Monday, May 30, 2016

Search for the Grunwald Access

Once Noelle and I knew we would be moving to International Falls, Noelle requested information from the Chamber of Commerce. A few weeks later a packet of information arrived, including a glossy map of recreational opportunities in Koochiching County. As I perused the map, one item stood out. It was a canoe landing on the Big Fork River called the Grunwald Access.
Grunwald Access on map
Since our last name is Grunwald, I knew then that when we arrived in northern Minnesota we would have to find the Grunwald Access. Today was the day of our search.

We started the day's adventure with a stop in Ranier to have our picture taken with Big Vic the Voyageur.
Big Vic
After that we moved through town and finally started to make our way south at Pelland,. We drove US 71 down to Big Falls where we stopped to check out the Big Falls of the Big Fork River.
Big Falls
looking at Big Falls
another shot of Big Falls
Big Falls and trestle
honeysuckle
We also had a picnic in the pleasant park there before turning our attention to the Grunwald Access. One would think that since the canoe landing is marked prominently on our map, that it would be easy to find. We turned off onto Highway 6 and drove past the area where we believed the landing should be three times without any success. We even drove down an old two track road until we reached a gate with "No Trespassing" signs. A visit to the Grunwald Access was just not in the cards for today.

Unsuccessful at our attempt to visit the Grunwald Access, we moved on to the Little American Falls. We followed a set of wooden stairs out of a picnic area and down to a viewing spot overlooking the Big Fork River.
Little American Falls
On the way back to the car, Sierra found some dandelions in seed and a few wishes.
blowing wish 2
After our quick visit to Little American Falls we moved south out of Koochiching County and into Itasca County and the small town of Effie. The first thing to greet us in Effie was this clever piece of of political folk art.
political statement art
No matter what your political persuasion, I think we all feel the way the creator of this piece felt at some times. Effie must be known for its mosquitoes, because mosquito sculptures were all around town on the cafe and near the welcome sign as well.
big mosquito
Nothing like a mosquito sculpture to make the tourists feel welcome!

We got gas and ice cream in Effie
ice cream
before moving on east, and then north. We quickly stopped to admire the Church of Saints Peter and Paul.
St Peter and Paul Russian Church
It's a Russian Orthodox church built from 1915 through 1918 by Russian immigrant homesteaders. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From the church we moved east into St. Louis County and over to Orr, where we walked the short Bog Walk. We then headed north through my town of Ericsburg
Ericsburg
and then home. It was a long day and even though we were unsuccessful in finding the Grunwald Access, it was nice to see more of the area in which we now live.   

3 comments:

luksky said...

Looks like y'all are making a dent in exploring your new area.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever find the Grunwald Access? I also was looking for it this weekend but wasn't able to find it either. Were you able to find out any more information on if it still exists?

Eric and Noelle Grunwald said...

Never did find it. I may head into Big Falls to ask at Rivers North Outfitters if it still exists.