Travelers along the North Shore’s Highway 61 in Cook County will soon have an improved rest stop available to them, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The Ray Berglund State Wayside, located at the Onion River, is undergoing significant improvements including the addition of public restroom facilities and visitor orientation facilities,
The Ray Berglund State Wayside was established in 1951 when a group of associates purchased the land as a memorial to their friend who died as the result of an industrial accident.
Over the years, donations from the R.R.W. and Florence Berglund Family Foundation have funded improvements to the wayside, but restroom facilities have been an unmet need.
“There has been a definite need for these improvements, but neither the DNR nor MnDOT had funding for restrooms at this location,” said Phil Leversedge, Tettegouche State Park manager. “The Berglund Family Foundation has been incredibly generous and the facilities will be a much welcomed amenity for highway travelers, bicyclists, hikers and anglers who use to site.”
The wayside is 53 acres in size and includes approximately 1,400 feet of Lake Superior Shoreline and about 1,800 feet of the Onion River.
In 2009, the Minnesota Department of Transportation reconstructed Highway 61 in the Onion River area, which included redesign and rebuilding the wayside’s parking area and construction of a section of the Gitchi Gami State trail – a paved multipurpose recreation trail – traversing along the Lake Superior shore through the wayside.
Previous improvements at the wayside included a stairway to connect the parking lot to the wayside, overlooks of Lake Superior and trail upgrades which were funded by the Foundation and the Lake Superior Coastal Resource program.
Construction at the site is expected to be completed by Dec. 31. The site will be available for public use in the spring.