Minnesota: Cook County

Minnesota’s far northeastern county is Cook County (pop. 5,176); it’s a triangle surrounded by Lake Superior on the southeast, Lake County on the west, and Ontario on the north.

It is named for a different Mr. Cook than the one in Illinois.

Cook County has the highest point in Minnesota – Eagle Mountain, elevation 2,301 feet, in Superior National Forest. There is a 3.5-mile trail from the trailhead to the summit.

View from the top of Eagle Mountain

The main road through Cook County is Minnesota Highway 61, which follows the shore of Lake Superior for 149 miles from Duluth to the Canadian border.

HIghway 61 in Minnesota was a U.S. highway until 1991.

The Superior Hiking Trail parallels Highway 61; its 275 miles are mainly on the ridgeline overlooking Lake Superior.

The county seat of Cook County is Grand Marais, which is French for “great marsh.” Grand Marais (pop. 1,351) is a popular entry point for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Grand Marais Harbor and Lake Superior

Several state parks are along Highway 61, including Cascade River and Temperance River.

Temperance River State Park

Near the Canadian border, on the Grand Portage Ojibwe Indian Reservation, is Grand Portage National Monument. It has a reconstructed trading post from the days of the fur trade on the Great Lakes.

Beaver pelt hat

The Grand Portage Lodge and Casino is also located on the reservation.


4 comments on “Minnesota: Cook County

  1. John Dodds says:

    I’d love to go canoing in the boundary waters!

  2. Parry Dodds says:

    I hitch hiked on the Gunflint Trail to see brother the Summer of ’34
    He was on a govt survey party..

  3. Mary Schlick says:

    The top hat was made from the hair scraped from the pelt and felted. A British fashion fad nearly emptied North America of those long-toothed underwater-swimming creatures who build such fine and not always welcome dams.

  4. Parry Dodds says:

    On Gunffint Trai I landed at a CCC CAMP at dinner time and stayed overnight on my way to join Bob on Land Survey party way out there. That was hitch hiking in the ’30s.

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