Population (2010)



Brainerd‘s next door neighbor, Baxter, has been around over a century but developed into a bedroom community in the latter half of the 20th century. It has a couple of places that might interest visitors.

Visitor Information

Direct your questions to the folks at Visit Brainerd (218.825.0410) or the Brainerd Lakes Chamber (800.450.2838). There’s also an information center at the rest area south of town on Highway 371.


Baxter was founded in 1904, named for Luther Loren Baxter, a lawyer for the Northern Pacific Railroad. Baxter was a small village for much of its existence, even after the entire township incorporated as a village in 1939. By the 1970s, though, new subdivisions were popping up like zits on a teen’s face. Baxter today is a bedroom community of residential subdivisions and strip malls and a lot of open space between them.

Exploring the Area

Mississippi River Overlook Park (6005 Oakdale Rd.; 218.454.5100) has an easy hiking trail through the woods that leads to the river and to a canoe landing.

**Baxter is covered in the Headwaters Region Guide; other sites in northern Minnesota are covered in Road Tripping Along the Great River Road, Vol. 1. Click the links above for more. Disclosure: This website may be compensated for linking to other sites or for sales of products we link to.

Where to Eat and Drink

The Jack Pine Brewery (15593 Edgewood Dr. N.; 218.270.8072) offers freshly made, hank-crafted beer; the tasting room is open daily, so you can enjoy a pint there, then buy a growler to take with you to your campground or hotel.

The Prairie Bay Grill (15115 Edgewood Dr.; 218.824.6444) emphasizes farm-to-table dining, buying most of their products from local growers. The menu is extensive, and includes creative sandwiches, wood-fired pizza, and gourmet entrées.

Where to Go Next

Next stop downriver: The Ripleys

Next stop upriver: Brainerd

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©Dean Klinkenberg, 2015,2018