Like the story of the Street Car itself, the Carlton area is rich in history. Explore our numerous historical, cultural and outdoor experiences for yourself to see why Carlton is one of Minnesota’s most popular vacation/recreation destinations.
Only a few miles from the Street Car, Jay Cooke State Park features miles of trails, picnic shelters, winter activities, a modern campground, and endless, wonderful vistas.
The famous Pennsylvania financier, Jay Cooke, generated funds and initiative for the construction of the Northern Pacific Railway, breaking ground in Carlton in 1870. Bearing his name, the 8,000 acre Jay Cooke State Park was founded in 1915 to protect the lower region of the St. Louis River, one of Minnesota’s most rugged and beautiful state parks. Early stone structures in the park (“shelters”) were built during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC also constructed the famous “Swinging Bridge” which spans an unusually turbulent section of the St. Louis River, one of only two suspension bridges in Minnesota State Parks. However, the natural beauty of the park is its greatest attraction. The St. Louis flows through a rock formation known as “The Thomson Formation,” bedrock nearly two billion years old. Visitors can enjoy interpretative tours on a variety of topics, guided by knowledgeable and entertaining State Park Conservation Officers (218-384-4610).
Carlton also boasts numerous historical sites. Before European settlement, the area was home to American Indian tribes which flourished in the river and lake-rich, pine-forested region. Notably, the Ojibwe Peoples called this region home, a proud tradition that still influences our county today. The Carlton County Historical Society, located in Cloquet (218-879-1938), is a great place to learn more about our area’s rich history, its people and events.
Area recreational activities abound and offer challenges in every season. Kayaking, rafting the St. Louis River with Superior White-Water Rafting in Carlton (218-384-4637), hiking, biking (Carlton Bike Rental, 218-384-4696), canoeing and fishing are just some summer activities enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Alpine and nordic skiing opportunities, as well as numerous summer activities, can be enjoyed at Spirit Mountain (218-628-2891) and Mont du Lac (218-626-3797). Of course, the many miles of Munger Trail provide great snowmobiling in our area (for a majority of the year!). Plus, with the Trail only yards from our back door, sledders can always enjoy a warm meal and refreshing beverage at the Street Car before heading back out on the sled. From beginner to expert, X-Country skiers enjoy the extensive, groomed trails of Jay Cooke State Park, as well.
The Carlton area also features numerous festivals and community events. Wrenshall celebrates yearly its brick-making history in a festive community event in its Brickyard Days the first weekend in August. Carlton Daze is a weekend celebration at the end of July, featuring a parade, food, sports, and plenty of opportunities to catch-up with friends—the Street Car is the perfect spot to enjoy this yearly celebration of Carlton history.
Theatre-goers can enjoy a live performance at the Encore Performing Arts Center and Gallery (218-878-0071), and seasonal and musical events at the Oldenburg House Bed and Breakfast (218-384-4835) and at the Historic Scott House (218-384-9005).
Whatever activity or interest brings you to the Carlton area, you can count on the Street Car as your destination to wind down, share stories, and catch-up to a great meal in an inviting setting!