Gunflint Trail hiking trails are available for any difficulty or length that you wish. All are well maintained and not over crowded.
Gunflint Trail Hiking Basics
So let’s take a look at some of these trails.
In the mid-Trail area are two trails that have long been used by visitors and residents. On the Clearwater road is the Honeymoon Bluff Trail.
On the Hungry Jack Road is the Caribou Rock Trail. Both have some rocks on them and start by climbing up to lake overlooks. The nice part of these trails is that you start by going up and then end by going down. Each one is about 1 mile long. They both overlook Hungry Jack Lake from opposite sides.The Gunflint Lodge has been run by the Kerfoot family since 1927.
Further on there are a cluster of trails between Loon and Gunflint Lakes. The best trail in this area is the South Rim which goes along the ridge separating the two lakes. The South Rim may be accessed from either the Loon Lake public landing or the trails behind Gunflint Lodge. The top of the trail overlooks Gunflint Lake and gives you a spectacular view of the lake and the Canadian hills north of the lake.
Going up the Gunflint Trail are four trails which are a bit longer. The Kekekabic Trail is a 42-mile hiking trail that leads right though the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to Ely, Minnesota. Most hikers don’t go any further in than Mine Lake before turning back. On the way to Mine Lake is a new loop called the Centennial Trail. It follows part of the old railroad grade into Mine Lake and is about 3 ½ miles long in total. Ultimately the Centennial Trail circles back and ends at the beginning of the Kekekabic
Just a short distance up the main Gunflint Trail is the Magnetic Rock Trail. This trail leads 1 ¾ miles to a 60 foot rectangular rock sticking straight up. It is one of my favorite trails because it is a nice gentle uphill going in which gives you a downhill going back out. It goes through some areas which were recently burned in the Ham Lake Fire. It is amazing to see how the forest is growing up from this fire.
The last of the longer trails is at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center. The Blueberry Trails climbs up to a magnificent view of the Sag Channel. Bring a lunch with you. There is a great bench that you can use to picnic while overlooking the channel. In July and August bring some zip lock bags to fill with blueberries on your way back to the car.
Bring your hiking shoes on the next trip up the Gunflint Trail. Just being outside and wandering the hiking trails will renew your mind and body.
Coming up to the Gunflint Trail can be a long drive. By the time you arrive, your entire body is stiff and tired. Staying at one of the many resorts or campgrounds on the Trail will give you a chance to get many of those kinks worked out.