A Home Away From Home For
Outfitting For BWCA 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.
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.
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.
Marge and John Maynard, Rockford IL
We have been visiting The Nor’Wester off and on (lately mostly on) since 1988, when our daughter was 4. We have loved every cabin we’ve been in but Towering Pines is our favorite. We love the lake with the many islands to navigate around, lunches at Picnic Island, canoeing with the option of portaging, sunsets on the water, hiking, the friendly and so helpful staff who will go the extra mile, the views, the serenity, the lack of phone service which really helps us unwind, the hope of seeing moose, the loons, campfires, and even the rainy days when we stay in and read and play games. We begin anticipating our next vacation while we are driving home!
The Nor'Wester holds so many great memories for me. My parents started bringing me there for our family vacation every summer when I was just 10 years old and I feel fortunate to say I have only missed a few visits over the past 40 years. It is a place that now holds special memories for my own 3 children. Our stay is much anticipated every summer as it has become an annual gathering place for many of our extended family as well. The Nor’Wester is a family friendly resort with something for everyone to do. Our favorites every year include swimming at the sandy beach, fishing, hiking, canoeing, eagle watching and blueberry picking. If we are ever uncertain of where to fish or blueberry pick, Carl and Luana usually have suggestions! We enjoy our evenings taking in the breathtaking views of Poplar Lake from the lakeside cabins and campsites while reflecting on our day around the campfire. Every visit to this one-of-a-kind destination leaves us looking forward to the next.
Augusta Maruska, Lengby, MN
Fiber Optic WiFi
Long Main Dock
Have a Question?
Talk to Luana
Location & Nearby Attractions
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.”
“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!
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.
Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center on the Gunflint Trail
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.
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!
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.
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.