Grand Portage State Park

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From Explore MN Tourism


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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.


Visitor Alert

The park has 5 miles of hiking trails and two beautiful waterfalls for your viewing enjoyment.

The half-mile trail to High Falls is paved and wheelchair accessible. (NOTE: In Winter, the High Falls Trail is NOT wheelchair accessible. No snow removal work is done on the hiking trails. Trails are open for hiking/snowshoeing and snowshoe rentals are available at the park office).

The 5 mile round-trip hike to Middle Falls is along a very rugged trail (lots of rocks and roots, watch your step!) with several hundred feet of elevation change and provides more of a wilderness experience. Average round-trip hiking time for the Middle Falls Trail is at least 3 hours.

The park is also a highway rest area and travel information center.

The lobby and restrooms are open 24 hours.

Open Hours for the Information Desk, Gift Shop and Exhibit Hall:

  • 10 AM to 4 PM Seven days a week
  • NOTE: Hours may vary depending on staff availability

(Updated October 27, 2017)

Park Notes

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.

Virtual Tour:

Take a virtual tour. It's a great tool to help you plan your next trip to the park! Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour

Gift Cards:

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.

Birders:

Click Here for the Bird Checklist This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. at Grand Portage State Park.

Park Highlights

tree Minnesota's Highest Waterfall

tree Hiking

tree Scenic Views

tree Picnicking

tree Spring/Summer Wildflowers


Hours

Best time to contact the park:

Daily, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

If no one is available, please leave a message.

Contact

9393 East Highway 61
Grand Portage, MN 55605

tel: 218-475-2360

fax: 218-475-2365

email: grandportage.statepark@state.mn.us

Getting There

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.