If you are planning a road trip from Minneapolis to Duluth, don’t rush it: there are plenty of interesting places along the way where you can stretch your legs, see and learn something new, and grab a bite to eat. Here are a few places to visit on your way to Duluth.
The Wildlife Science Center is located in Stacy, which is about an hour’s drive from Minneapolis. Founded in 1976 as a research project to study the behavior of a captive population of gray wolves, this center has since become world-renowned for its expertise on wolves. Not only does the Wildlife Science Center protect and conserve wildlife, but it also strives to educate the public and expose people to wild animals.
On Saturdays, the center hosts public tours between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., so you can learn about and get acquainted with, wolves, black bears, raptors, and other animals. Reservations are not required.
Snake River Fur Post is located in Pine City, which is roughly halfway between Minneapolis and Duluth. This interesting museum is bound to be a fun experience for the whole family. At the Visitor Center, you can learn about the history of the 19th-century fur trade. This big hall is filled with images and interactive exhibits, such as a 24-foot birch canoe and the merchandise it carried, a “London hat shop” where you can try on fashionable hats made from beaver felt, and a language station where you can learn some phrases in French and Ojibwe.
If you want a deeper understanding of how the European traders, the indigenous people of the region, and the voyageurs worked and lived together, take a 40-minute guided tour. The walk starts at an Obijwe encampment and continues along a path that leads to a reconstructed fur post. All along the way, costumed interpreters interact with guests, informing them about the daily activities that took place at the post. There are also different walking trails available if you feel like exploring the woods and the Snake River.
If you feel like making a pit stop along the way and grabbing something to eat, then TJ’s Country Corner, located about 30 miles from Duluth, is just the place. At this old-style country store, you can refuel while enjoying some of the owner’s delicious homemade sausages, such as potato sausage, traditional bratwurst, wienerwurst, or wild rice wurst.
TJ’s is situated along the Willard Munger State Trail, so you can enjoy your wurst in a peaceful, beautiful space. If you prefer to eat outside the car — especially if you bought the kids some ice cream — a covered picnic space is available.
As they say: it is not about the destination — the journey is where the fun lies! So, next time you take a road trip from Minneapolis to Duluth, do not rush to get there. Take your time, and enjoy the interesting sites along the way.