Carlton Travel Guide

Carlton is a city in Carlton County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 862 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Carlton County. In 1870, the Northern Pacific Railroad decided to finish a stretch of track that would link Duluth to St. Paul. Temporary shacks were erected for the workmen at the place that was soon known as "Northern Pacific Junction". In 1881, this settlement was incorporated as "Carlton". It takes its name from former State Senator Reuben B. Carlton.


Jay Cooke State Park is a state park of Minnesota, United States, protecting the lower reaches of the St. Louis River. The park is located about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Duluth and is one of the ten most visited state parks in Minnesota. The western half of the park contains part of a rocky, 13-mile (21 km) gorge. This was a major barrier to Native Americans and early Europeans traveling by canoe, which they bypassed with the challenging Grand Portage of the St. Louis River.[2] The river was a vital link connecting the Mississippi waterways to the west with the Great Lakes to the east.

Today Minnesota State Highway 210 runs through Jay Cooke State Park. The 9 miles (14 km) of the route between Carlton and Highway 23—which include the park—are designated the Rushing Rapids Parkway, a state scenic byway.[3]

The park is named for Pennsylvania financier Jay Cooke, who had developed a nearby power plant, which is still in use.[4] The Grand Portage trail and three districts of 1930s park structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Jay Cooke State Park


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City of Carlton

The City of Carlton is located approximately 20 miles south of Duluth, Minnesota just off of I-35 and Highway 210. Carlton is known as “The Gateway to Jay Cooke State Park”, one of Minnesota’s premier State Parks. Our small city boasts of its many fine residents, excellent businesses and first-rate community events. The Carlton Area Chamber of Commerce invites you to participate in the city’s numerous annual activities.

Chamber of Commerce

The city of Carlton is also the Carlton County Seat and home of the Carlton “Bulldogs”, which are our vibrant school’s youth who are active participants in the community. We would like to welcome ALL businesses and people, who are moving into the area to live or provide a business service to our community, whether a chamber member or not. We all work together to keep this train rolling!