Take the afternoon to drive and enjoy the 47-mile Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway that meanders from Grand Rapids north to Effie on Minnesota’s State Highway 38. The region is studded with lakes and thick with aspen, birch, pine and maple trees that pop with color in the fall season. The road winds around 36 lakes, and through state and national forest. The Chippewa National Forest is home to the largest population of bald eagles in the continental United States. Keep your eyes on the sky to see them soaring above the byway. White tailed deer also are known to graze in the fresh grasses along the side of the road.
Some of the best wildlife viewing takes place when you head off on a back road leading to one of the 1,000 lakes in the county. Or, get out of the car and go for a hike or a ski because there are several trails located just off the road.
In the byway communities of Grand Rapids, Marcell, Bigfork and Effie you can find shopping and the essential travel services you’ll likely need including unique gift and antique shops, restaurants, fuel, food, lodging, public telephones, restrooms and emergency services.
The center for information concerning the Edge of the Wilderness is the Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center (former Marcell Ranger Station) located approximately 30 miles north of Grand Rapids. The Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center located in Marcell, MN is a visitor & environmental education center that is home to a variety of interpretive displays & exhibits about the Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway and surrounding area. It includes area information, gift shop, environmental education room, outdoor amphitheater, interpretive trail fishing/wildlife-watching pier, and offers FREE naturalist programs throughout the summer. Summer hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 7 days a week. The Center is located at 49554 State Highway 38, Marcell, MN 56657. For more information call 218-832-3161 or visit edgeofthewildernessdiscoverycenter