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Going to Grand Marais without a Car

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Saint Paul...
3 posts
Going to Grand Marais without a Car

I am planning to spend 3 nights with my husband in August in Grand Marais. We should be staying at a cabin on lake superior which is a walking distance to down town Grand Marais. But, we are going there without a car and we do not drive. So, I am planning to enjoy the lake view, Artists Point, dining in the nearby restaurants and so on. But I like to go swimming and I was told that I can swim in inland lakes since the temperature of lake Superior can be quite chilly. I found that Devil Track lake is a 10 minutes drive so maybe I can hire a taxi/shuttle to that point. Do you recommend swimming there? If yes, where should I be going since it is a large lake with resorts on it and I am staying in another place. Also do you know any other inland lake that is nearby and good for swimming?

I also want to know if you recommend that I go to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area BWCA using a shuttle for a day trip. I never did canoeing before but I heard the area there is very beautiful and I wish if i can go.

Thanks a lot.

Destination Expert
for Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
1,094 posts
179 reviews
1. Re: Going to Grand Marais without a Car

IMO, I wouldn't goto the BWCA for just one day. It needs much more time than that and there is great canoeing on the shores of Lake Superior. Sorry but I don't know much about swimming in the area, not something I do when visiting the Grand Marais area.

Level Contributor
1,031 posts
534 reviews
2. Re: Going to Grand Marais without a Car

We rented a pontoon on Bear Skin Lake. Nice, quiet and the kids loved the swimming. We typically go swimming at the Baptism River near Silver Bay but that is about 50 minutes away.

Destination Expert
for Minneapolis
Level Contributor
3,291 posts
20 reviews
3. Re: Going to Grand Marais without a Car

Devils Track lake is a hoof. I'd wait til next trip and then actually camp there. Same with BWCA.

What IS close and not everyone knows about is hiking to the deepest canyon in the state - Devil's Track Canyon. It's maybe 2 miles up the shore then a small drive to trail head then maybe 25 min walk in to top of canyon rim.

Very impressive. Google it for exact directions.

There's public swimming at the municiple pool outside in Grand Marais, I believe.

Midlothian, Illinois
1 post
2 reviews
4. Re: Going to Grand Marais without a Car

My in-laws live in Grand Marais! It's beautiful there. May I suggest that you call ahead to their tourism info? I found it on their website.

Grand Marais Area Tourism Association

218-387-2524 • 1-888-922-5000

P.O. Box 1330

13 North Broadway Ave.

Grand Marais, MN 55604

Level Contributor
822 posts
8 reviews
5. Re: Going to Grand Marais without a Car

I've been at a loss of what to recommend to you based on the fact that you will not have a vehicle. I don't know if Grand Marais even has a taxi. May I ask how are you getting to G. M.?

Yes the inland lakes will be warmer then Superior. However, Devil Track Lake is a large lake that doesn't warm up as fast as some of the smaller lakes. I was swimming in Pike Lake last wkend. and thought the temp was fine, (for this time of year.). Grand Marais' pool is in-door only.

I would suggest saving the BWCA for another time, though day trips are common and well worth it. One thought for seeing some of it would be to hire a fishing guide who could take you out and see one of the lakes. (Fishing or just sight seeing). They could take you out on Sag. or Seagull, or even Gunflint Lake which has a great sand beach on the east end. But most guides are based towards the end of the Gunflint Trail, so once again, I don't know how you'd get there. Here is a link for some of the guides in G. M. Perhaps they could pick you up.


Saint Paul...
3 posts
6. Re: Going to Grand Marais without a Car

Actually, I really have a problem now trying to figure out how I can get to Grand Marais. I was planning to go by bus from Minneapolis to Duluth and then catch another bus to Grand Marais. But then I discovered that the weekly bus service to Grand Marais was cancelled and that a bus goes there only twice a month which does not match our schedule. The only option I found was to hire a private ride but it costs not less than $160 one way so it is very expensive.

Edited: 8:44 pm, June 15, 2012
Destination Expert
for Minneapolis
Level Contributor
3,291 posts
20 reviews
7. Re: Going to Grand Marais without a Car

I would still go - but maybe put an offer out on Craigslist.

There are thousands of people that drive from Duluth up the North Shore. Don't let that hold you back.

Twin Cities, MN
3 posts
8. Re: Going to Grand Marais without a Car

Do be careful. I, myself, would be much more comfortable finding someone in my church who would drive me to Grand Marais. Craig's List is acceptable for some things, but in this case I would only travel with someone I know and trust. Good luck. How about checking with churches and even the high school for recommendations from someone who is familiar with a potential driver. College is costly and students can certainly use the money. Again, check with people you know and trust.

Grand Marais...
Level Contributor
105 posts
7 reviews
9. Re: Going to Grand Marais without a Car

You may want to reach out to where ever you were planning on staying in GM and see if they would be willing to post that you are seeking a ride on Boreal.org (it is our local community email and website) and news@boreal.org. People often get rides that way to and from Duluth or the cities-with locals going one way or the other.

Regarding what to do in GM. Well if your walking you can for sure get around downtown GM and around the basic parts of town (there is lodging that is in or close to town too). If you are trying to rent a taxi it might be tricky but we do have 1 lady that does offer that service (though it might be pricey). I am sure the place you stay would have her number (she does sober rides around town and rides up the trail for people dropping off for camping or hiking).

I grew up on Devils Track and now my parents have a cabin there....it can be a great swimming lake. There is only one resort on the lake the rest is cabins and homes-there is a public boat launch, a camp ground, and a rocky (pebble) beach point that is good for bonfires.

I think you are better at saving the bwca for another time but you could call the resorts up the trail and they would likely have a canoe you can rent and let you tool around in the water some if that is what your seeking but again it might be hard to get a ride up that way.

GM is a great place and total doable with out a car but more so if you stay in GM and plan to just hang out around GM.

Level Contributor
52 posts
4 reviews
10. Re: Going to Grand Marais without a Car

Ok, this is getting really creative to solve your transportation issues, but I wonder if you could charter a boat to get from Duluth to Grand Marais? It would be transportation and an excursion in one. I have no idea if it's possible , but thought I'd throw the idea your way.

I found the phone number to the GM airport 218-387-3024. Maybe you could charter a plane?

Also, there is a train from Duluth to Two Harbors if that helps any. I'm not sure if that increase any odds for finding a way up to GM.

God Luck!

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