Finland & Isabella
Rugged wilderness & a captivating history
From MN-61, just over eight miles north on Highway 1, you’ll find the community of Finland, Minnesota, nestled in the Baptism River Valley and surrounded by rugged hills and cliffs known as the Sawtooth Mountains. Its rugged isolation made it one of the last areas of Minnesota to be settled. It wasn’t until the late 1890’s that the first Finns and other Scandinavians began to file for homesteads in this remote section of Lake County.
The Finland MN Historical Society, founded in 1986, has preserved the John Pine Homestead, creating the Finland Heritage Site.
Many area locals remember stories of grandparents and great-grandparents living in houses much like the John Pine House, bathing in a sauna, and living on small farms and homesteads that probably looked like the Finland Heritage Site does now.
As you drive 20 miles along Highway 1 from Finland, you’ll reach Isabella’s small, unincorporated community. Surrounded by the Superior National Forest with scattered lakes and streams, Isabella provides a large wildlife population to photograph or hunt.
In addition, its many lakes and streams offer excellent fishing, and the great snowmobile and cross-country ski trails, coupled with the US Forest Service campgrounds and resort businesses, attract many outdoor enthusiasts.