Starting on Monday, August 3, travelers to the North Shore found themselves on a new Highway 61 detour starting just outside of Cascade River State Park. This detour leads drivers along County Road 7, inland from Lake Superior, until County Road 7 meets back up with Highway 61 on the other side of Grand Marias. Unfortunately, this detour creates a bi-pass around the city of Grand Marais, including our amazing downtown businesses. You can see the plan on the MDOT Project Website.

But, worry not! While the Highway 61 detour diverts traffic away from the downtown area, access to downtown and local businesses is still available! And, if you are staying at lodging in Grand Marais, you can get there!

The detour will continue until at least the end of August. During this time, try these routes to get where you are going:
  • -Turn onto Broadway (by the Cook County School) and continue down past the Holiday Gas Station and through the stoplight to access the rest of our downtown businesses. Parking may be limited due to the loss of parking on Highway 61 in certain areas, so plan ahead, be patient, and be kind.
  • -Turn onto Gunflint Trail to access businesses east of town (Gene’s Grocery Store, Subway, My Sister’s Place).
  • For our guests staying at Northern Lights Cottage in the month of Augst: Take the County Road 7 detour, turn right onto 8th Ave W, and then turn right to get back onto Highway 61. Your rental is the fourth driveway on the right after turn back onto Highway 61.
  • For the rest of our guests staying in a home located within Grand Marais City Limits: You should be able to access the street your property is on from the County Road 7 detour. Just find your address in your Guest Portal and look for that street (i.e. 8th Ave W, 7th Ave W, etc.).
A few things to note about the County Road 7 Detour…
  • -This road goes through several residential neighborhoods and a school zone. Drive carefully!
  • -Follow the speed limit! Between 3rd Ave W and Gunflint Trail, you are in a school zone. The speed in that entire zone is 20 mph. You also pass the Sheriff’s Department building on that road.
  • -Work is happening on County Road 7 and in various other places that may require you to slow down or stop even on the detour. Stay aware!
  • -This road is heavily utilized by walkers, joggers, and bikers. Please keep an eye out for them, too!
  • -Expect delays and schedule your travels accordingly. It will take longer to get through Grand Marais than usual.

Construction will continue through the summer of 2021. So this isn’t the last detour we’ll be telling you about. Stay tuned, we will update the blog as things changed so that you can prepare for your trip to the North Shore.

For more information check out this article on Boreal Community Media.