tune up to bike builds and rental.

Itasca County Fairgrounds – Campground

1336 Fairgrounds Road
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-326-6470

Website

Picturesque camping "under the pines" at the start of the Mesabi Trail. Amenities available: shower & restroom facilities, laundry, electrical hook-ups, dump station, fishing & swimming lake, walking or biking distance to downtown & restaurants.

The Pickled Loon Saloon The Pickled Loon Saloon

20184 U.S. 169
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-301-0485

Website

The Pickled Loon Saloon is proud of our reputation for great food and service. Our new Grand Rapids location offers breakfast, lunch and dinner along with various food and drink specials and events. We have 20 different beers on tap and pull tabs too. Fantastic views abound from the outdoor patio.

Rapids Brewing Company Rapids Brewing Company

214 North Pokegama Avenue
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-999-9712

Website

Rapids Brewing Co is a brewpub with state-of-the-art brewing equipment in the heart of Grand Rapids. Offering a wide variety of clean, delicious, high-quality beers and fresh, flavorful food made in our wood-fired oven. Our remodeled theater is a first-rate music venue a block from the Mississippi River…a unique gathering place for Grand Rapids

Timberlake Lodge Hotel and Timberlake Restaurant

144 Southeast 17th Street
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

866-800-2200 or 218-326-2600

Website

Come out to the Timberlake Lodge for a relaxing evening after your ride. 84 spacious rooms, including extended stay suites, spa suites & family suites. Finish your evening with a drink and dinner at the Timberlake Restaurant, right on site, offering outdoor patio seating. Start your day with a complimentary hot breakfast.

Klockow Brewing Co Klockow Brewing Co

36 Southeast 10th Street
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-999-7229

Website

Klockow Brewing Co. (est. 2017) is Grand Rapids’ first craft brewery! Come visit us for pints, flights, crowlers and growlers of fresh, hand-crafted ales and lagers. Sixteen beers on tap and non-alcoholic beverages. Food trucks hosted Wed-Sat, or bring your own food. Follow Facebook & Instagram (@klockowbrewing) for beer releases, live music and events. M-Th 2-9; F-Sat 12-10; Sun 12-6.

Bryndlewood Gardens Bryndlewood Gardens

3251 Horseshoe Lake Road
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Website

Located a few miles south of the Grand Rapids Mesabi Trail access point. Bryndlewood Gardens offers guided farm tours focusing on high tunnels and sustainable growing practices for vegetable and fruit production. Producing a huge variety of vegetables (leafy greens to tomatoes and eggplants), raspberries, blueberries, fresh chicken eggs, local cut flowers, and bedding plants in the spring. Kids are welcome; no pets please. Contact for a Visit: 1-2 weeks in advance via private message on Facebook (if just wanting to purchase produce, 2-3 days notice is sufficient). Amenities: Fresh drinking water onsite, outhouse available, and can accommodate electrical charging.

Grand Rapids Farmers Market Grand Rapids Farmers Market

11 Golf Course Road
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Website

Wednesday 8am – 1pm; Saturday 8am – 1pm; Beginning of May to end of October. “Locally Grown fresh fruits & vegetables. Honey and Maple Syrup. Home raised meats, Fresh Baked Goods, and Canned Goods.”

Lavalier’s Berry Patch Lavalier’s Berry Patch

28056 County Road 441
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-327-9199

Website

Located about 7 miles SE of the Grand Rapids access point.U-pick strawberries and blueberries; plus apples, tart cherries, vegetables, and honey in season. Contact for a Visit: Call 218-327-9199 for current picking availability.

Green Heron Bed & Breakfast Green Heron Bed & Breakfast

2810 Meyers Bay Road
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-999-5795

Website

A cozy inn on the shores of Pokegama Lake, minutes from Grand Rapids & the Mesabi Trail. Small enough to tailor breakfast to your tastes & schedule; pre-arranged on-site massage available. Ground floor rooms, private baths & views of the lake. Easy lake access, non-motorized water craft available.

Visit Grand Rapids Visit Grand Rapids

10 Northwest 5th Street
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

800-355-9740

Website

Welcome to Grand Rapids! Start your Mesabi Trail adventure with us at the farthest west entry point. Grand Rapids provides breathtaking wilderness beauty, a welcoming community, lodging options with a view and the surprise sophistication of arts and culture. Come explore the Mesabi Trail in Grand Rapids…It’s in Minnesota’s Nature.

Hotel Rapids Hotel Rapids

680 U.S. 2
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-999-7229

Website

Hotel Rapids is a historic hotel right in town! Hotel Rapids is near the Great River Road scenic byway, the Mississippi River and the beautiful veterans memorial park. it’s a quick drive to some of the best fishing, recreational lakes and bike trails from Hotel Rapids.

Paddle Hoppers Paddle Hoppers

17 County Road 63
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-326-5853

Website

We are your local paddle store, providing sales and service. We offer on and off site kayak and “standup paddle board” rentals (including 1-2 hour rentals), as well as Mississippi River half day trips and some Friday Guided Day trips. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon excursion, rentals for your vacation, something special like a team building paddle, or gear of your own, we’ve got the products and expertise to get you on the water.

Glen’s Army Navy Store

710 Northwest 4th Street
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

800-422-0806

Tioga Recreation Area Tioga Recreation Area

23946 Tioga Beach Road
Cohasset, MN 55721

218-328-6225

Website

Northern Minnesota’s next premier outdoor adventure destination, Tioga’s 500 wooded acres features 30 miles of world-class, single-track mountain biking twisting through a rock studded landscape. These professionally built trails range from family-friendly loops like Gurley Flynn to heart-pumping double blacks like Bloodstone.There are jump lines, skills tracks, tech trails, downhill flows and miles of XC trails.

The Tioga Recreation Area also offers two beaches, access to miles of waterways, and snowshoe trails.

Access to the Mesabi Trail is only six miles away in Grand Rapids at the Itasca County Fairgrounds.

Country Inn by Radisson

2601 So Hwy 169
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

800-456-4000 or 218-327-4960

Website

Located right off US Hwy 169, choose from 56 guest rooms and suites. Start your day with a complimentary "Be Our Guest Breakfast". Enjoy cookies & coffee in the lobby all day. Relax after your bike ride in our indoor pool & whirlpool. Free high-speed internet, dog friendly.

Klockow Brewing Co

36 Southeast 10th Street
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-999-7229

Website

Klockow Brewing Co. (est. 2017) is Grand Rapids’ first craft brewery! Come visit us for pints, flights, crowlers and growlers of fresh, hand-crafted ales and lagers. Sixteen beers on tap and non-alcoholic beverages. Food trucks hosted Wed-Sat, or bring your own food. Follow Facebook & Instagram (@klockowbrewing) for beer releases, live music and events. M-Th 2-9; F-Sat 12-10; Sun 12-6.

Klockow Brewing Co
Grand Rapids Attractions

10 Northwest 5th Street
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-326-9607

Website

There’s a lot to do in Grand Rapids with a wide variety of attractions offering something for every age, from art & culture to education & history. Home to many talented artists, experience art in many different ways; including live performances, art galleries, art walks & self-guided tours. Step back in time and relive history at one of our historical attractions. More information in one convenient spot at VisitGrandRapids.com/area-attractions.

Grand Rapids Attractions
Rapids Brewing Company

214 North Pokegama Avenue
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-999-9712

Website

Rapids Brewing Co is a brewpub with state-of-the-art brewing equipment in the heart of Grand Rapids. Offering a wide variety of clean, delicious, high-quality beers and fresh, flavorful food made in our wood-fired oven. Our remodeled theater is a first-rate music venue a block from the Mississippi River…a unique gathering place for Grand Rapids

Rapids Brewing Company
Ardent Bicycles – Sales, Service & Rental

951 Northwest 4th Street
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-999-5470

Website

A cycling & outdoor adventure shop. Carrying bikes, parts, gear & clothing from leaders in road, mountain and outdoor brands. Full service from tune up to bike builds and rental.

Ardent Bicycles – Sales, Service & Rental
Grand Rapids Farmers Market

11 Golf Course Road
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Website

Wednesday 8am – 1pm; Saturday 8am – 1pm; Beginning of May to end of October. “Locally Grown fresh fruits & vegetables. Honey and Maple Syrup. Home raised meats, Fresh Baked Goods, and Canned Goods.”

Grand Rapids Farmers Market
Lavalier’s Berry Patch

28056 County Road 441
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-327-9199

Website

Located about 7 miles SE of the Grand Rapids access point.U-pick strawberries and blueberries; plus apples, tart cherries, vegetables, and honey in season. Contact for a Visit: Call 218-327-9199 for current picking availability.

Lavalier’s Berry Patch
The Pickled Loon Saloon

20184 U.S. 169
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-301-0485

Website

The Pickled Loon Saloon is proud of our reputation for great food and service. Our new Grand Rapids location offers breakfast, lunch and dinner along with various food and drink specials and events. We have 20 different beers on tap and pull tabs too. Fantastic views abound from the outdoor patio.

The Pickled Loon Saloon
Hotel Rapids

680 U.S. 2
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-999-7229

Website

Hotel Rapids is a historic hotel right in town! Hotel Rapids is near the Great River Road scenic byway, the Mississippi River and the beautiful veterans memorial park. it’s a quick drive to some of the best fishing, recreational lakes and bike trails from Hotel Rapids.

Hotel Rapids
Glen’s Army Navy Store

710 Northwest 4th Street
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

800-422-0806

Paddle Hoppers

17 County Road 63
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-326-5853

Website

We are your local paddle store, providing sales and service. We offer on and off site kayak and “standup paddle board” rentals (including 1-2 hour rentals), as well as Mississippi River half day trips and some Friday Guided Day trips. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon excursion, rentals for your vacation, something special like a team building paddle, or gear of your own, we’ve got the products and expertise to get you on the water.

Paddle Hoppers
Visit Grand Rapids

10 Northwest 5th Street
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

800-355-9740

Website

Welcome to Grand Rapids! Start your Mesabi Trail adventure with us at the farthest west entry point. Grand Rapids provides breathtaking wilderness beauty, a welcoming community, lodging options with a view and the surprise sophistication of arts and culture. Come explore the Mesabi Trail in Grand Rapids…It’s in Minnesota’s Nature.

Visit Grand Rapids
Tioga Recreation Area

23946 Tioga Beach Road
Cohasset, MN 55721

218-328-6225

Website

Northern Minnesota’s next premier outdoor adventure destination, Tioga’s 500 wooded acres features 30 miles of world-class, single-track mountain biking twisting through a rock studded landscape. These professionally built trails range from family-friendly loops like Gurley Flynn to heart-pumping double blacks like Bloodstone.There are jump lines, skills tracks, tech trails, downhill flows and miles of XC trails.

The Tioga Recreation Area also offers two beaches, access to miles of waterways, and snowshoe trails.

Access to the Mesabi Trail is only six miles away in Grand Rapids at the Itasca County Fairgrounds.

Tioga Recreation Area
Bryndlewood Gardens

3251 Horseshoe Lake Road
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Website

Located a few miles south of the Grand Rapids Mesabi Trail access point. Bryndlewood Gardens offers guided farm tours focusing on high tunnels and sustainable growing practices for vegetable and fruit production. Producing a huge variety of vegetables (leafy greens to tomatoes and eggplants), raspberries, blueberries, fresh chicken eggs, local cut flowers, and bedding plants in the spring. Kids are welcome; no pets please. Contact for a Visit: 1-2 weeks in advance via private message on Facebook (if just wanting to purchase produce, 2-3 days notice is sufficient). Amenities: Fresh drinking water onsite, outhouse available, and can accommodate electrical charging.

Bryndlewood Gardens
Green Heron Bed & Breakfast

2810 Meyers Bay Road
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-999-5795

Website

A cozy inn on the shores of Pokegama Lake, minutes from Grand Rapids & the Mesabi Trail. Small enough to tailor breakfast to your tastes & schedule; pre-arranged on-site massage available. Ground floor rooms, private baths & views of the lake. Easy lake access, non-motorized water craft available.

Green Heron Bed & Breakfast
Itasca County Fairgrounds – Campground

1336 Fairgrounds Road
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

218-326-6470

Website

Picturesque camping "under the pines" at the start of the Mesabi Trail. Amenities available: shower & restroom facilities, laundry, electrical hook-ups, dump station, fishing & swimming lake, walking or biking distance to downtown & restaurants.

Timberlake Lodge Hotel and Timberlake Restaurant

144 Southeast 17th Street
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

866-800-2200 or 218-326-2600

Website

Come out to the Timberlake Lodge for a relaxing evening after your ride. 84 spacious rooms, including extended stay suites, spa suites & family suites. Finish your evening with a drink and dinner at the Timberlake Restaurant, right on site, offering outdoor patio seating. Start your day with a complimentary hot breakfast.

Country Inn by Radisson

2601 So Hwy 169
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

800-456-4000 or 218-327-4960

Website

Located right off US Hwy 169, choose from 56 guest rooms and suites. Start your day with a complimentary "Be Our Guest Breakfast". Enjoy cookies & coffee in the lobby all day. Relax after your bike ride in our indoor pool & whirlpool. Free high-speed internet, dog friendly.

Funding Source

The Mesabi Trail™ has been funded in part by the LCCMR and the Minnesota Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund.