& Your Escape
Grand Marais, MN
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.
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.
Today, more than 90 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 Join Our History
There are memories here just waiting to be made and treasured. Be a part of our history, you need to first make us part of yours.
The first eight were taken in August of 2015. We were there during that storm that blew down the lake, toppling many of your trees, including the one that crushed you canoes! Rod White and our Golden Retriever Sophie Sophie swimming Sophie...
Accommodations & About Your Stay
Stay your way, with accomodations for every style and budget. We’re the place to be for the Gunflint Trail.
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.
Fiber Optic WiFi
Long Main Dock
Have a Question?
Policies & F.A.Q.
“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.”
“A hidden gem along the Gunflint Trail, the newly renovated Poplar Haus is worth the drive just for lunch.”
“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.”
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!
43rd Annual Gunflint Trail Canoe Races July 17th 2019
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!
The Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race is a continuous race consisting of two legs of equal distance, separated by a mandatory layover.
The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 states.
Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center on the Gunflint Trail
Canoeing, Boating, and Snowmobiling
Fishing and sport boats, and 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.
Have your cake and eat it too…light and tough in one canoe!
For people who know and love canoes.
Includes information about regulations, permits, safety, and trails.
Regulations, Licensing, and Permits
For more information on the BWCAW
For permit information and BWCAW rules and regulations.
Join The Movement. See What’s Happening With Leave No Trace In Every Park.
Regulations, permits, and license information for hunting, fishing, boating, snowmobiling, skiing, and more.
Local Wildlife and Wildflowers
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.
The International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA) is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to the conservation of all species of bears.
This site focuses on improving the understanding and appreciation of North American bears www.bear.org
Promoting the welfare of the black bear through better understanding.
Teaching the World about Wolves.
Information and photographs of a variety of animals, including lynx, wolves, and bears.
Checkin & Checkout
Check-in: 3:00 p.m. (call if later than 8:00 p.m.)
Check-out: 10:00 a.m.
If you cancel prior to 60 days before your reservations. We provide full refunds.
If your cancellation is within 60 days of the visit. There is a $50 cancellation fee, but only if we are able fill the rental. If we are unable to fill the rental, we do not refund the cost. Alternatively however, you can reschedule the stay within one year. Our policy is pretty stringent, because of our small size and remoteness. Cancellations significantly affect our ability to stay in business.
No other refunds are possible.
To avoid any misunderstanding, here is the simple version: You will be charged for the days you reserve, so please check your dates carefully and come have a great time. We love having you.