old61 Historic U.S. 61: Birch Grove School Driveway

Birch Grove School Driveway

Located In: Tofte Township, Cook County, just south of the junction with Co Rd 24.

Length: 0.20 miles drivable, 0.10 miles walkable

Historic Context: Old north shore road (pre-development).

Bypassed: 1931

Also Part Of:

Status: 0.20 miles intact, 0.10 miles partially overgrown

Access: Southbound side of Hwy 61
Drivable Portion:
Road closed to through traffic 8 am - 4 pm.
South entrance at an unnamed road (at the Bluefin Bay resort sign). North entrance via Good Neighbor Hill Road.
Walkable section:
South end via Good Neighbor Hill Road, north end via Tofte Ranger Station driveway.

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The driveway in front of the Birch Grove School at Tofte was once part of the old north shore road. It was bypassed in 1931 by the construction of the first modern highway along the current alignment of Highway 61. The drivable portion of the road is still gravel, but now dead-ends on the east at Good Neighbor Hill Road. However, a partially overgrown section is still walkable between the dead-end and the Tofte Ranger's Station.




The old road as it appeared in the 1930's just after being bypassed. Note how the east end once lined up with what is now County Road 24.

Photos - taken in April, 2010.

Northbound at the south end of the old road as it crosses the Gitchi Gami Trail.

Northbound, approaching the school.

An old Superior National Forest ranger's cabin.

Looking southbound. Note the traffic barrier restricting traffic adjacent to the playground during school hours.

Northbound at the Birch Grove school.

Looking southbound at Good Neighbor Hill Road, where the drivable portion of the old highway dead-ends.

Looking southbound at the end of the walking path that uses some of the old road grade between the Tofte ranger station and Good Neighbor Hill Road.

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