- 28 miles (45 km)
- 45 minutes
Journey through time to the headwaters of the Mississippi River as you travel the Scenic Highway through the Chippewa National Forest. Forests of pine and aspen are interspersed with large open vistas of wetlands, lakes, and river systems that will keep your interest as you travel along. With all this water come many chances to catch a glimpse of wildlife that have thrived here for centuries, such as beaver, great blue heron, bald eagle, and the common loon.
The natural attractions and bountiful wildlife have drawn human civilization for thousands of years as evidenced by the remains of a Paleolithic camp excavated near Knutson Dam or the historic Civilian Conservation Corps Camp on Lake Rabideau. There are more than a dozen resorts and businesses that cater to guests. Resorts range from rustic to modern and have cabins as well as sites for tents and recreational vehicles. Several campgrounds are also located near the highway. No matter where you stay, you'll be able to relax and enjoy breathtaking views of our area lakes and rivers.
Enjoy biking on the new Me-gi-zi bike trail with views of towering pines along Cass Lake and Pike Bay or walk along one of Cass Lake's sandy beaches. The cities of Cass Lake and Blackduck are also full of exciting things to do. Attend one of many festivals that occur year-round or pick up a memento of your trip at one of the local shops or visitor centers.
From the oldest pine to the most recent wave, the views and opportunities near Scenic Highway encompass millennia of natural and human history.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
Camp Rabideau (MN)
Constructed for use by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Camp Rabideau preserves the history of the New Deal.
Established in 1908, the Chippewa National Forest was the first east of the Mississippi River. The forest encompasses 1.6 million acres of forest and lakes. In fact, there are over 1,300 lakes in the Chippewa National Forest. Wildlife is abundant and so are opportunities for finding them. Take time to explore this beautiful area and enjoy the many outdoor activities that are available on the forest. It may also be helpful to know about some of the places to look for in the Chippewa National Forest. Check the Natural Qualities of the Chippewa National Forest for a list of places to explore.
Star Island Campground (MN)
Named for its shape and accessible only by canoe, Star Island offers camping, hiking, and Native American History dating back to 500 AD.
From one of the many lake access sites along the byway, canoe across Cass Lake towards Star Island.