Scenic Drives In Cook County

When We Say “Getting Here is Half the Fun,” We Mean It!

There are so many things to see and do in Cook County, MN you’ll want to make the most of every minute. Visit Cook County is a great place to find road trip ideas, like our national scenic byways and North Shore Scenic Drive.

National Scenic Byways

Cook County, Minnesota has two National Scenic Byways – roads recognized nationally for their scenery and significance. They are the North Shore Scenic Drive (an All-American Road) and the Gunflint Trail National Scenic Byway.

North Shore Scenic Drive

You cannot get to Cook County without driving along renowned Highway 61. Beginning in Duluth and winding along Lake Superior’s rugged North Shore to Grand Portage, this road offers stunning scenery at every turn. Lighthouses, waterfalls, and several state parks are among its many allures.

For more information, visit the National Scenic Byway website’s North Shore Scenic Drive section.

Gunflint Trail National Scenic Byway

The Gunflint Trail National Scenic Byway (Trail) is a two-lane paved road. It meanders from the north shore of Lake Superior through 57 miles of beautiful boreal forest and glacier-dug lakes to the banks of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) at Saganaga Lake.

The Trail and surrounding area have a rich history that includes fur trading (this is voyageur country), Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps, and colorful pioneers.

The Gunflint Trail National Scenic Byway is famous for moose sightings and for birding. In fact, the entire Superior National Forest is designated as a Globally Important Birding Area by the American Birding Conservancy.

The Laurentian Divide — the continental divide for water flowage — crosses the Trail. You can hike over some of the oldest exposed rock on Earth.

Discover More Scenic Drives

Fall Color Routes

One of the most popular autumn activities on the North Shore of Lake Superior is to go on a fall color drive. Cook County has dozens of routes that will take you from the North Shore Scenic Drive to the end of the Gunflint…

Northern Lights Driving Route

With the help of local photographer, Bryan Hansel, we have created a comprehensive list of some of the best places to view the northern lights in Cook County, MN.    


The quintessential summertime activity is picnicking in a scenic location. Fortunately for you, the North Shore of Lake Superior and Gunflint Trail are chock full of incredible picnic spots!

Moose Viewing Tour

Moose are Minnesota’s largest animal, weighing 800-900 pounds, or about as much as four or five full-grown deer. The word “moose” is an Algonquin word meaning “twig-eater,” and indeed this mammal eats a massive…

Special Offers

hot deals

Don’t just visit Cook County. Experience it like a pro with the hottest deals in the state. We’ve worked with our local vendors, artisans and owners to curate the best prices and most unique packages for our out-of-town visitors. Check out our hot deals today.