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“Unexpected (& Quirky) Tourist Attraction in Voyageurs” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Ellsworth Rock Gardens

Ellsworth Rock Gardens
Voyageurs National Park, MN
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Iowa
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“Unexpected (& Quirky) Tourist Attraction in Voyageurs”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2011

This is a interesting place to take a break from fishing in Voyageurs National Park. It is along the north shore of Lake Kabetogama, just east of Cutover Island. Follow the buoy markers til you see a pier. At the entrance is a box containing Voyageurs National Park Service maps to self-guide yourself through the garden paths. Unfortunately our photos were taken in early June when the flower gardens had yet to be planted since temps at night were still freezing.

This unique rock/flower garden was created by Jack and Elsie Ellsworth over many summer vacations from 1944 thru 1966. Mr Ellsworth then fell ill and the gardens fell into disrepair. (Local volunteer groups are working to restore its flowering terraced gardens and ponds.) The Ellsworths transformed a 60 foot high granite outcrop into a terraced rock garden. All of the sculptures were made by hand and wheelbarrow. Some of the stacked rock arrangements are huge; you wonder how he manually manuvered them into position. Sculptures include a table & chair, arrowhead, balanced rock, teepee, cat, stone bridge, etc. There is a picnic shelter where Ellsworth's summer home used to stand and most important ... Restrooms! (which are few and far between when fishing in Voyageurs National Park's huge lakes).

Visited June 2011
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