Take The Scenic Route
The Superior National Forest Scenic Byway is one of Minnesota’s 22 scenic byways. It’s serene. In fact, it probably ranks right up there with the least-traveled, making it a relaxed experience from start to finish. If you’ve ever thought of connecting your Iron Range trip to the North Shore of Lake Superior (and you should!), the Superior National Forest Scenic Byway makes it easy.
Motorcyclists and those just wishing to take in scenery as they drive along will enjoy a circle tour. Begin on the Iron Range in Aurora, pass through Hoyt Lakes, and continue 61 miles east to Silver Bay. Heading north for just a short spell, you can connect with Hwy 1 in Illgen City and head north west for 62 miles up to Ely. From there, get on Hwy 169 to Tower, where you’ll drive 23 miles south to end in Aurora.
Along the way, there are places you’ll want to stop. Here are some of our favorites!
Skibo Vista: A view from a former US Forest Service fire tower site, with interpretive panels and images. Located just outside of Hoyt Lakes.
Tiomi School: A 109-year-old schoolhouse in Brimson built to serve Finnish immigrant families that settled here.
Illgen Falls: A short hike from a parking area just off Hwy 1.
St Urho Statue: The town of Finland along Hwy 1 pays homage to that made-up Finnish saint, Urho with a wood carved statue and great selfie spot.
International Wolf Center: Ely’s own museum dedicated to the history and mystery of timberwolves (aka the gray wolf). Visit the museum and the site’s very own wolf pack.
Soudan Underground Mine State Park: As of May 15th, the underground mine is closed due to repairs. However, an above-ground tour is fun and interesting, and offered on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Nelimark Homestead Museum: Open Thursday-Saturday in Embarrass, and starting point for the Heritage Homestead Tours. Stop in for Finnish baked goods and a Finnish language lesson. You will find this delightful site on Hwy 135 heading south from Tower.
Contact us today for a free Byway map and help planning your trip on and around this scenic route. 218-749-8161