Grand Portage State Park provides shared waterfalls, a unique agreement-Twin Cities

Grand Portage State Park provides shared waterfalls, a unique agreement-Twin Cities



This summer, we will be sampling in 20 state parks in Minnesota, from famous popular attractions to secluded hideaways. We will look at the best hiking routes and the most popular campsites, and visit nearby communities with must-see attractions and restaurants. This week: Great Portage State Park.

GRAND PORTAGE, Minnesota — Many people still hope that as the pandemic subsides and life returns to the pre-March 2020 era, things may change soon. But for now, if you want to visit Canada, you will most likely not be able to visit unless the border officer you meet at the port of entry “deems your journey there to be essential.”

But if you really want to meet your neighbors in the north, you can go to Greater Portage State Park and have them meet you on the other side of the Pigeon River and wave your hand. To another country is only a few hundred feet or less. But you are unlikely to talk to your Canadian friends because the turbulent flow of the river attracts visitors to this park in the northeast of 66 state parks in Minnesota.

Fort Snelling is located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers in the twin cities and refers to historic sites, former military outposts, state parks, sports facilities, and light rail stations. People learned while driving to the top of the Minnesota arrow that the similarity of the name Grand Portage is that it not only identifies a fantastic state park, but also a town, a history that is vital to European exploration of Minnesota Ruins, a reservation, a casino/hotel/pier/campground and a national monument.

One of the newest uses of the name is a state park that opened in 1994. It is unique in that it is the only park in Minnesota that does not belong to the state’s land. The access to the day park and its waterfalls is part of the cooperation agreement between the state and the Great Portage Belt of Lake Superior, Chippewa. The visitor center opened in 2010 and displays many displays of the history and culture of the original inhabitants of the area. Before European explorers came here, they tried in vain to find a route to the Far East. But the Pigeon River and its waterfalls are the main attractions.

From the visitor center, follow a half-mile-long wheelchair-accessible paved path overlooking the high waterfall, which is 120 feet high and the highest waterfall in Minnesota. For hikers who are more adventurous, the nearly five-mile round trip hike will take them further down the river to the middle waterfall.

Grand Portage State Park has a variety of hiking trails, from a half-mile paved trail that takes visitors to viewpoints above the state’s highest waterfall, and then to more remote trails. The wilderness above Lake Superior. (Provided by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)

Park manager Travis Novitsky said: “This is a more rugged hike. During the hike, the altitude has increased by 600 to 700 feet.” “You climb a ridge and you can see To the view of Lake Superior, you can see the Susie Islands and Royal Island from there.”

Currently, the inability to enter Canada has a negative impact on residents in the region, who usually go to Thunder Bay, Ontario (about an hour away) to buy groceries and occasionally watch movies. But the lack of border crossings has not curbed the desire of tourists from the United States to visit the park.

Nowitzki said that their number of tourists in June was twice the normal number, and in April – a traditionally slow month – they were four times the typical number because people tried to be on the back of the pandemic. go out.

History happens

Grand Portage exists because of the waterfalls in the Pigeon River. The first European explorers in the area were unable to ride birch bark canoes on the turbulent waters. They came up with a land route of about 9 miles leading to a quieter river, which eventually took the voyager to the rain lake, Rain River and Lake Woods point further west.

This piece of history is displayed a few miles south of the State Park at the Grand Portage National Monument. Actors in costumes take visitors back to the fur trade era. The village’s fur trading post and stockade have been rebuilt on the site. They were first in 1731? ?Stand there again.

Famous nearby

Royal Island National Park is much closer to this part of Minnesota than anywhere else in Michigan, but the 45-mile-long island in Lake Superior is still considered part of Michigan, not Minnesota. In any case, Grand Portage is a well-known starting point for excursions to Royal Island. During the ice-free months, there are two ferries to and from the island every day, with a round trip time of two hours.


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