Thursday, September 26, 2013

Detroit Lakes Overlook - Scenic Overlook of Big Detroit Lake

Detroit Lakes
US Highway 10

This roadside structure is on the north shore of Detroit Lake on a frontage road off Highway 10. It offers a scenic view of the lake. The two main structures are the center bay with three informational plaques and the long wall between the frontage road and Highway 10.

The stone on the right has a brief history of Detroit Lakes.

Geological Marker

The Lakes of Minnesota
The great ice ages that began about 1 million years ago, were characterized by the advance and the recession of huge ice sheets over vast areas of North America. These continental glaciers, originating in Canada, moved southward, scraping up mantle rock and soil which was dropped in central and southern Minnesota to produce plains and irregular belts of hills. Most of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes lie in such deposits and trace their origins directly or indirectly to glaciation.
"In the rugged surface that extends from Detroit Lakes to Alexandria, where glacial action was particularly vigorous, the lakes are irregular in outline. Elsewhere they may be round, long, wide, narrow, big, little, sun-warmed or ice-cold; shallow and sandy or rocky and deep; mucky and weed-fringed or clear as crystal; with or without islands, inlets, bays, sand bars, beaches, or cliffs. Taken together they give Minnesota a water area greater than that of any other state. Many exhibit landscapes of unusual beauty, but all, regardless of location or character, add to Minnesota's most valuable mineral resource -- Water." Erected by the
Geological Society of Minnesota, in cooperation with the Department of Highways, State of Minnesota 1960.

The Woods Trail Marker
Part of the Red River Ox Cart Trail
The Woods Trail 
Through woodland and prairie, along river banks through sloughs, the mixed-blood American and Canadian buffalo hunters, called metis, blazed trails with their oxen and squeaky-wheeled wooden carts. They carried buffalo robes and pemmican from their homes along the Red River of the north to market in St. Paul, and then carried supplies back again. The heyday of the complex network of Red River trails lasted from about 1820 to 1872, when the first railroad reached the Red River at Moorhead. "The northern most of the Red River trails ran through forested stretches along a portion of the 400-mile route. It was known as the Woods Trail and passed right through this location. The name was an exaggeration, since only the section from Detroit Lakes to Crow Wing was wooded. South from Pembina the trail crossed the Red and ran along the east bank through low savannah, dotted with willow, and onto a high and treeless prairie. It followed deep ridges of Glacial Lake Agassiz on the eastern border of the Red River Valley, entering the forest at Detroit Lakes. The trail proceeded along the Otter Tail and then the Leaf and Crow
Wing Rivers to the east until it reached an important stopping point, the village of Crow Wing, which also lent its name to the trail. From there the Crow Wing trail made its way over sandy prairie on the east bank of the Mississippi to Sauk Rapids, where it merged with the Middle Trail, which took a more southerly route toward the Mississippi River, for the rest of the distance to St. Paul.
Erected by Minnesota Historical Society and the Becker County Historical Society in 1996.
[Seals of Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota Historical Society]

The foundation for the overlook wall was built 1957-58 by the Department of Highways. The "upper" by others.