old61 Historic U.S. 61: Old Road at the Encampment River

Old Road at the Encampment River

Located: About 5.5 miles north of Two Harbors on State Hwy 61 between the Silver Creek and Lafayette Bluff Tunnels, Silver Creek Township, Lake County.

Historic Context: Part of the original North Shore Scenic Highway constructed in the 1920's.

Length: 0.50 miles (private).

Constructed: 1924

Bypassed: 1941, by construction of a new alignment and bridge over the Encampment RIver.

Also Part Of:

Status: Intact, now gravel. Marked as a private drive.

Access: Access at both ends is via Highway 61 (northbound side). The road is clearly marked as private.

More U.S. 61 Articles

North >> Gooseberry Falls Concourse

South >> Gitchi Gami Trail at Silver Creek Cliff

A private drive just south of the Encampment River is a remnant of the original north shore highway constructed in 1924. It was bypassed very early on by construction of a new grade a bit further away from Lake Superior in 1941, which also allowed for the replacement of the bridge over the Encampment River (the old bridge built in 1924 had been a standard 40 foot concrete girder bridge, now gone).

The road is easy to see from the current highway, but is now clearly marked as a private drive (probably to reduce the maintenance costs resulting from having a bunch of road geeks driving up and down it). It appears to have reverted to gravel (it had been paved with tar treated gravel in 1929 and with asphalt in 1937). It is otherwise remarkably intact, and similar in appearance to vintage photos of the north shore highway from the 1920's.


Photos - taken in April, 2010.

Looking north down the old road from Highway 61. Note the multiple "NO TRESSPASSING" signs. I begrudgingly respected their wishes (something about this bugged me - I don't remember the north shore feeling so....gated).


  1. MnDOT Construction Project Logs: Control Section 3805
  2. MnDOT Right-of-Way Map 30-68: TH 61 From Two Harbors to Beaver Bay.

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