Open year-around, a visit to the Heritage Center is the best place to begin your exploration of Grand Portage National Monument. As you walk in you will be warmly greeted by helpful front desk staff. Behind the desk is a well-stocked bookstore and gift shop. Above your head an "ancient form" birchbark canoe is hung much as it would as an overnight encampment shelter for Ojibwe families during their travels among the lakes and rivers of the Great Lakes region. Near the stairs, is the tallest fireplace in Cook County, made from a fine-grained sandstone called graywacke of the nearly two-billion year old Rove Formation which was excavated from the basement of this building.
Three media displays bring to life the other exhibits by emersion into Ojibwe culture and history through oral histories in "Grand Portage Stories," learning about fur trade interactions in "The Art of the Trade," and the international nature of the fur trade in the 18th century in "The Great Carrying Place."
Grand Portage National Monument, in partnership with the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, is very proud to announce the debut of a new park orientation film "Rendezvous with History: A Grand Portage Story" in the monument's Heritage Center classroom.
Go upstairs to the Cultural Room and view exhibits about local artisans of Grand Portage, look at the bottom bark on the "ancient form" birch canoe and get more great views of the bay, Tamarack and Hat Points, Grand Portage Island and on clear days off on the horizon of Lake Superior is Isle Royale National Park, the northern most part of the state of Michigan.
A paved pathway leads from the Heritage Center to the Historic Depot which is open from May to October between Memorial to Columbus Day weekends. Paths in the Historic Depot connect to the Grand Portage footpath and the Mount Rose self guiding nature trail.