Grand Portage State Park

     If you find yourself with extra time in Northeastern Minnesota then head up to Grand Portage.  It’s a gorgeous drive up the shore of Lake Superior and there is lots to do in the area especially on September 25th, 2010.

     The grand opening of the new visitor center at Grand Portage State Park will be from 10am-2pm on Saturday, the 25th.  It will be a celebration to remember and a great opportunity to hike to Minnesota’s highest waterfall.

    The Grand Portage National Monument   sits right at the edge of the big lake and is a replica of the trading fort that once stood there during the fur trade era.  You can take a tour and learn about the rich history of the area and then head over to the impressive Heritage Center to find out even more interesting facts. 

     There are numerous hiking trails in the area including the Grand Portage.  The Grand Portage is known as "The Great Carrying Place" because it is a 9 mile portage around the system of rapids and waterfalls that flow down to Lake Superior.  It was used by the Native Americans, Voyageurs and fur traders during the 1700’s.

     Join in the celebration on the 25th or spend some other time exploring the Grand Portage area. Or if you’re interested in paddling the fur trader route then give us a call, we’ll set you up. 1-888-CANOEIT

Sept. 25 grand opening of Grand Portage State Park visitor center to take place amid peak color

(Released September 16, 2010)


Against a backdrop of fall color that will be at or near peak and a short distance from the state’s highest waterfall, a new visitor center at Grand Portage State Park will be the subject of a community celebration on Saturday, Sept. 25.

The structure and its surroundings will serve as a new highway rest area, a state travel information center, and park visitor center, complete with exhibits showcasing the lifeways of the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa.

The project is a partnership with the Grand Portage Band, on whose land the park is located; the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR); the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT); and Explore Minnesota Tourism. Family-oriented activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a building dedication at noon. Activities will feature a pipe ceremony and ribbon-cutting, along with local drummers and dancers.

Officials participating in a building dedication ceremony will include:

  • DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten.

  • MnDOT Commissioner Tom Sorel.

  • Norman Deschampe, tribal chairman of the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa.

Laurie Martinson, DNR deputy commissioner, and Courtland Nelson, director of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division, will be in attendance to thank those who saw the project through to completion. Many tribal leaders and elected officials also will be present and involved in the day’s events.

During the event, naturalists and volunteers will be stationed along the half-mile trail to High Falls, which is accessible to visitors of all abilities. Visitors of all ages will be able to work on make-and-take projects at each location. These educational projects will touch on topics including Lake Superior, traditional wild rice harvesting, fall colors, black bears, moose and wolves. Visitors can bring a picnic lunch or purchase food, including Native American fry bread, from local vendors who will be on site that day.

Construction workers broke ground on June 15, 2009, for the 5,800-square-foot building, which will provide year-round services to travelers. It replaces the seasonal Grand Portage Bay rest area and travel information center, which was open for about five months a year.

The travel information center will be staffed by the Grand Portage Band. A new trail to the falls, a new observation deck overlooking the Pigeon River, and a 30-foot “gathering shelter” to be used for programs and picnicking, have also been constructed at the park.

For more information about the park, call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free at 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.