In the most secluded part of Minnesota, near the boundary waters between the United States and Canada, sits one of the most remote areas where many Minnesotans and other northern residents flock for the ultimate refuge: Gunflint Lodge. It is a minimum of three hours from any large city, but it is known by many as a place of complete solitude in the Northwoods. With several cabin options it is a great place to go for families or for honeymooners, especially those looking to get away from the craziness of daily life.
Watch the video of the Gunflint experience and read below
Gunflint Lodge: A Place of Seclusion
Gunflint Lodge resides alongside Gunflint Trail, a 57-mile paved Scenic Byway in Northwoods, Minnesota. It is near the boundary waters of Canada and the United States, and it is so far north that many motorized vehicles are not allowed so as not to disturb the peaceful nature of the animal inhabitants. It is a place where you can truly feel “off the grid” all while experiencing a comfortable lodging experience with activities for you and your newlywed spouse or even the entire family.
Accommodations at Gunflint Lodge
Accommodations at Gunflint Lodge range from one to five bedroom cabins, making it suitable for honeymooners up to large families. There are five different types of cabins featuring different sizes and amenities, but each cabin comes with a gas or charcoal grill, a small or full-sized kitchen, firewood at the door, and fresh linens and towels. Many have a private sauna, a washer and dryer, even a Jacuzzi. Talk about roughing it!
The different cabin styles include:
- Classic Cabins
- Romantic Cottages
- Lake Homes
- Pow Wow Lodge
- Adventurers Cabins
The Classic Cabins, Romantic Cottages, and Lake Homes are one to four bedrooms and they are open year-round. The Pow Wow Lodge is 5 bedrooms and also includes three baths, a common space living room with a stone fireplace, a game room, a gourmet kitchen, a garage, and wireless internet. It also has an outdoor BBQ and a perfect view of the lake with porch-side sitting. It can fit up to 10 people.
The Adventurers Cabins are small, one room cabins meant for those simply needing a place to rest between their hiking, fishing, and other excursions. They are only open seasonally, in May through October.
The Views at Gunflint Lodge
One of our favorite things about staying at Gunflint Lodge is the fact that no matter where you go or stay, the views are incredible. Every cabin has a platform with two chairs overlooking the lake in front of it, which allows you to catch serene moments after a rainstorm, or watch the sunset surrounded by trees, birds and seclusion.
There are numerous paths and hikes around the property that afford even more beautiful views and experiences. Guests at the resort love sitting down on the lawn and enjoying the sunset views, or taking advantage of the hammocks or the benches by the dock.
Activities at Gunflint Lodge
Although Gunflint Lodge is in a secluded area of Northwoods, there are plenty of activities you can partake in during your stay. Many of the activities are seasonal so whether these activities are available depends on the time of year you are visiting. There are things for couples, small groups, and entire families making it a great way to spend your days “off the grid.”
Some of the available activities include:
- Horseback riding
- Guided wilderness adventure hikes
- Canoeing and kayaking
- Rock climbing
- Dog sledding
- Cross-country skiing
- Hiking and trails
- Fat-Biking rentals
- Snowmobile rentals
Gunflint lodge has a great dock and boat launch to access Gunflint Lake. Bring your own boat to Gunflint, hire a private fishing guide, or rent a boat to go out on your own. They have several small boats you can rent for the day to explore the lake or do some fishing with the kids. The best time to go out fishing would be in the early morning, but reserve your boat early because everyone knows it’s the place to be before breakfast! There are even some amazing waterfalls you can access not to far from Gunflint Lodge by boat.
Massage therapy is also available on the grounds with a variety of massage options available to honeymooners, couples, or those just looking to relax. Massages are available for 30, 60, or 90 minutes:
- Swedish massage
- Thai massage
- Deep tissue massage
- Oncology massage
- Indian Head massage
- Prenatal massage
Kids will never be bored here. Aside from making friends for life, playing on the playground, splashing in the water, going on hikes and picking blueberries, there is a whole schedule of organized activities that they will enjoy during the stay.
From origami classes to bug catching walks, there are a ton of activities that will appeal to every kind of kid. We enjoyed family soap making, guided nature walks, butterfly catching, arts and crafts and so much more. The nature center holds educational seminars teaching those interested about everything in the north woods from spiders to bears and every tree in between.
Hikes and Waterfalls
A big surprise for new guests of Gunflint Lodge are waterfalls within a short enjoyable hiking distance from the resort. The views on these hikes are phenomenal and on a clear day from the very top of the cliff you can see all the way to Canada. The waterfalls are pretty impressive, too, especially for children, who love getting splashed by the water hitting the rocks. Definitely a must-do activity during your stay.
If you want to experience a more adrenaline fueled adventure, sign up for a zip line that runs from the cliffs all the way over to the bottom of the ledge. It’s an old school glove-break type of zipline, so you will have a little bit of an orientation before heading over to the cliff to start your adventure. You will fly above the trees and high above the cliffs of Gunflint Lodge overlooking the lake.
There is even something for horse lovers. Tucked all the way in the back, Gunflint Riding Stables offers riding adventures for all ages. The minimum age is 7 years old and there are horses for beginners, as well as experienced riders. Keep in mind that the weight limit is 240lbs and there is a required adult per 4 children. You can go for a dinner ride or a shorter 3 mile trek, half a day lunch ride is also offered for those who want a longer experience with the horses.
Gunflint Lodge is the perfect place to get an introductory experience into the boundary waters (BWCA). They provide a full outfitting service for those looking to get the most out of their boundary water experience. Their fully trained and experienced staff live and breathe the Northwoods and can provide you with the essentials you’ll need for this rugged land. Be sure to visit the Trading Post to talk about your specific needs, whether it’s just a few supplies to go off on a day trip, or a fully guided experience in the boundary waters.
Boundary Waters Experience at Gunflint
One amazing fact about Gunflint Lodge is that you can literally see Canada from the dock! Just a short distance across Gunflint Lake is the border of Canada. Along the US and Canadian border is a perfect little inlet into the boundary waters. It makes for a perfect day trip with the family. You don’t have to venture too far, but you still get that authentic boundary waters experience. There are several portages and waterfalls to explore. In the pools under the rapids of the waterfalls is perfect place to fish. You may even catch lunch! Jump in a canoe and go explore with your family.
If you venture up the banks of the water you’ll be sure to find blueberries, and lots of them. Be sure to bring a big basket because you’ll be able to pick blue berries until you turn blue! Blueberries are sweet, tasty and plentiful. Every year there’s a contest held in the area among local resorts to see who can pick the largest wild blueberry.
Dining at Gunflint Lodge
Given Gunflint Lodge’s seclusion from nearby towns or cities, dining options are minimal. Guests are able to bring their own food supplies as most cabins offer a small or a full-sized kitchen with appliances available for your use. However, if you choose to dine with Gunflint Lodge, their restaurant on-site is known to serve some of the best food in the Northwoods. Justine’s at Gunflint Lodge has hearty cuisine, a full bar, and uses local ingredients for every meal. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as seasonal offerings during different times of the year. Many make the trip to Gunflint Lodge just to enjoy a nice dinner at Justine’s while looking out over the lake.
Guests are welcome to join the staff at Gunflint Lodge for a delicious meal with panoramic views of Gunflint Lake all while sitting in the rustic decor of the restaurant native to the Northwoods. During the winter months you can enjoy the crackling fire in the stone fireplace, while in the summer you can sit on the patio and enjoy the fresh air and gorgeous sunsets. Gunflint Lodge also has a family-friendly BBQ cookout for evening meals from Memorial Day to Labor Day which includes foods such as hickory ribs, smoked chicken, and smoked salmon. Could be the best ribs you’ve ever had!
Breakfast includes a wide-range of foods including homemade oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, toast, English muffins, fresh fruit, and juices. They also have custom omelets made-to-order.
The Bistro lunch menu includes seasonal offerings using local ingredients such as their signature walleye chowder, homemade chili, homemade appetizers, wraps, salads, sandwiches, and desserts.
Dinner often includes nightly specials as well as steak, poultry, walleye, and pasta or vegetarian options. Guests are encouraged to try their walleye speciality at least once while staying at Gunflint Lodge which is a beer-battered and deep-fried walleye with a sweet and sour mango sauce.
The full-service bar is open to guests and includes locally brewed and hand-crafted beers, domestic and imported wines, and signature cocktails. Custom-made drinks are also available.
Remote Family Bonding Getaway
Gunflint Lodge is the perfect place for a family getaway. Its remote location allows you to truly unplug from the world around you and take in all that Minnesota nature has to offer. From planned activities such as boat rides, kayaking, and zip lining to open activities like hiking, blueberry picking, and swimming, there are plenty of things for the whole family to enjoy while staying at Gunflint Lodge. It allows kids and parents to experience a family vacation the way it is supposed to be experienced- making memories together instead of shuffling off to different activities.
The Perfect Honeymoon Escape for Nature Lovers
Gunflint Lodge is the perfect escape for families to leave behind the hustle of every day life. But for those newlyweds who love the outdoors and who truly would love a secluded place to enjoy their first days of marriage, Gunflint Lodge is perfect. It is nestled in the uppermost parts of Minnesota, offering the peace that many dream about but rarely experience. With a stay in a Romantic Cottage, you can have time to yourself without being around other guests like in a traditional hotel. You can enjoy couple’s activities like hiking, kayaking, canoeing, massages, dog sledding, or cross-country skiing or you can go on group activities like guided wilderness trail tours.
Delicious food and drink is available to you at Justine’s at Gunflint Lodge so couple’s don’t feel the need to cook even though they aren’t at a traditional resort. But if cooking is something you enjoy it is available to you in your cabin. You can sit by your stone fireplace or on your patio, enjoying the sunset on Gunflint Lake all while soaking in the quiet solitude of your honeymoon.
No matter what kind of experience you are looking for, Gunflint Lodge offers it all with the peaceful refuge that many new couples need during their honeymoon phase of life.