The Gunflint Trail area is a special place with lots of things to do to make your vacation unique and special.  If sitting on a deck overlooking a lake reading a good book is not your idea of a perfect vacation, here are some ideas to get you moving out the door!

Day Paddles  hikes

activities  Dining

fishing link

Day Paddles

 Snipe Lake LoopSeagull Lake Kayaking or Canoeing – Little Rock FallsTuscarora LakeMore Day Paddles

Snipe Lake Loop

Difficulty: Moderate – Distance: 5 miles  – Permit: Free Day Use Permit

The Snipe Lake loop is a good one day BWCA experience with seven lakes and six portages.  While this may sound like a lot of work for one day, it is worth it!  Families come back from this trip feeling accomplished and happy.   Spend some time fishing for walleye, small mouth bass, and northern pike on Ham Lake and Cross Bay Lake.  Paddle quietly on Cross Bay Lake and Snipe Lake to catch a glimpse of a moose.  Pack a lunch and have a picnic with a campfire at an empty campsite.  Plan on averaging 1 mile per hour.  More information…

Getting There: This starts 300 yards up Tuscarora’s drive way, an easy walk, and ends right back on our dock.

Seagull Lake Kayaking or Canoeing

Difficulty: Variable – Distance: Variable – Permit: Free Day Use Permit

No portaging is needed to get to this lovely gem.  If you don’t have a lot of paddling experience it is an easy and fun quick trip.  Wait for a calm sunny day for this adventure as Seagull is a big lake which can get choppy. Fish for walleye, small mouth, northern and lake trout.  Spend time exploring the islands, find an open campsite for a campfire and picnic, or paddle out and hike one of the portages off this lake.  Favorite spots on Seagull include –

  • The Palisades – take a short hike up to the top of this tall cliff for great views of the area.
  • Paulson Portage – a 515 rod portage (approximately 1.6 miles one way) that makes for a beautiful hike.  Leave your canoe by Seagull and hike as far as you want, turn around and return to your canoe.  Beautiful views and sparkling creek crossings.
  • Grandpa Portage – a 230 rod portage (approximately .7 miles one way) offers another hiking option or bring your canoe with and fish Grandpa for some fierce Northern Pike action.
  • More information…

Getting There: Take a left on the Gunflint Trail and drive 7 – 12 miles to Seagull Lake Entry Point 54 (shuttles available for an additional cost).

Tuscarora Lake

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate – Distance: 6 miles – Permit: Free Day Use Permit

Tuscarora Lake is a beautiful destination that offers some fine lake trout fishing.  Leave from our dock and take two portages to get into Tuscarora.  One of these portages is a whopping 428 rods which makes for a beautiful hike on it’s own.  There is even a t-shirt in our Trading Post for those wanting to brag about completing this portage!  Paddle around the lake, spending some time fishing, and fry up a lake trout shore lunch all on Tuscarora Lake. Plan on averaging 1 mile per hour.

Getting There:  Paddle away from our dock on Round Lake and return to the same spot!

Little Rock Falls – Granite River

Difficulty: Easy – Distance – 4 miles – Permit: Free Day Use Permit

Little Rock FallsThis quick trip is great any season for an afternoon trip.  Start out on Gunflint Lake and follow the international border to a rocky point on a beautiful waterfall.  Get out, fish, play, eat, enjoy the flowing water, and swim.  If you plan on swimming please stay out of the fast water and use caution.  There is a good swimming hole at the bottom of the falls.  You will want to keep going up the Granite River, but don’t!  The trip home will satisfy even your most ambitious paddlers.  Bring a good book, swim suit, picnic and plan to chill out a while.  Plan on averaging 1 mile per hour.

Getting There:  Take a right on the Gunflint Trail and drive 4 miles to the Gunflint Lake Public Access (shuttles available for an additional cost).

More Day Paddles

Looking for more places to wet your paddle?  Take a look at the following links for more ideas for day paddles a little further from Tuscarora.  We do have car kits available so strap a canoe on your car and go find a new lake to paddle! This is lake country after all!



B.A. PointCentennial TrailGunflint Lake High CliffsMagnetic Rock TrailTrails End Campground Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature CenterMore Hikes…

B.A. Point

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate – Distance: 1 hour round trip – Permit: none

Just past Cabin 2’s front porch is a little trail we like to call B.A. Point.  Named after some horrified skinny dippers caught in the act, this quiet little trail is a Tuscarora favorite.  The trail hugs the shoreline of Round Lake and winds it’s way out to a granite point.  Fish along the way and off the point at the end, swim (we recommend WITH suits), string up a hammock and read a book.  In the spring, this trail is littered with pink lady slippers and in mid summer blueberries are a sweat treat along the way.

Getting There:  Head down to the main dock, hang a left, go past Cabin 2, over a little bridge and you are on your way!

Centennial Trail

2011.09.30 Centennial HT (8)Difficulty: Moderate – Distance:3.3 miles – Permit: none

Be sure to grab an interpretive pamphlet from the office before heading off on this trail for the first time!  The trail follows in the footsteps of miners in the 1890’s who were attempting to develop the Paulson Mine.  Today the trail is a great place for overlooks, berry picking, moose and beaver spotting and just spending some quality time in the woods!   More information…

Getting There:  There are two trail head parking areas.  To get to one, drive out to the Gunflint Trail, take a left and drive about a mile.  The parking lot will be on your left.  The second trail head is about a half mile up Tuscarora’s road, Round Lake Road.  You can walk to this trail head from Tuscarora if you are up to adding an additional mile to your hike.  Maps and pamphlets are available in the office.

Gunflint Lake High Cliffs

Difficulty: Moderate – Distance: 1 mile round trip – Permit: none

This short but steep trail follows a cross country ski trail up to a breathtaking overlook of Gunflint and Magnetic Lakes.  An absolutely beautiful spot to sit and watch the sun set, take in the fall colors or just to watch the birds fly by.  Use caution with small children as the trail does end somewhat abruptly at the top of a very high cliff!

Getting There:  Drive out to the Gunflint Trail, take a right and travel 5 miles to the Loon Lake public access road.  Park in the public parking lot and walk back up the road about an eight of a mile.  The unmarked trail head will be on the right.  Maps of the area are available in the office.

Magnetic Rock Trail

Maria on MagneticDifficulty: Easy – Distance: 3 miles round trip – Permit: Free Day Use Permit

The trail to Magnetic Rock has many beautiful overlooks to enjoy the scenery.  This area is a great place to see how the forest changes after the blowdown and fires.  In spring the wildflowers are breathtaking, summer lends itself to tasty berry picking, and the fall foliage is amazing.  Rock hounds will sure be watching their feet on this trail for evidence of the Sudbury Meteor impact layer.  Turn around when you reach Magnetic Rock, a 60 foot monolith that is said to drive compasses wild.  Once there, hang out a bit and notice the vertical sedimentary lines in the rock evidence of a huge upheaval at some point!  More information…

Getting There:  Drive out to the Gunflint Trail, take a left and drive about a mile to the trail head parking lot on the right.  Maps are available in the office, which you will especially need if you try to travel past Magnetic Rock.

Trails End Campground

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate – Distance: Variable – Permit: none

Trails End Campground is a US Forest Service campground at the end of the Gunflint Trail.  While the camping is beautiful, the campground is also a great place to explore!  Take the trail between campsites 18 and 19 (please be respectful of campers) to find the Gull Lake rapids where the state record walleye was caught!  Hike the nature trail near the Seagull Lake boat launch out to the point.  Bring along a picnic and find an open campsite for a quick campfire.  More information…

Getting There:  Drive out to the Gunflint Trail, take a left and drive about 10 miles to the end of the Gunflint Trail.  The campground is a loop at the end of the road.

Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center

Difficulty: Easy to Difficult – Distance: Variable – Cost: hiking is free

The Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center has a great trail system and summer activities like their Naturalist program. The museum is open daily from 10 until 5 daily May through October but the hiking trails are open any time.  Trails range from ADA-accessible on the Boardwalk trail to a challenging but rewarding hike up the Blueberry Hill Trail.  While the distances may seem short, be sure to leave plenty of time for nature watching.  The museum usually has a pair of loons each year nesting on a platform!   More information…

Getting There: Once you have left Tuscarora, take a left on the paved Gunflint trail and travel 7.4 miles to Moose Pond Drive (Co Rd 81).  Take a right and follow the signs to the main parking lot.

More Hikes

Looking for more hikes in the area?  Check out the resources below for hiking trails that are a little further from Tuscarora but definitely worth the drive!



Blankenburg BeachChik-Wauk Museum and Nature CenterBerry PickingGunflint Trail DriveGrand MaraisKadunce River Minnesota State Parks

Blankenburg Beach

Difficulty: Easy – Distance: Drive up – Cost: none

Blankenburg beach is an excellent spot for a cook-out or campfire with a great, shallow beach for water games!  The area is equipped with a deep fire pit, grate, picnic tables, sand beach, and latrine.  The western view over Seagull Lake is one of the loveliest places to watch the sun set! Blakenburg is free of charge so all you need to bring is the fun.  Generally, enough firewood can be found in the surrounding area to get a nice fire started.  Pack your picnic basket, beach towels, beach balls, marshmallows, etc.

Getting There: Once you have left Tuscarora, take a left on the Gunflint Trail and travel 6 miles up the trail.  Take a left when you see the Seagull Public access sign across from the Seagull Fish Camp.  Park in the first parking lot and take the short trail past the latrine.

Berry Picking

Tuscarora - Cabins 2Difficulty: Easy to Moderate – Distance: Variable – Cost: None

Blueberry season is normally at it’s height during the last two weeks in July but they can be found earlier and later depending on the season.  Areas recently burned by wildfires are the best spot to start hunting for blueberries.  If you drive down the Gunflint Trail, park in at a side road and hike into the burn about 30-40 feet, you’ll probably find blueberry bushes by the dozens!  The Magnetic Rock Trail is another great spot to find fresh berries.

Raspberries also grow wild in the woods here and are often out shined by the blueberries but don’t be fooled, wild raspberries have an intense flavor that is not to be missed!

What ever berries you are picking, be sure to bring a pail to collect your finds, sunscreen, extra water, and a map if you are planning on going to far in.

Getting There:  Good berry picking spots range from within walking distance of Tuscarora to a drive.  Stop in the office for updates and secret spots!

Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center

Difficulty: Easy – Distance: Drive Up – Cost: $3 per person or $7 per family

The Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, especially if it is rainy!  This little museum near the end of the Gunflint Trail does a fantastic job portraying the natural history and people of the area.  Learn about French Voyageurs, mining efforts including the mine located on the Centennial trail, logging history and the legendary people and resorts of the trail.  Chik-Wauk also has a great trail system and summer activities like their Naturalist program. The museum is open daily from 10 until 5 daily May through October.  Admission is $3 per person or $7 for a family.  Bring along your curiosity and enough time to sit in their comfortable chairs while browsing their reading corner.  More information…

Getting There: Once you have left Tuscarora, take a left on the paved Gunflint trail and travel 7.4 miles to Moose Pond Drive (Co Rd 81).  Take a right and follow the signs to the main parking lot.

Gunflint Trail Drive

Difficulty: Easy – Distance: variable – Cost: just gas!

Gunflint TrailDriving along the Gunflint Trail is a great way to find large wildlife like deer, black bears, fox and moose!  Early in the morning around sunrise and at dusk is the best time to spot these elusive creatures.  Moose especially prefer to be out in the cooler temperatures and in the lower, marshier parts of the trail.  Keep in mind that good moose viewing times also happen to be bad driving times.  Please use caution when driving at these times of day.  If you do stop to watch some wildlife, pull off of the road as far as you can and do not exit the vehicle into traffic.  The Gunflint Trail at times feels like a lazy back road but it is in fact a highway that is unfortunately traveled by some at great speed.

The Gunflint Trail is a National Scenic Byway so the drive itself is an adventure!  More information on the drive and what can be found along the way can be found here…

Getting There:  Drive out to the paved Gunflint Trail and take a left or a right, depending on your mood!

Grand Marais

Difficulty: Easy – Distance: 47 miles one way to town – Cost: variable

Spend a day down in Grand Marais!  Grand Marais is a small community with a lot to offer that is only an hour down the trail.  Shop the quaint downtown area with many boutiques and art galleries.  Spend time skipping rocks in the harbor or walk out to Artist’s Point to watch the waves of Lake Superior roll in.  Eat dinner at our favorite restaurants; The Angry Trout, Gun Flint Tavern, My Sister’s Place.  Stop at World’s Best Doughnuts, Sydney’s Custard or Gunflint Mercantile afterwards for sweet treats!

Getting There:  Drive out to the Gunflint Trail and take a right.  Drive 47 miles or about an hour to town.

Kadunce River

KadunceDifficulty: Moderate to Difficult – Distance: 2 miles round trip – Cost: none

The Kadunce River is a wayside rest along 61 about 8 miles northeast of Grand Marais.  There is a nice parking lot on the lake side of the road.  Park there then explore along Lake Superior’s shoreline and have a picnic at one of the picnic tables.  Take the trail across the highway up along the Kadunce River for stunning views of the lake and the river gorge.  If water levels are low, walk up the river itself and climb the waterfalls then take the trail back down.

Getting There:  Drive out to the Gunflint Trail, take a right and drive down to Grand Marais.  Once in town, take Highway 61 out of town to the northeast and drive about 8 miles.  Parking lot on the right.

Minnesota State Parks

Difficulty: Variable – Distance: Variable – Cost: Minnesota State Park fees

Cook County and the drive along Lake Superior is home to may great state parks.  Some of these require a long drive from Tuscarora but the parks have countless miles of walks, waterfalls, wildlife and wildflowers!  Consider visiting one of the parks as a day trip or on your way home from Tuscarora.

  • Grand Portage – Known for High Falls and being the border between US and Canada, this park is a breathtaking site in the spring when the Pigeon River is flowing high and fast!
  • Judge C.R. Magney – Discover the wonder of the Devil’s Kettle at this park.  The Brule River plunges over a series of waterfalls, one of which has a mysterious pothole with no known exit.
  • Cascade River – Even more waterfalls and trails to explore here!
  • Temperance River – Picnic along the shores of Lake Superior then hike up to see some waterfalls.

Getting There:  Check out the links for each park for driving directions.


Breakfast at Tuscarora

Tuscarora cooks up a hot breakfast perfect for starting a canoe trip out right.  French toast, fruit cup, hard boiled egg “canoes”, coffee and hot chocolate is served at 7 AM in our dining hall.  The dining hall is open from fishing opener to mid-September.  Pricing and more information can be found by clicking here.

Cabin guests are welcome to join us for breakfast.  Please let us know the day before you would like breakfast and we will have a spot ready for you in our dining hall!

Cabin Cooking

Lodge - kitchen All Tuscarora cabins (excluding bunkhouses) have a full kitchen for cooking meals during your stay.  Kitchens are furnished with a variety of kitchen items including pots, pans, cooking utensils, dishes, and silverware.

Grand Marais has three grocery stores where you can stock up on your way.  Johnson’s Foods and Gene’s Foods are closed on Sundays so please plan accordingly.  Two Harbors, MN has a larger Super One which is a good choice for anyone traveling on Sunday or who will be arriving late in the evening.

  • Johnson’s Foods – 20 E. First Street, Grand Marais -218-387-2503
  • Gene’s Foods – 431 E. Hwy 61, Grand Marais – 218-387-1212
  • Cook County Co-op – 20 E. First Street, Grand Marais – 218-387-2503
  • Super One – 802 11th St, Two Harbors – 218-834-5651

Gunflint Trail Dining

Evening dining is available at several nearby restaurants on the Gunflint Trail. The closest restaurant is just 4 miles.  Some restaurants require reservations which we will be happy to make for you in the office.


Take your meals outside and enjoy the fresh air!  Head over to Blankenburg Beach for a picnic around a campfire.  Paddle out to one of the many BWCA campsites that all have a fire grate.  Tuscarora also has small charcoal grills for cabin guests to use (guests must provide their own charcoal and lighter fluid) for a grill night outside your cabin.  Food just tastes better outside in the fresh air!


Round Lake offers wonderful opportunities to catch walleye, smallmouth bass and northern pike from one of our docks, out in a boat, or right along the shoreline.  More fishing information for our lake and the surrounding area can be found on our fishing page.