Attractions, Activites & Tours
White Oak Casino in Deer River, MN
White Oak Casino is the newest of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe's three MN casinos. For more information visit www.whiteoakcasino.com
Bowling and Miniature Golf
Midway Bowling & Mini Golf located on Highway 169 North in Grand Rapids, Minnesota has bowling, a lounge, miniature golf course and batting cages. Fun for the whole family! Call 218-326-5950 for hours or for more information.
Rasley’s BlueBerry Bowl located just north of Deer River, Minnesota on Highway 6 has 10 bowling lanes, the Lucky Strike Lounge and a large dining room. For hours and more information call 218-246-8048.
Blackduck Bowling Lanes located on Summit Avenue in Blackduck, MN is open to the public. Call them at 218-835-6620 for more information.
Blandin Paper Company Tours
UPM-Kymmene purchased the Blandin Paper Mill in October of 1997, making it the first North American mill for UPM-Kymmene. Blandin was founded in 1901 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and employs about 500 people. Making it one of northern Minnesota’s largest employers, with approximately 2,000 more jobs being indirectly attributable to the company’s local operations.
Blandin’s annual paper making capacity is about 380,000 short tons, all paper manufactured by Blandin on their two paper machines is lightweight coated (LWC). Named for its clay-based, glossy coating that makes it ideal as a publication paper.
Blandin currently owns and manages 194,000 acres of Forest land. Blandin Paper Mill is well known for its strong record on quality management, forestry, safety and environmental fronts. In 1999, Blandin earned Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification in acknowledgement of progressive environmental practices on its forest lands.
Beginning the first Wednesday in June through the Friday before Labor Day, free guided tours of the mill are offered. From 10 am to 3 pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays tour guides escort groups of up to 10 people through the mill and for a viewing of a video of the papermaking process.
Blandin’s does ask the following from their tour guests:
No children under the age of 12
No open-toed shoes
Also, please keep in mind that the ability to climb stairs is required and that the mill is very warm so appropriate attire should be considered for the tour.
Strawberry and Blueberry Picking
June and July in northern Minnesota mean succulent strawberries and blueberries. Pick your own or buy them fresh-picked!
Blueberry Meadows - 34471 Eight Mile Road, Grand Rapids, MN, 55744. Phone: 218-326-0671. Directions: travel south of Grand Rapids on Highway 169 to Eight Mile Road. Pick-your-own blueberries beginning the last week in July.
Lavalier’s Berry Patch - County Road 441, Grand Rapids, MN. Phone: 218-327-9199. Directions: travel Highway 2 East to SE 7th Avenue; turn right onto SE 7th Avenue, and then take a left onto River Road; follow River Road to County Road 441; turn left onto County Road 441. Pick-your-own and pre-picked strawberries usually available around July 1 and blueberries around Aug. 1. Call for current prices and to place orders for pre-picked berries.
Lunemann’s Luney Berries Strawberry Farm - From Grand Rapids: 9 miles on County Road 63, left hand side of the road. From Deer River: East on Hwy. 2. Turn right on County Road 11 (Deer River Shortcut) to Hwy. 6. South on Hwy. 6 to County Road 63. Left on 63 for about mile and a half. Watch for Signs. No Appointment Necessary! Picking begins in July.
Hill Annex Mine
Discover the history of mining on the Iron Range, vintage machinery and the beauty of scenic overlooks at the Hill Annex Mine, the world’s largest open pit mine that is open for tours.
Located in Calumet, Minnesota, just off Hwy. 169 (halfway between Grand Rapids and Hibbing) the history of Hill Annex dates back more than a century. The land was originally leased for mineral exploration in 1892. It was leased again in 1900 for a period of more than 50 years. Mining began in 1913 and continued until 1978. Hill Annex Mine produced 63 million tons of iron ore during its 60 years of operation. Throughout that time mining technology changed drastically. In the early days, horses provided the power. Eventually steam and then electrical power replaced the horse-drawn equipment. When the low-grade ore finally played out, the mine was sold to the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (now Iron Range Resources) for $1. The IRRRB developed the tour route and the clubhouse into a museum/visitor center, then gave tours of the mine for 10 years. In 1988, the State Legislature made Hill Annex Mine a state park. It is now a national historic site.
Scarce iron deposits may be left behind, but abundant wildlife and vegetation now fill the scarred landscape. The park is a release site for peregrine falcons and home to bald eagles, bear, timber wolves, deer and other wildlife. Trees and plant life have come back to vegetate the area as well.
Two different 1½ hour tours conducted at the mine illuminate the history of open pit mining on the Iron Range. The Mine Bus Tour takes visitors (in a fully air conditioned and handicap accessible bus) along scenic overlooks stopping for up close viewing of vintage mining machinery and buildings. The Fossil Hunting Tour takes visitors to the Cretaceous Ore Pile to hunt for 86 million year old sea fossils.
Tours are conducted, tour times may be subject to change; please call for current hours. For more information call 218-247-7215.
White Oak Society, Inc.
The year is 1798 and the fur trade is booming in the upper reaches of the Mississippi River in the northwoods of Minnesota. Minnesota will not actually become a state for another 60 years but today the Norwesters, gentlemen, traders and Anishanabe are all gathered for the annual rendezvous at the White Oak Fur Post.
Members of the White Oak Society operate the White Oak Fur Post. The White Oak Society provides “living history” interpretations of the fur trade era within the Great Lakes region. Along with the White Oak Fur Post, the society operates The White Oak Learning Centre which houses The Great Hall, The Rick Balen Library, The White Oak Society Office. The Learning Centre also offers the opportunity for a variety of educational programs for youths and adults alike which supports their goal to expand today’s horizons with a “hands on” experience of the past.
Volunteers and a part-time staff of interpreters, portray authentic characters of the fur trade at the White Oak Fur Post and in communities throughout the region. By portraying the lifestyle of the people from the era, the food they eat, the clothes they wear and the language they speak, White Oak Society members help visitors learn about the actual working and living conditions of the time period.
The 18th Century Fur Post comes alive each year during the first full weekend of August when the White Oak Society sponsors the White Oak Rendezvous and Festival. The event includes a participant family camp that allows reenactors and the public an opportunity to relive the vibrancy and ambiance of a thriving Northwest Company Fur Post.
The White Oak Fur Post is located north of Deer River, Minnesota on Highway 6 North. For more information call 218-246-9393.