For access to the Mesabi TrailTM 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.
The city of Grand Rapids, a 1 1/2 hour drive west from Duluth, has a population of 8,000 and is located on the Mississippi River, which runs through the heart of the town. The Blandin Paper Mill, the major industry, is located here. The longest trail bridge in Minnesota begins in Veteran's Memorial Park and crosses the river to Oakland Park. There are seven lakes within city limits and three of them (Crystal, Forest, and Hale) have public access beaches and boat launch areas. Downtown shoppers will enjoy the Central School shopping complex and the Central Square Mall.
Grand Rapids native Judy Garland is honored with a museum and a children's museum. Grand Rapids is also home to the Forest History Center, a 1900 Logging Camp where costumed guides recreate life in the woods at the turn of the century. On the first full weekend in August, Tall Timber Days takes place. This is an open air festival, complete with sawing contests, demonstrations and booths featuring crafts and ethnic foods. The Mississippi Melody Showboat is held during the last three weekends in July on the river's shore. During the last weekend in July, vintage cars are shown and traded at the Car Show and Swap Meet. The Itasca County Fair takes place each year in mid-August.Camping at the Fairgrounds sites are available from May - September on a first come basis. No reservations are required. Amenities on site are: Bathroom and Shower, Laundry, Electrical hookups, dump station, water, fire rings, picnic tables. Check with caretaker upon arrival. Tents $15, Tents with electric $20, Camper - no electric $25, Camper - with electric $30, Large units requiring 50 amp plugs $35. Special rates available for long term stay. To contact the Fairgrounds (218) 326-6470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.