A Home Away From Home For

Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor Advenstures

Adventure The BWCA with Wilderness Canoe Trips

Nor’Wester Lodge Canoe Outfitters provides outfitting services from our base on Poplar Lake for wilderness canoe trips into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Quetico Provincial Park. Many canoe country routes start and end at our easy access central location on the Gunflint Trail.

Moose Family on Poplar Lake

Choose the Best Gear

We carry ultra-light Grumman, Alumacraft, and Souris River Kevlar canoes. Top-of-the-line gear, the best ultra-lite food, and our personalized routing provides peace of mind and an enjoyable canoeing experience. We offer customers quality lightweight equipment and good food at reasonable costs for their trip into canoe country. Nearly everyone can enjoy a BWCA wilderness canoe trip, regardless of their canoeing experience.

Experience You Can Trust

We have a lifetime of knowledge and experience to share with you about the canoe country. Carl Brandt, the owner of Nor’Wester, was born and raised on Poplar Lake and grew up canoeing and fishing the many lakes of the area. With 50 years of service to vacationers on the Gunflint Trail, we have developed a reputation for quality.

This business operated on behalf of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness program located within the Superior National Forest. As a BWCAW program cooperator, this business is an equal opportunity service provider.

Legendary Location

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) is a federally designated Wilderness area over 1 million acres in size located on the Superior National Forest in Minnesota and bordering Quetico Provincial Park in Canada. As the BWCA is a part of the U. S. National Wilderness Preservation System, there are several rules and regulations you need to be aware of to help preserve this unique place. Please visit the Superior National Forest Website for more information on the BWCAW or visit Recreation GOV for permit information and BWCAW rules and regulations.

Nor’Wester Outfitters is located  at Nor’Wester Lodge on Poplar Lake, 30 miles up the Gunflint Trail from Grand Marais, Minnesota. Take the scenic North Shore Drive of Lake Superior from Duluth to Grand Marais, then head up the Gunflint Trail into the heart of the Superior National Forest.

Choose The Accommodation That Best Fits Your Needs

We truly have someplace for everyone. NorWester Lodge offers our luxury townhouses which will sleep large groups. Our cottages provide a more intimate private accommodation close to nature. Our RV and tent sites are a more affordable for the more do it your self options. Then, for those truly rugged, our bunk house just gives you a clean bed for the night. You might meet some of the most interesting people at NorWester Lodge, friendships that can last a lifetime.


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

Talk to Luana


Location & Nearby Attractions

Local 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.”

Poplar HausPoplar Haus

“A hidden gem along the Gunflint Trail, the newly renovated Poplar Haus is worth the drive just for lunch.”

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!

Local 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 Museum

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, and 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, Licensing, and Permits

Superior National Forest Website

For more information on the BWCAW


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.

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.

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

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.