Discover the Great River Road
Nothing is more American than the road trip. From Route 66 to California’s Route 1, all the way to Tennesee’s Tail of the Dragon, some roads call to people looking for a vehicular adventure.
And one of those roads passes right through the Northwest Metro.The Great River Road starts in northern Minnesota and winds all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, 3000 miles south. The section that runs from Dayton to Brooklyn Center has a number of gems worth exploring.
Religious History along West River Road
Starting in Dayton, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church is an iconic building on the west side of town. It’s been around since the turn of the century — that’s *last* century. Kelly Slavik of Dayton says her great grandpa helped dig the foundation back in 1904.
Just down-river from the Church is Cloquet Island park. Wild flora and fauna abound in this quiet riverside haven in the middle of suburbia.
Follow the river farther southeast, you’ll find the former Dunning School. It’s been around since Ulysses S. Grant was president. Built in 1876, it was the public schoolhouse in Champlin until 1947 when it became Township Hall. Though it was abandoned in 1971, it’s since been restored and is maintained by the Champlin Historical Society.
Those and many more sights await the traveler exploring the Great River Road in the Northwest Metro. Check back next week for part 2, where we explore the Road’s journey through the Brooklyns.