Things to see and do at Grand Portage State Park
The visitor center at the park is called a welcome center. It also serves as a highway rest area for the Minnesota Department of Transportation and as a travel information center for Explore Minnesota Tourism. The lobby of the welcome center is designed to introduce park visitors to the culture of the Grand Portage band of Ojibwe. The turtle on the lobby floor helps illustrate the Ojibwe creation and migration stories. This is the only state park in Minnesota located on tribal land.
This is the must-see of the park! Experience the majesty and scenic wonder of Minnesota’s tallest waterfall. Three viewing decks at High Falls provide park visitors with opportunities for photography or quiet contemplation. The boardwalk to the scenic overlook for the falls is wheelchair accessible.
After stretching your legs on your way to the falls, enjoy a sandwich or snack at one of the park’s scenic picnic areas. Several overlook the Pigeon River and Canada, and one is covered to provide shelter from the elements.
Grand Portage State Park is ideal for wildlife watching. In the spring, chirping birds nest within earshot of the visitor center. The observation deck near the visitor center overlooks portions of the Pigeon River where eagles are a common sight in the air and otters frequently play on the rocks. Look carefully and you may even spot a moose!
If you have a few hours, take the trail to Middle Falls. This challenging 4.5 mile round-trip hike takes you to the highest point in the park for stunning views of Lake Superior before continuing on to the beautiful and remote Middle Falls of the Pigeon River. The wooded trail is well shaded and is beautiful in late September during peak fall colors.
The Grand Portage National Monument is a reconstructed fur trade fort from the 1700s. Naturalist-led tours are available.