Forest History Center
Forest History Center
2609 County Road 76
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Science & Nature Museum
Forest History Center Description
History junkies, nature enthusiasts, and aspiring lumberjacks will love this interpretive center. Kids can watch an impressive (and to very sensitive viewers, possibly scary) multi-media presentation about a town lost to a forest fire. They can train to be a timber harvester using a state-of-the-art training simulator, or sit inside the cab of a real logging truck. Out in the woods at the recreated logging camp, costumed interpreters give visitors an authentic feeling for what it was like to work in a logging camp in the early 1900s.
Toddlers & Pre-K: Young kids may not love the multimedia movie, due to some loud sounds and a very realistic fire scene; but they probably will love sitting in and "driving" the logging truck while you look at the exhibits (the truck is centrally located and the room is small enough for you to keep a careful eye on your small driver). If all else fails to capture their interest, there's a toy area complete with Lincoln Logs and puppets of woodland creatures.
School-Age Kids: Kids this age will enjoy interacting with the costumed interpreters and imagining life as a turn-of-the-century lumberjack.
Pre-Teens & Teens: Techie teens will enjoy using the video-game-esque timber harvesting simulator, and adventurous sorts will love climbing the 100-foot fire tower.
- Kids might get tired. Getting from the interpretive center down to the forest camp is a bit of a walk, so plan for carrying or pushing easily-tired tots.
- Bring a jacket. This is especially true in the fall or spring. Also be sure your shoes are comfortable. The camp itself is in a clearing, so pack sunscreen and a water bottle, and consider applying bug spray to get your family through the woodsy hike without becoming mosquito food.
- Pack a picnic lunch. Even when the tour is over and you've had your fill of the interpretive center, it's worth taking a long walk through the gorgeous nature trails, which offer many views of the Mississippi River. Eat your lunch at the outdoor pavilion.
Just the Facts
Hours: June 1 - Labor Day: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 2-May 31 Visitors Center only: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Fees: Under $10
Recommended Time: 2 to 4 hours