Grand Portage State Park
Torrents of wild water plummet 120 feet over the High Falls down to the Pigeon River in this park on the U.S. - Canadian border. The falls, the highest in the state, presented a serious obstacle to river travel, so a "carrying place," or portage, was necessary. American Indians created the ancient nine-mile trail from Lake Superior to bypass the falls. This trail became known as "The Grand Portage." Today, visitors of all abilities can take a one-half mile trail and boardwalk to the falls overlook area. The park is designed for day use only and contains mixed hardwood-conifer forests and hiking trails along the banks of the Pigeon River. The spectacular scenery sets the stage for recreational opportunities that include hiking, photography, and picnicking. The park lies within the Grand Portage Indian Reservation and is bordered by Canada on the north and east. Lake Superior is about one mile east of the park.
Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.
The park has six miles of hiking trails and two beautiful waterfalls for your viewing enjoyment. Snow is cleared from the sidewalks leading up to the visitor center but the hiking trails are left in a natural state and are not groomed or plowed. Trails are open for snowshoeing. The half-mile trail to High Falls is used frequently and the snow typically gets packed down well from visitor use. The 5 mile round-trip hike to Middle Falls is very rugged and provides more of a wilderness experience.
The park is also a highway rest area. The lobby and restrooms are open 24 hours.
Winter Hours for the Information Desk, Gift Shop and Display Hall:Saturday and Sunday: 10 AM to 4 PM
Monday through Friday: 10 AM to 3 PMPLEASE NOTE: Winter weekday hours can be intermittent when staff have duties outside the office. HOLIDAY HOURS: The park office will be closed on the following days during the holiday season (rest area bathrooms and park trails will still be open):
Sunday, December 25th
Monday, December 26th
Sunday, January 1st
Monday, January 2nd
(Updated December 9, 2016)
Visitor Center and Rest Area:
All park trails and outdoor exhibits are open every day. A picnic shelter is open for public use.
Things to do and see at the park:
Need ideas? Here's park staff's list of top stops at the park!
While you're here, experience the majesty and scenic wonder of Minnesota's tallest waterfall! Three viewing decks at High Falls provide park visitors with various vantage points for photography or quiet contemplation.
Interpretive displays provide an introduction to the culture and traditions of the Grand Portage Ojibwe people. Four life-sized murals frame a story of seasonal movement and a subsistence lifestyle that is valued by many to this day. Members of the Ojibwe community directed the development of these displays. Park visitors get a unique 'sense of place' at the only state park located within an Indian Reservation on land owned by the Tribe.
Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.
Don't move firewood!
Burning non-local firewood can spread invasive species, and it's against Minnesota state law. Learn more. Always buy your firewood at the park, or from an approved local vendor. Find firewood vendors for Grand Portage State Park.
Click Here for the Bird Checklist at Grand Portage State Park.
Best time to contact the park:
Daily, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
If no one is available, please leave a message.
9393 East Highway 61
Grand Portage, MN 55605
From the town of Grand Marais, Minnesota, travel north on State Highway 61 for about 36 miles to the Canadian Border. The park entrance is on the west side of the highway, just before you come to the U.S. Customs Station on the US/Canada border.