149 The Gunflint trail Designed by Lisa Middleton
Lisa Middleton’s map of Gunflint Trail details the many lakes that dot the trail along the way, creeks, and mountain ranges. She provides the depths of the lakes and the height of each mountain. Beginning in Grand Marais and twisting northeast for 57 miles on the shores of Lake Superior and ending at Trails End campground nearby sea Gull and Saganaga lakes, the Gunflint Trail is a scenic wonder that is rich with cultural and natural history. In its entirety, the Gunflint Trail is an all-season paved road located in Minnesota, and is designated as Cook County Road 12 (CR 12) and classified as a Federal Forest Highway. This trail is one of Minnesota’s most well traveled “back” roads and is surrounded by the vast wilderness of Superior National Forest. The trail is believed to have been named by Ojibwa and French explorers.
It is likely to stumble upon little remnants of early settlement history of an aged stone foundation or a rotting dam. Originating as a bush walking trail for Native Americans and, later, buckskin-clad voyageurs, today the Gunflint Trail is the primary route to resorts, lodges, outfitters, hiking trails and the lakes and rivers of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA). In 2007, the Upper Gunflint Trail was impacted by the Ham Lake Fire, but damaged structures and access to the region were restored.
Grand Marais is supply central, and artists, artisans, and visitors are most often present in this area of the trail. There are millions of red and white pines on the trail and, the Wildflower Sanctuary can be spotted to the east of Maple Hill. On the Gunflint Trail are jumping-off points that lead to places like hiking trails, and an example is the Northern Light Lake Overlook Hiking Trail. The Gunflint Trail extends into some of Minnesota’s most incredible lands, and on the trail one can possibly spot a moose, timber wolf, elk, bear, deer, loon, eagle, fox, or a lynx.
There are plenty of places to hike, canoe, boat, fish, and explore along the entire Gunflint Trail during summer. During winter, the adventure continues with activities such as cross-country skiing, sledding and snowmobiling. The Gunflint Trail is one of Minnesota’s finest attractions with breathtaking natural scenery and wildlife. The trail’s primitive wilderness and historic resorts makes it a place of enchantment that should be explored and enjoyed to the fullest.
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