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Voyageur gets a new look, and a new home

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The Cloquet Voyageur has returned from his sojourn in Wisconsin, and now watches over the entrance to the campground at Cloquet's Spafford Park. After some work at a fiberglass shop, the 20-foot fiberglass statue (originally dedicated in 1976) looks shiny and new. Although the Voyageur used to stand along the river on the opposite side of Dunlap Island — in the aptly named Voyageur Park — he is now much more visible to drivers crossing the Highway 33 bridge over the St. Louis River.

Did you know you can make a visit to the Cloquet Voyageur one of several stops on a Minnesota Voyageur statue roadtrip? There is the Big Louie statue in Barnum (created in 1982), and a 35-foot tall Voyageur statue in Pine City that was carved from a California redwood tree in the 1970s. Pierre the Voyageur has stood in Two Harbors since 1960, and a red-hatted Voyageur has resided in Crane Lake since 1959. One of the most interesting back stories belongs to the "Big Vic" Voyageur statue in Ranier, Minn., which was built in 1980 to protest the federal government's seizure of private land ... a case the landowner eventually won.

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