Location: Grand Portage, MN
After this one, I’ll try to get off my fire tower kick for a while and I will post about something other than a fire tower next week! You can easily visit the Mt Sophie tower on the same day as you visit the Mt Maud fire tower.
I have read that most of Minnesota’s fire towers were constructed as make-work projects in the 1930s. Some towers were even taken down from one location and put up in another just to keep men busy. At one time, there was a fire tower every 20 square kilometres in the northern parts of the state.
From the Pigeon River border crossing head west on Hwy 61S for 11.5 km. Turn Right onto County Road 17/Mineral Center Rd and follow it for 6.5 km.
Turn left at the corner of County Road 89 and Mineral Center Road. Follow County Road 89 for 1.7km and take the first right onto Speckled Trout Road. Follow Speckled Trout road for 2.25km and stay right at the Y. Continue for about 800m and park off the road. There is a sign indicating the trail to the Mt Sophie cabin. The trail is a rolling snowmachine/quad trail that is easy to follow. You will come to an old cabin with the tower located just behind it.
The steps to the top of the tower were in good repair and all the landing boards were in place. The views were great even though it was snowing pretty hard at the time of my visit.