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Gunflint Trail History

Gunflint Trail history includes the Revolutionary War, the French Canadian voyageurs and early miners.

Gunflint Trail Moose

Up in the northeastern part of Minnesota is the Gunflint Trail.  Today it is a  57-mile road that leads in from Grand Marais to the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. 

It didn’t start that way. At the end of the Revolutionary War, the French Canadian voyageurs paddled through this area when trading for beaver pelts with the Native Americans. 

The next group coming through were the miners in the late 1800’s.  Their quests ended with the discovery of the Masabi Iron Range. 

Another group were the loggers who harvested the great white and red pines of the area.  Slowly a road came in from Grand Marais to open the country up for canoeists and fishermen.

The Gunflint Lodge has been run by the Kerfoot family since 1927.

Stories of Life on The Gunflint Trail by those who have lived there.

Today the Gunflint Trail still leads up into the woods and lakes of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.  It is paved all the way and gives access for the hundreds of vacationers who stay in its resorts and campgrounds. 

Another large group of people take off to paddle and explore the million acres of the wilderness.  Finally there are those who live year around on the Trail.  All these groups make up mixed bag of temporary and permanent residents on the Gunflint Trail.

For first time visitor to the Trail, there are plenty of small welcoming resorts and campgrounds to offer you a home in the woods.  The owners will happily share their knowledge to help you explore the Boreal forest that surrounds the Trail. 

Trips back into the wilderness can also be set up by the outfitters in the area.

Detailed information on the Gunflint Trail can be found at  Each business will give you a little more information about the area. 

Don’t forget to use the telephone to give you a more personal feel for each business.  Because everyone is an independent owner, they want to talk with you.

Historic Gunflint Trail building

* Guest article by Sue Kerfoot of the The Gunflint Lodge

Gunflint Trail Fishing

Gunflint Trail Hiking

Gunflint Trail Chick-Wauk Museum

The Gunflint Trail


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