Summer Activity at the Gunflint Pines Resort and Campground

Summer is full of possibilities!  Learn how much you can do in a day without the wonders of TV or video games.  By day explore the back country by boat, canoe, kayak or hiking.  Spend the day fishing alone or with a guide for Walleye, Lake Trout, Small Mouth Bass or Northern.  Take time to look at the plants and wildflowers growing along the hiking paths.  Hike up to the High Cliffs and take a nap on the warm rock outcrop.  Return for an early evening drive to look for wildlife.  In the evening sit around a fire make s’mores, gaze at the stars in the sky and even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.  Sit down and play cards or a board game with your family.  It’s not about fitting everything into the time you have here, it’s about enjoying what you do experience.  Relax . . . that’s what vacation’s are for.  Besides . . . you can always come back.

Guided fishing

Walleye, Lake Trout, Small Mouth Bass, and Northern!  For those who love to fish but have never fished our waters or for those who don’t want to bother with trying to fish while driving the boat and untangling fishing lines we offer guided fishing trips.  Local area guides will take you to the best fishing spots for the time of year, wind and weather conditions.  To fish in Canada you will need to obtain a Remote Area Border Crossing Permit (RABC) from Immigration Canada, along with a Canadian Fishing license (available next door).  Guides will take up to 3 people in their boat, and usually fish from 8am – 4 or 5pm.

Boating, Canoeing & Kayaking

Explore the bays at the end of the lake or take a day trip up the granite river system or into the surrounding BWCA. Take an early morning paddle along the shoreline, watch the mist rising off the lake, hear the slap of a beaver tail.  Watch for an otter at play or round a point to find a mother cow and calf moose dining on the tender roots of the shoreline weeds & Lily pads.  Once you’ve tried it nothing will compare.

Do a little fishing by boat or pontoon.  Gunflint Lake lies on the border of Minnesota and Canada.  There are no motor restrictions on Gunflint, Magnetic, Little Gunflint, Little North or North Lakes though motors larger than a 25hp may be restricted to Gunflint and Magnetic by water levels.  No matter where you wish to explore we can help you plan your trip. Guests may choose to bring their own boats & motors or rent one of ours.  We offer a pontoon and fishing boats, canoes and kayaks for rent.  Find more information on our Marina page.

Swimming

Gunflint Lake is large and crystal clear!  Swimming is usually in full swing by July 4th, though a hot June will get us all in early.  Shallow bays at the ends of the lake offer warmer temperatures earlier and a great option for a boating/swimming excursion.  For families with young toddlers we often suggest a nearby lake beach that offers an extremely shallow sandy bottom bay for an afternoon picnic lunch and swimming.    We have a sandy beach area at the waterfront for sunning, playing in the sand or having a picnic lunch.

Hiking

A variety of hiking experiences can be found nearby.  Whether it’s a short hike to Look-out point or Lonely Lake or the  slightly more challenging hike to the High Cliffs 400+ feet above Gunflint’s lake level, we have a hike to suit all groups.  Follow the Border Route trail through the BWCA.  Hike one of the nearby Superior National Forest hiking trails to Magnetic Rock or the Kekakabic Hiking trail to the Paulson Mine.  Spend the day hiking the Caribou Rock Trail or Bridal Falls or take a brisk hike to Honeymoon Bluff for the evening sunset.  It’s great scenery and great exercise.

Wildflower identification

Summer is when the foliage and wildflowers really come to life!  There are many beautiful wildflowers to see from the Forget-Me-Nots, Twin Flowers, Moccasin Flowers, Wild Columbine to the Swamp Buttercup, Orange Hawkweed, Lupines and even the rarely spotted Showy Lady slipper.  And the list goes on!  Just come and look around.  We have wildflower books in the lodge so you can look up what you’ve seen.

Camping & overnight trips

Whether you’re camped in one of our campsites or are staying in one of our cabins you may wish to take an overnight trip into the BWCA.  We can help you with basic information, permits, maps and basic gear.  Plan ahead or throw together an impromptu trip.  We’ll do what we can to help make you’re experience memorable.

Horseback Riding

The Gunflint Riding Stable offers trail rides from early May to late October.  Tour the south Gunflint Lake hillside through the Superior National Forest to a scenic vista and back.  Trail guides lead groups of up to 10.  Riders must be at least 7 years of age.  An adult must accompany any child between 7 &  12, (riders do not double up). Riders must be no more than 240 lbs.  Scheduled rides include 1 hour, 2 hour, breakfast or dinner rides and vary in price from $59.00 up.

Berry Picking

The strawberries are usually the first to make their appearance.  Found close to the ground usually along forest service roads, the tiny berries are usually hidden by the plant leaves, but worth the search.  They can fruit anytime in late June into July.

The Blueberries usually come next.  Typically from mid July and peak for 2 – 3 weeks around late July early August though we have seen much longer seasons..  The are usually in several clusters of 3-7 berries on low ground bushes.  The berries start off green, turning reddish before ripening into their blue-purple final color.  Their bushes can most often be found on slightly shaded rocky surfaces where reindeer moss and lichens grow.  Don’t pick Bluebeads by mistake!  They appear very blue in color and have a single long stem coming from 2 broad leaves and a bunch of 5-7 beads.

The raspberries can be tricky, but most often have the longest season beginning in early – mid August and lasting into September.  They are most easily found along power lines or in areas that were previously logged off and beginning to grow back.

No matter which berry you favor, any of these wild edibles are packed full of flavor!  They’re great over a dish of vanilla ice cream, made into a malt, cooked in your pancakes for breakfast or made into a pie or muffins.

Zip Line tour

The Towering Pines Canopy tour is located next door offering canopy tours from early May to late October.  Tour the south Gunflint Lake hillside in the canopy through the Superior National Forest to a scenic vista and back.  Sky guides lead groups of up to 10.  Riders must be at least 10 years of age and 75 lbs but cannot be over 240 lbs.  Tour takes about 2 hours and  costs $89.00.

Chik-wauk Museum and Nature Center

The Chik-wauk Museum and Nature Center is a partnership between the Gunflint Trail Historical Society and the USFS.  The Museum is located on the site of the old Chik-Wauk Resort which was purchased by the USFS in the creation of the BWCA wilderness area.  The owners chose to operate the resort then remain on the property until they retired.  The museum is housed in the Lodge building and is a wealth of information on the area history, plants and animals.

Seasonal operation late May to Late October.

Hours of operation:  10am – 5pm daily

Cost of admission:  $3.00 adults, $2.00 children