A Guide to Winter Parking on the Gunflint Trail

North Gunflint Lake Snow Plow TurnaroundBefore heading up the Gunflint Trail for winter camping or ice fishing, make sure you know where to park. Winter parking on the Gunflint Trail often surprises first-time winter visitors because many of the public landings used for summer Boundary Waters trip starts aren’t plowed out. In fact, parking on the Gunflint Trail in the winter can feel like a kind of wink-y, “gotta be in the know” sort of situation.

Since getting all confused by parking right out of the gate isn’t the most auspicious start to the perfect winter camping trip or day trip, we’ve put together a handy guide to winter parking on the Gunflint Trail for every Gunflint Trail Boundary Waters entry point. If you’re a visual person, check out our video tour of Gunflint Trail winter parking areas. 

Winter parking can be confusing on the Gunflint Trail. Give us a call at 218-388-2221 with any questions you have about it. We can help point you in the right direction, regardless of which Gunflint Trail BWCA entry point you’re using. 

Gunflint Trail Parking Guide for Winter Campers and Winter Boundary Waters Visitors

BWCA Entry Point Public Landing Winter Status Winter Parking notes
#43 Bower Trout Not plowed Two options for winter parking: The South Brule snowmobile trail parking lot off the Gunflint Trail just south of the Greenwood Lake Road. There is also frequently a small parking area plowed out on Forest Service Road 152 (Lima Mountain Road) with room for a couple cars. Due to the distance between parking areas and entry points, access without a snowmobile is very difficult. 
#44 Ram Not plowed Two options for winter parking: The South Brule snowmobile trail parking lot off the Gunflint Trail just south of the Greenwood Lake Road. There is also frequently a small parking area plowed out on Forest Service Road 152 (Lima Mountain Road) with room for a couple cars. Due to the distance between parking areas and entry points, access without a snowmobile is very difficult. 
#45 Morgan Not plowed Two options for winter parking: The South Brule snowmobile trail parking lot off the Gunflint Trail just south of the Greenwood Lake Road. There is also frequently a small parking area plowed out on Forest Service Road 152 (Lima Mountain Road) with room for a couple cars. Due to the distance between parking areas and entry points, access without a snowmobile is very difficult. 
#64 East Bearskin Not plowed Contact Bearskin Lodge at 218-388-2292 in advance to make parking arrangements
#62 Clearwater Plowed Sometimes there’s parking lot plowed on the lake off the public landing. If not, make sure to park as far south as possible in the lot to allow enough room for the county snow plow to turn around. Contact Clearwater Lodge at 218-388-2254 with any questions. 
#60 Duncan Plowed For easiest/fastest access, use public parking lot at the very end of County Road 21 (Hungry Jack Lake Road)
#61 Daniels Plowed For easiest/fastest access, use public parking lot at the very end of County Road 21 (Hungry Jack Lake Road)
#47 Lizz and Swamp Not really plowed Best option call a Poplar Lake business (Trail Center, Nor’wester, Poplar Haus, Big Bear Lodge, or Rockwood) to make parking arrangements. There is a very small parking area plowed out at the start of the Poplar Public Lake Access Road off of County Road 92 with room for 1-2 vehicles max. Be careful not to block the nearby driveway. 
#48 Meeds Not really plowed Best option call a Poplar Lake business (Trail Center, Nor’wester, Poplar Haus, Big Bear Lodge, or Rockwood) to make parking arrangements. There is a very small parking area plowed out at the start of the Poplar Public Lake Access Road off of County Road 92 with room for 1-2 vehicles max. Be careful not to block the nearby driveway. 
#49 Skipper and Portage Not really plowed Best option call a Poplar Lake business (Trail Center, Nor’wester, Poplar Haus, Big Bear Lodge, or Rockwood) to make parking arrangements. There is a very small parking area plowed out at the start of the Poplar Public Lake Access Road off of County Road 92 with room for 1-2 vehicles max. Be careful not to block the nearby driveway. Portage Lake can also be accessed by parking at the Little Iron Lake parking lot off the Gunflint Trail. 
#58 South Technically plowed Most winter visitors to South access the lake via the Mayhew Lake Rd. Small parking lot plowed off the Gunflint Trail – be sure not to park anyone in. 
#57 Magnetic Technically plowed Not a recommended winter destination due to bad ice from moving current
#50 Cross Bay Not plowed Not a recommended winter destination due to bad ice from moving current
#51 Missing Link Not plowed A parking area is plowed out at the start of the Round Lake Public Access Road off of County Road 47 (Round Lake Road) with space for 4-5 vehicles. Parking also often available at Tuscarora Lodge and Canoe Outfitters (218-388-2221) if you make arrangements in advance. 
#52 Brant Not plowed A parking area is plowed out at the start of the Round Lake Public Access Road off of County Road 47 (Round Lake Road) with space for 4-5 vehicles. Parking also often available at Tuscarora Lodge and Canoe Outfitters (218-388-2221) if you make arrangements in advance. 
#80 Larch Creek Not plowed Not a recommended winter destination due to bad ice from moving current
#54 Seagull Plowed Best option: park at the Blankenburg Public Landing lot at the end of the Seagull Lake Access Road to access the southeast corner of Seagull Lake. Alternative parking is available at the entrance to End of the Trail campground, but not recommended due to bad ice on the Seagull River.
#55 Saganaga Plowed Both county parking lots for Saganaga Lake (on County Road 81/Moose Pond Drive and County Road 83/Sag Lake Trail) are plowed and free of charge in the winter months. 


Curious about parking at a specific Boundary Waters entry point off the Gunflint Trail this winter? Click on its link below for a video tour.

Seagull Campground Landing
Seagull Landing (Blankenburg)
Saganaga Lake (Moose Pond)
Saganaga Lake (Sag Lake Trail)
Missing Link and Brant (Round Lake)
Duncan and Daniels (West Bearskin)
Clearwater Lake
South Lake (Via Topper)
Lizz, Swamp, Meeds, and Skipper (Poplar Lake)
East Bearskin
Ram, Morgan, Bower Trout

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