Nevis, Dorset, Lake George

Nevis

Nevis Largest LutefiskNevis is often celebrated as the gateway to the Paul Bunyan Forest, where hikers and campers can enjoy more than 40,000 acres of woodland. Nevis is 10 miles east of Park Rapids and five miles west of Akeley. It claims to be home of the world’s largest tiger muskie – a statue of such can be found if you drive up the main street to the park. The town is located along the east end of Lake Belle Taine. A bison ranch, an emu ranch and golf courses are not too far from Nevis.

State forest trails are signed for off-highway vehicle travel, and the famous 27-mile Heartland Trail runs through Nevis. It is kind of the midpoint of the Walker to Park Rapids portion of that trail. The community offers several public recreational facilities, such as a public beach, park, dock, boat ramp and public access to Lake Belle Taine. The quaint village is home to several restaurants, small shops, a grocery and of course the trademark – the muskie in the center of town that reigns and watches over all festivities and activity.
Nevis will celebrate its annual Muskie Days celebration July 19-20. Geared to young and old, the event features parades, food, games and music. A Music Festival also coincides with Muskie Days and will feature a variety of bands.

Nevis Pig Races
The Nevis Pig Races are becoming a destination for many and the event continues to grow. Thousands flood to Nevis for the event that features young piglets heading out with the bell to gain fame – or infamy – for their sponsors. The pigs are trained by Gary and Glenda Dauer, of Leader. This year is sure to bring squeals of joy once again to those who attend. So make sure to mark July 7 on your calendar and plan a trip to Nevis to see the pigs.

Northwoods Triathlon
Nevis’ Northwoods Triathlon sets off across north woods lakes and trails Saturday, Aug. 10. The event sends contestants into the waters of Lake Belle Taine for a quarter-mile swim, over 14 miles of scenic countryside aboard a bike and down the Heartland Trail on a 5k run.

Uff Da Days
Nevis will be celebrating the annual Uff Da Days, a Scandinavian celebration, held annually on the last Friday and Saturday of August, this year the 30th and 31st. As always, there will be lots of family fun, food, and entertainment. Activities include bingo, a horseshoe tournament, a lutefisk, Swedish meatball, and homemade lefse dinner, kids games, contests, prizes, a flea market, vendors, a beer garden, a parade, lots of local music and entertainment for the entire family and the “Continuing Saga of Ole & Lena,” the fifth in a series, performed by the very unprofessional Uff Da Day players. Ya, sure … you betcha!

Parks
City Beach & Park, Highway 34 to Nevis, north on CSAH 2 and west on Beach Road. Playground equipment, picnic tables, swimming beach and restrooms.
Muskie Park, Highway 34 to Nevis, north three blocks on CSAH 2. Picnic tables, pavilion and playground as well as a Veterans Memorial with a lighted flagpole, flowerbed, honorarium benches and walkway.

Dorset

Taste of DorsetDorset, a town with just a handful of people, boasts being “The Restaurant Capitol” of the world. It is located about six miles east of Park Rapids or six miles west of Nevis on Hwy 34 and about a mile north on state Hwy 226.

Many travelers bicycle to Dorset by starting on the Heartland Trail in Park Rapids, Nevis, Akeley or Walker. Some start out at the trailhead in Dorset. There is plenty of blacktopped parking, a playground to keep the kids amused while parents can relax at the rest area, which includes a bench, toilets, picnic tables and water from a hand pump. Plus, the trailhead is right next to downtown Dorset for easy access to restaurants and shopping.
Streets are lined with boardwalks, casual porch swings and flower baskets. The shops are filled with special items, from books to unique decor and antiques – the kind of stuff that turns houses into homes.

Festival of Authors
A Festival of Authors will be June 22 in Dorset. The event features signings by local authors and many other special events by the shops. Enjoy many authors from the area who have published material locally as well as nationally. The event continues to grow and attracts people interested in meeting regional authors to chat or have a book signed. Others, from painters to carvers, are also part of the event and share their talents.

Taste of Dorset
The annual “Taste of Dorset” feeding frenzy is held the first Sunday of August – Aug. 4 this year from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Folks walk the main street of Dorset while nibbling all kinds of tasty cuisine from outdoor vendors.

Mayor of Dorset
Check the website for how to become the Mayor of Dorset at www.dorsetmn.com. This “cashroots” political process involves an annual drawing and names can be thrown into the hopper for a buck-a-pop.

Lake George

The community of Lake George is perhaps known best for its blueberry festival and the lake is known for great fishing. It is located six miles east of Itasca State Park on 71/200 towards the Kabekona Corner.

The lake itself is a spring fed lake and a great place to catch pan fish, walleye, northern pike and bass. The water is clear, clean and inviting. The Jack Weinmann Family Memorial Guest Quarters at St. Francis Lodge on Lake George opened in 2010. The retreat center for nuns started out as a vision and prayer of Sal Di Leo, a man raised by Catholic nuns in the 1960s.

Each summer, the small town hosts a three-day festival that is focused on blueberries. This year it’s scheduled for July 26-28. The festival includes a blueberry pancake breakfast, a blueberry ball and a blueberry square dance. There is an educational booth on blueberries. A pie sale, a pig roast and the Firemen’s Bean Feed are also great fun. There is a quilt show, an arts and crafts show and a flea market.

The Lake George Community Park is on Payne Lake. Swimming beach, baseball field, picnic tables, picnic shelter, playground, toilets and public access.

Find full event listings and more at mndestinations.com.

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