Grand Portage Travel Guide

  • Isle Royale National Park
    Isle Royale National Park
    by Basaic
  • Lake Superior
    Lake Superior
    by Basaic
  • Grand Portage is a National historic site
    Grand Portage is a National historic...
    by yooperprof

Grand Portage Things to Do

  • Susie Islands

    The Susie Islands lie off the coast of Minnesota. They are a nature preserve managed by the National Trust for Wildlife. You have to have a boat to get out there. The best way to see it is from the overlook on Mt. Josephine, right on U.S. 61. Going north from Grand Portage towards High Falls State Park, you slowly climb up and over a saddle in Mt....

  • Isle Royale National Park

    Isle Royale National Park is located in Lake Superior. The only access is by boat. Two leave from Grand Portage and two leave from Michigan (Copper Harbor and Houghton)The island is a wilderness. No vehicles, only trails, moose, wolf, and lots of mosquitos. Come prepared.

  • The Witch Tree

    The witch tree is one of the worlds smallest and oldest trees. It is mentioned in the journals of the clerks, back in the 1790's. That being so, leads to the conclusion that this tree is over 300 years old..The witch tree is located on the north side of the ridge that becomes Hat Point. It has grown out of the very rocks holding Lake Superior at...

  • Grand Portage National Monument

    The community of Grand Portage has a variety of places to visit and things to see that far exceed those limited to Grand Portage National Monument, a park of the same name. But don't miss the park and don't miss the wonderful opportunities that the community offers. For me details on the park, See my Grand Portage National Monument page. Under...

  • Birch bark wigwams

    Also on display at Grand Portage National Historic Site are native american wigwams. The Indian peoples of this region regarded the birch as "the tree of life," and they used it in many different and ingenuous ways. Their wigwams were made entirely from different products of the birch tree, and could be assembled and dis-assembled to allow them to...

  • Milling rice

    In the summer, park guides give demonstrations of native american lifeways and crafts. Here a Parks employee is demonstrating the technique for preparing wild rice. He is milling it, separating the grain from the chaff. Later, he cooked the rice on an open flame and passed it around for the park visitors to sample.

  • The Guardhouse

    When the North West Company operated in the late18th century, all of its valuable furs destined for Montreal and points beyond passed through its palisade at Grand Portage. The wood fencing at the fort was intended to dissuade would-be brigands and robbers, and not meant to be a meaningful barrier against the possibility of co-ordinated attack....

  • The Great Hall

    Grand Portage served as the Great Lakes trading post of the North West Company between 1783 and 1804, when the headquarters was shifted nearly fifty miles to the north, to Fort William, on the north side of the Pigeon River. (The change was necessitated by terms of the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which gave control of this "neck of the woods" to the...

  • Dining in the Great Hall

    At the time of the annual Rendezvous, all of the traders, partners, prominent Native Americans and voyageurs dined under the same roof in the great hall. It was an important part of the trading system to demonstrate hospitality and generosity. But not everyone sat at the same table, not everyone dined as the partners did, with the linen tablecloths...


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Grand Portage Off The Beaten Path

  • Breath taking and remote beauty.

    Hike the Grand Portage trail north to the Canadian/US border. The deep canyon view is breathtakingly beautiful. It is a long hike but it is well worth it once in one's lifetime. You can start at the Grand portage Monument or take a back road to roughly cut the distance in half. The Voyagers made this hike fully loaded with goods on their backs. If...

  • North Coast View

    Offshore islands in extreme northeastern Minnesota, not far from the Canadian border. There are a number of pull-outs along SR 61.

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Grand Portage Favorites

  • The Pigeon River approaching Lake...

    After the falls and the gorge, the Pigeon River broadens as it nears Lake Superior. It helps explain why 19th century mapmakers thought that this would be a fine "boundary" between countries. If you are going to have borders, they might as well be rivers (they make more sense to me than arbitrarily imposed straight lines.)

  • Crossing to Canada

    After the dramatic waterfalls, the Pigeon River enters a deep gorge. It becomes very understandable why native americans and the voyageurs realized that it was essential to "portage" their way around this part of the river! At points, though, the river is quite narrow, only a few yards wide - although the cliffs on the Canadian side would make...

  • Upper and Lower falls together

    The viewing platforms for the Pigeon River Falls are well constructed of wood planks and are maintained by a local trails association.


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