Pine County (pop. 29,750) is south of Carlton County on Interstate 35, between Duluth and the Twin Cities. It was named for the white pine forests that once flourished in the area.
The county seat, Pine City (pop. 3,123), is at the southern end of the county – unlike most county seats, which are more centrally located.
Just outside Pine City is the North West Company Fur Post, a reconstructed fur-trading post. It was first established in 1804.
The St. Croix River forms the eastern border of Pine County (with Wisconsin) in the southern part of the county. St. Croix State Park is Minnesota’s largest state park.
The rapids of the Kettle River in Banning State Park are popular with canoeists and kayakers.
The town of Hinckley (pop. 1,800) was the center of the Great Hinckley Fire in 1894. The forest fire killed at least 400 people and burned more than 200,000 acres. Today, the Hinckley Fire Museum is in the former Northern Pacific depot.
In the past, Pine County was a center of rutabaga production. The town of Askov (pop. 354), the former Rutabaga Capital of the World, still has an annual Rutabaga Festival.
In the town of Willow River (pop. 415), the Willow River Rutabaga Warehouse and Processing Plant (1935) is on the National Register of Historic Places.
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