Visiting Minnesota

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Boundary Waters

September 2002

I'm looking for recomendations on lodges in the boundary waters canoe area in northern Minnesota for a family vacation. It needs to be big enough to accomodate 20 people yet we would like it to be very pristine. We think North Country Lodge, Northwind Lodge or Rockwood Lodge could work, but its so hard to tell what places are really like from their web sites. Any personal recommendations would be really helpful! elizabeth

How I envy you! I had a fabulous trip a few years ago along the Gunflint Trail. Our group stayed at a large, rustic cabin associated with Gunflint Lodge facilities. The Lodge compound also includes a an attractive dining room where we enjoyed a great gourmet meal at the end of our canoe adventure, and a dock where we sat and watched the northern lights. Gunflint Outfitters can handle all aspects of your trip from equipment rentals to trip planning to driving you and all your stuff. We chose to bring our own meals and some of our own gear, which kept the price down, and the outfitters had no problem with that. The large cabin we stayed in could probably accomodate 20 (bunks, with sleeping bags). It was rustic; kind of a summer camp setting. For info: Deirdre

Lucky you! The Boundary Waters is one of the best places on this planet. It's a large area, however, and spreads from the Arrowhead to the center of the state's northern border. One place that's very nice is Lutsen's Resort in Tofte, on the north shore. That would be near the Sawbill Trail or the Gunflint Trail area.

The Rainy Lake area in Voyageurs' National Park is also great. I went to a wedding at the Rainy Lake Lodge (it's on an island and they pick you up by boat) that was lots of fun. Here's their website:

Finally, the Ely area is really beautiful. I think there is a BWCA website that has several places listed. They tend to be very rustic. Have a great trip! ckatz