9:00 - 0.1 miles / - 9:00
Grand Rapids began as an establishment of the nearby Northwest
Company Trading Post and soon thrived as a lumbering area with
several logging camps and a landing point for steamboats coming up
the Mississippi. Logging in Grand Rapids declined in the early
1900s, but paper manufacturing continues today at plants such as
Blandin Paper Company, which offers tours. Nearby, travelers can
visit the Forest History Center which recreates life as it would
have been in a 1900s' logging camp. Today Grand Rapids is a pleasant
stop and the perfect community to set up camp while exploring the outdoor recreational activities of the area.
9:30 - 13.5 miles / 27 minutes - 9:57
Birch Stand at Pughole Lake
From the breath of dawn through the blaze of dusk, you'll encounter a spectacular sunrise or sunset at the Birch Stand at Pughole Lake. From the silent flutter of butterflies to the squeal of wood ducks, from the graceful turn of deer to the busy work of raccoons and beavers, this place of peace is also bustling.
Mother Nature paints a fabulous picture here - from the crisp greens of spring and summer to the brilliant golds of fall and the frozen whites of winter.
10:42 - 5.4 miles / 10 minutes - 10:53
Day Lake CCC Camp
An important chapter of American history took place here. At the
height of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt
formed the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to provide jobs and to
restore the environment.
Investigate the remnants of the Day Lake CCC Camp on both sides
of the byway. On the west side are the remains of a concrete
shower. East of the highway and uphill, discover an outdoor stone
stairway and a chimney-remnants of the Camp Mess Hall. See how many
old camp foundations and sites you can find.
Also located here is the US Forest Service Suomi Hills
Recreation Area with 10 square miles of recreation. Suomi is the
Finnish word for Finland. Scandinavians joined many Western
European immigrants in creating a new life on the Edge.
11:13 - 19.8 miles / 39 minutes - 11:52
The first resident of Bigfork had the makings of legend, even in his own time. Damase "Uncle Tom" Neveaux arrived here in approximately 1887. Known for his hospitality, Neveaux was affectionately dubbed "uncle." The French name Damase translates to Tom. Uncle Tom wanted to make his guests comfortable for dinner, so he called all his meat dishes "chicken." In truth, most of the meals were made of whatever local game he could capture, minus the fur or feather.
Like most small towns in the region, the logging industry drew people and businesses to support the loggers, mills and the railroad. Log harvesting remains important today as do jobs supporting outdoor recreation and tourism.
12:07 - 6.7 miles / 13 minutes - 12:21