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28 Moose Pond Drive
Grand Marais, MN 55604
218-388-9915
info@gunflinttrailhistoricalsociety.org


The Gunflint Trail Historical Society

HISTORY

Janet Hanson & Justine Kerfoot
Janet Hanson & Justine Kerfoot,
Gunflint Lake,
Gunflint Northwoods Outfitters,
late 1940's
When was the Gunflint Trail built?

The original path that has today become the Gunflint Trail was originally an overland footpath used to travel from the inland lakes to the shore of Lake Superior. No one knows precisely when the footpath was established, but we can guess that it was hundreds of years ago, and it was first used by the native Sioux, then Ojibwe who have called this area home for hundreds of years. As more people discovered the recreational possibilities (and natural resources) in this area (and as cars became popular and available), the path was widened to a road in stages. An overland road existed from Grand Marais to the eastern end of Rove Lake in the 1870s (Rove Lake Road) where a trading post was located. The road was extended from Hungry Jack Lake to Poplar Lake to Gunflint Lake and the Cross River from approximately 1891-1893. For decades it was a primitive dirt, then gravel road, and it was navigated rather slowly so as not to damage one's car. (Source: Pioneers in the Wilderness by Willis H. Raff, 1981, Cook County Historical Society)

The area was prospected for ore mining, and logged extensively. The more recent economic activities of the area revolve around recreation and the twenty-plus resorts and canoe outfitters nestled on the lakeshores.

NOTE: Watch for more information on this page.

Map of historical sites produced by the 1985-86 Fiftieth Anniversary of the Gunflint Trail Association.











Billy Needham & Doc Keesey
Billy Needham & Doc Keesey,
Hungry Jack Lake,
Gateway Lodge, 1960


Boostrom Family, 1947
Boostrom Family,
Clearwater Lake,
Clearwater Lodge, 1947


Sybil & Marvin Swanson
Sybil & Marvin Swanson,
Swanson's Lodge,
Hungry Jack Lake, 1940
Copyright © The Gunflint Trail Historical Society 2010