Grand Portage National Monument
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Introduction

Ready for your next great outdoor adventure? Consider a trip to Grand Portage National Monument in Minnesota. It's a great place for a relaxing getaway.

Located along the northern shores of Lake Superior near the Canadian border is Grand Portage National Monument, a property which is found in the town of Grand Portage. This property represents one of North America's most prominent fur trading posts, one of the four jewels in the British Empire's crown.

Open for visits from the end of May through the beginning of October yearly, Grand Portage National Monument is heavily wooded and exudes an air of peace and tranquility. The Grand Portage Trail runs 8.5 miles in length and travels over varied terrain which leads to waterfalls and areas of deep rapids. Pigeon River is also found on the grounds, a body of water that forms an important connection to trading posts in nearby Canadian provinces.

The woods at this monument are alive with wildlife including eagles, woodpeckers, butterflies, and dragonflies, making them an enchanting spot to explore. Hike along one of the many trails, drinking in the crisp forest air and reconnecting with nature.

For an outdoor adventure you'll not soon forget, plan a visit to Grand Portage National Monument. It's a fantastic place to spend the day.

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RV Rentals in Grand Portage National Monument

Transportation in Grand Portage National Monument

Driving

Grand Portage National Monument rests 150 miles from Duluth, MN, and is also accessible from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, which is only 50 miles away.

To reach the monument, travel south on MN Highway 61, turning right at the sign for Grand Portage National Monument on Casino Road. Turn left at the stop sign and continue, making a left hand turn at the sign for the Heritage Center. There is a paved parking lot on sloped ground just ahead. There is only one entrance to the parking lot, so it is important to note that entering and exiting occurs in the same place.

This route travels along roads of two lanes that are in excellent condition. Traffic moves well, and road construction is very infrequent.

Parking

Parking is available via a lot directly out front of the Grand Portage National Monument. Please note that there is only entrance to the lot.

Public Transport

Both the cities of Duluth, MN, and Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, offer public transportation to the monument via bus. Check the monument's website for information regarding schedules and fares.

Campgrounds and parking in Grand Portage National Monument

Campsites in Grand Portage National Monument

Reservations camping

Judge C. R. Magney State Park

Judge C. R. Magney State Park offers 27 sites for RV and tent camping by reservation only from mid May through October yearly. Winter camping is not permitted on the grounds. Generator use is permitted, and dogs are welcome to join their families but must remain leashed.

The campsites are found in heavily forested areas. Modern bathrooms which include flush toilets and showers are available for public use.

No other amenities are provided at this camping facility.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Grand Portage Backcountry Camping

Directly on the property at Grand Portage National Monument is Grand Portage Backcountry Camping, a spot which permits tent camping year-round. Though a permit is required, it is free to obtain. It is not recommended that you bring your pets along on your camping expedition.

There are only two campsites available at this camping facility, and they are distributed on a first come, first served basis. Each of the campsites can accommodate a maximum of nine people. The campsites are located near to the Pigeon River along the Grand Portage Trail. Backcountry camping is not permitted in any other area on the Grand Portage National Monument property.

Campfires are permitted in the provided fire rings. Quiet hours must be observed between 10 P.M. and 6 A.M.

There are no on-site amenities provided. Campers are advised to dig a hole of at least six inches to bury their waste materials. Garbage is to be disposed of outside the park grounds.

Black bears can be seen on the premises from time to time, so exercise caution.

Seasonal activities in Grand Portage National Monument

Spring

Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Center

The Grand Portage Band of Ojibwe Indians donated this property to the National Park Service to build an infrastructure to encourage tourism to assist with rebuilding the region's economy. Together, these two bodies built and now promote the Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Center.

Visit the center to learn more about early fur trading activities on the grounds and the partnerships formed between the early Ojibwe Indians and the North West Company during the years of the North American fur trade.

Though the monument grounds operate only seasonally from, the Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Center accepts visitors year-round.

Summer

North West Company Rendezvous

An activity that is held yearly at the Grand Portage National Monument each August, the North West Company Rendezvous celebrates the property's heritage as a prominent fur trading post. There are several activities families can enjoy including the Rendezvous Days Pow Wow, an event proudly provided by the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe).

A large gathering, this event features re-enactments by visitors from all over the United States and Canada. Games and activities from fur trading days are practiced. Among the festivities you can enjoy are music, dancing, crafts, and workshops.

Picnicking

Grand Portage National Monument is an excellent place to enjoy a picnic lunch. Choose from one of the picnic areas or take a stroll through the woods to find the ideal spot to lay out your feast on a picnic blanket from home. The atmosphere on the grounds is quite serene, making it an excellent place to enjoy reconnecting with nature while enjoying your meal.

Bring a packed lunch from home and some drinking water to keep your hunger and thirst at bay. No trip into the woods would be complete without bug spray, so be sure to grab some of that too.

Your dog may join you for your picnic lunch, but do please keep them leashed.

Fall

Photography

When the leaves begin to change color, the backdrop of Grand Portage National Monument is perfect for catching some photos. Whether you meander along one of the trails in search of an idyllic waterfall or capture snapshots of the brilliantly colored fall leaves, you will not need to look for inspiration in this little slice of rural heaven.

So, make sure you bring along your camera and your imagination to shoot some incredible photos commemorating an amazing vacation in the heart of Minnesota.

Wildlife viewing

Grand Portage National Monument's thick forest is home to many different species of plant and animal life. Meander through the woods with your camera and naturalist's guide in search of some of the area's most interesting creatures. Some of the animals you may spot along your journey include deer, foxes, squirrels, and even black bears.

Bring along drinking water and snacks, and be sure you wear comfortable shoes.

Winter

Hiking

Grand Portage National Monument is home to many different trails for avid hikers to enjoy. The trails vary in length and intensity, providing something for every member of the family to partake in.

One of the most popular trails is the Mount Rose Loop, a one way path that is a mile in length. The trail is mostly comprised of dirt paths connected by flights of wooden stairs. Though there is a consistent climb up the side of Mount Rose, it is gentle and gradual.

The Mount Rose Trail consists of asphalt and features stone steps with guardrails for protection when the inclines become steep. There are incredible views along the way of both the fur trading depot grounds and Grand Portage Bay.

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