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Can anyone tell me what the quickest route to the lake is from the cities? I have taken 371 to 2 before and the 169 route but someone told me 35W cutting over in Cloquet is ever quicker.

Thanks.

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If you go up 371 to 2 make sure to take the Pennington cut across to Blackduck unless the roads are bad.

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As stated above. The penninton road is 39, and will take you into Blackduck in good weather it does take some time off your drive and the scenery is great to.

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I'm heading up from west metro in month, am also curious. I just went to Google Maps and had it track 4 different routes. The times are based upon posted speed limits.

Results:

Maple Grove -> Sauk Center -> Park Rapids -> Bemidji -> Kelliher: 279 miles 5hr 06min

Maple Grove -> I94 Exit on MN24 to Hwy 10 (Clear Lake) -> Motley -> north on Hwy 64 to Bemidji -> Kelliher: 247 miles 5hr 56min

Maple Grove -> I94 Exit on MN24 to Hwy 10 (Clear Lake) -> Brainerd (371) -> Bemidji -> Kelliher: 259 miles 5hr 43 min

Maple Grove -> I35 -> Cloquet -> Hwy 2 -> Deer River -> Squaw Lake - Northome -> Kelliher: 291 miles 5hr 54min

It looks like the shortest is through Sauk Center, Wadena, PR; which surprises me.

I know that the Brainerd route is slow anytime due to all of the lights/traffic on 371 through Brainerd and north.

I have taken the Motley route (Hwy 64) and that seems to move quite well. I don't know if I'd trust that route at night if the weather is questionable.

I look forward to other's comments.

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I live in the west metro and have taken both the 94/10/371 route and the 169/2/46 route and would say the second is quicker by about 30 min, simply because 371 from Baxter to Walker has so many towns to slow you down. And yes, CR 39 is the Pennington Rd, just make sure you remember it's posted as CR 10 off of Hwy 2 (the Cass/Beltrami county line is about 2-3 miles north of Hwy 2).

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Scenic highway (Pennington) shortcut is shorter, but dont take it if the roads are bad. Almost had a disaster 2 years ago lol...watch for deer laugh

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Those that come up I35 don't drive all the way to Cloquet. Hwy 73 turns off in Moose Lake (mile marker 214) and goes to Hwy 2 in Floodwood. There are gas stations in Moose Lake, Cromwell and Floodwood as you go thru. Shaves about 30 minutes off the trip

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Here's the route that I've taken for years to LOW. This would depend I guess on which side of the Metro you are in. St cloud #10 to Motley (4lane all the way) #64 from Motley through Ackley to #200 hook up with #71 straight through Bemidji, Blackduck, past Red and into Baudette. Only a couple of stops and slow downs compared to #371 and north. I make it in 4 1/2-5 hrs depending on gas or food stops along the way. Bill

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From Blaine, up 65 to GrandRapids take 2 to DeerRiver 46 to NorthHome 72 west to Shooks and north on what ever that road is to Westwinds. 4.5 hours 65mph the whole way.

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someone told me 35W cutting over in Cloquet is ever quicker.

Thanks.

thats the quickest route i've taken by far...tried the other ways also...u can go 75-80 mph with no problems and no stops....its the only i'll ever take again.

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I took it Wednesday. Wouldn't reccommend it at all. There was packed slippery snow with black ice everywhere. Had to take it at 35-40mph on the curves. We're fast drivers, and were in a hurry, but still only averaged probably 50 mph on 39.

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I just got back from LOTW. I took 39 and it was pretty bad. Slick roads, I was managing 50mph though.

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