The Gunflint Trail receives National Scenic Byway designation on October 16, 2009. Known for winding its way through the Boundary Waters Wilderness east-west corridor, the Gunflint Trail is a historic roadway, dating back to the 1800’s with origins as a footpath for Native Americans and geological surveyors. The Gunflint Trail is also known as Cook County #12, and is a paved, 57-mile long two-lane roadway, which begins at Grand Marais, Minnesota, and ends at Saganaga Lake on the Canadian border. The modern roadway serves 22 resorts, canoe outfitters, campgrounds, and bed and breakfasts, and
numerous private residents who make the area their home.
“I know my guests start reconnecting with the woods as they drive up the Gunflint Trail,” states Nancy Seaton, Hungry Jack Outfitters. “It’s an invitation to be part of our neighborhood; a natural neighborhood that flows through the boreal forest of Northeastern Minnesota; a neighborhood that’s home to moose, wolves and loons; a neighborhood that encourages the visitor to enter a calmer time away from the hectic modern demands; a place to reconnect with the natural environment and recharge.”
For visitors who enjoy vacations centered on scenic byways, designation of the Gunflint Trail as a National Scenic Byway provides a natural route transition from the adjoining North Shore Drive, which has the National Scenic Byway designation of All American Road.
Pursuit of National Scenic Byway designation of the Gunflint Trail was primarily motivated by the dedication of local business owners and residents to forever preserve this historic and scenic roadway for current and future generations, while allowing a glimpse into the past of the forests, lakes, and geological formations which grace northeastern Minnesota.
“The National Scenic Byways Program is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. The program is a grass-roots collaborative effort established to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the United States. Since 1992, the National Scenic Byways Program has funded 2,672 projects for state and nationally designated byway routes in 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation recognizes certain roads as All-American Roads or National Scenic Byways based on one or more archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities.” (Source: http://www.byways.org/learn/)
For more information about the Gunflint Trail National Scenic Byway, please visit http://gunflint-trail.com/ or http://gunflint-trail.com/press/index.html .