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About

About Us
& Your Escape

Gunflint Trail
Grand Manias, MN
Wilderness Retreats
History

Nor’wester was a name given the experienced French Voyageur of the past who journeyed these adventurous waterways in search of furs. This historic country is wilderness still — yet is an incomparable year-round vacationland with outdoor adventures and enjoyments for all. Stately pines and scenic white paper birch provide a haven for an abundance of wildlife and will ignite the Voyageur within you.

Balsam Grove

Carl & Alis Brandt came to the Gunflint Trail in 1931 to start a sawmill. They soon realized that visitors to the area needed a place to stay. So Carl began building cabins while Alis cleaned cabins, washed laundry, and cooked meals for the many fisherman. They named their resort “Balsam Grove,” a name which would stay with the resort through the next 35 years or so.

Built with native spruce and pine logs the lodge still stands today (an addition was later added). Several original diamond willow furniture pieces Carl made are found in the lodge along with furs from many of his trapping and hunting trips.

Nor’Wester Lodge

Today, more than 70 years later, this one-of-a-kind vacation destination on Poplar Lake on the Gunflint Trail remains family owned and operated. In 1966, Carl and Alis´ son, Carl, and his wife, Luana took over the resort, and in 1968 they changed the name to Nor´Wester Lodge & Outfitters. The name may change and the owners may change, but the beatufiul setting and the spirit of Northwoods hospitality endures. Carl and Luana carry forward the family tradition of helping guests enjoy this incomparable wilderness area and its many year-round activities.

Come Visit Us

There are memories here just waiting to be made and treasured. Be a part of our history and make us part of yours.

Accommodations & About Your Stay

Stay your way, with accomodations for every style and budget. We’re the place to be for the Gunflint Trail.

Cottages

Townhouses

Campsites

Your Host

Luana Brandt

Luana will be like family after your visit. She believes in personal service for every visitor. That is why you won’t find automated online registration system for the lodge. She considers a privilege to get to talk to every visitor and get the personalize your visit for you.

Information

Amenities

Fiber Optic WiFi

Our super fast WiFi service is available. It’s only within range from the Lodge.

Free Parking

All of our cottages and townhouses come with parking and guest parking is available.

Bedroom Comforts

We offer quality matresses and extra linen is available with every rental.

Coffee Maker

Each cottage and townhouses comes with fully equipped kitchen including coffee maker.

Long Main Dock

You can park your boat or you can rent one of ours. We have pontoon available.

Swimming

We have the only sandy beach on Poplar Lake. There is also swim raft short distance from main dock.

Have a Question?

Policies & F.A.Q.

Restaurants

Trail Center Lodge

“Stopped here twice–once for dinner and another time just for an afternoon drink. I liked being at the bar in the late afternoon before the dinner rush, having a cold Moose Drool and chatting with the friendliest bartender.”

Angry Trout Cafe

“Hands down our favorite meal every trip to The town of Grand Marais. The fish is fresh and perfectly grilled, paired with a delicious fresh salad and wild rice that’s out of this world!” 

The Crooked Spoon Cafe

“We had a delicious lunch and I had a BLT that blew me away. I can’t believe how scrumptious the maple bacon tasted and the tomato was ripe sweet and juicy.”

Gun Flint Tavern

Great tavern on the Superior North shore, lots of locals to keep you company. Tries the Asian Bowl and the Ruben Sandwich, both good. Great view of the lake, and good locally brewed beer!

Events

Canoe Races

43rd Annual Gunflint Trail Canoe Races July 17th 2019

Biggest Blueberry Contest

Blueberries will be measured by weight, and must be picked fresh and not store bought. Berry pickers will be able to submit their biggest blueberry at Nor’Wester Lodge!

Gunflint Mail Run

The Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race is a continuous race consisting of two legs of equal distance, separated by a mandatory layover.

John Beargrease Race

The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 states.

Local Organizations / Programs

Chik-Wauk Museum

Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center on the Gunflint Trail

Local Attractions

Visit Cook County

here’s so much to see and do in Cook County, you’ll want to make the most of every minute.

Grand Marais Art Colony

Gunflint Trail Association

North House Folk School

Canoeing, Boating, & Snowmobiling

Alumacraft Boats and Canoes

Fishing and sport boats, and canoes.

NorthStar Canoes

Whether paddling alone on a river or packing heavy for an extended group expedition, you’re off to a great start in a Northstar.

Souris River Canoes

Have your cake and eat it too…light and tough in one canoe!

Wenonah Canoes

For people who know and love canoes.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Snowmobiling site

Includes information about regulations, permits, safety, and trails.

Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association

Snowmobile Trails, Races, and Events

Regulations, Licenses, & Permits

Superior National Forest Website

For more information on the BWCAW

Recreation.GOV

For permit information and BWCAW rules and regulations.

Leave No Trace

Join The Movement. See What’s Happening With Leave No Trace In Every Park.

Department of Natural Resources

Regulations, permits, and license information for hunting, fishing, boating, snowmobiling, skiing, and more.

Wildlife & Wildflowers

www.mooseworld.com

This site is about moose-seeing moose in the wild, collecting moose products, learning about moose habitat, diet, behavior and ecology and seeing how the “metaphor” of moose can make lives better and happier.

www.bearbiology.com

The International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA) is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to the conservation of all species of bears.

www.bear.org

This site focuses on improving the understanding and appreciation of North American bears www.bear.org

www.americanbear.org

Promoting the welfare of the black bear through better understanding.

www.wolf.org

Teaching the World about Wolves.

www.bearcountryusa.com

Information and photographs of a variety of animals, including lynx, wolves, and bears.

Flora of the Superior National Forest and the BWCA

Checkin & Checkout

Check-in: 3:00 p.m. (call if later than 8:00 p.m.)
Check-out: 10:00 a.m.

Cancellation Policy

* 60 – day notice required for refund on all cancellations with a $50 service cancellation fee.
( unless rescheduled within one year)

For cancellations within 30 days of arrival, we offer a refund only if we are able to fill the entire cancellation.

No other refunds possible.

Due to our small size and remoteness, cancellations significantly affect us.

To avoid any misunderstanding, you will be charged for the days you reserve.

Please check your dates carefully.