Things To Do

Bagpipes at Grand Portage
Living history interpreter presenting program, "Bagpipes at Grand Portage."

NPS Photo

There are many things to see and do during a visit to the Monument. How much time do you have?

Things to do if you have:

Two or three hours:

  • Start at The Heritage Center:
    • Explore art and craft of the Grand Portage Ojibwe community with many museum objects on display.
    • View archaeological artifacts from excavations from the 1930s to the present
    • Watch the feature film - Rendezvous With History a Grand Portage Story (23 minutes)
    • Play "Art of the Trade"
    • Browse the Eastern National bookstore.
  • Visit the Historic Depot:
    • Three reconstructed post and sill log buildings (great hall, kitchen, and canoe warehouse)
    • four outside areas (Ojibwe village, voyageurs encampment, dock and historic gardens (European kitchen and Ojibwe three sisters gardens)) and read wayside exhibits around the depot area.

A half day:

Everything you can do in two or three hours plus:

  • Become a Grand Portage Junior Ranger / voyageur - request your free booklet from a ranger at the information desk in the heritage center.
    • answer the questions by watching films, looking at exhibitis and talking with living history interpreters around the various sites of the depot
    • Present your completed booklet at the information desk in the heritage center to have your answers checked and receive your junior ranger patch and certificate.
  • Enjoy a picnic (three tables) at the west end of the parking lot where the Mount Rose Loop trailhead wood stairs begin.
  • Hike the Mount Rose Loop Trail to a stunning overlook of the historic depot, Grand Portage Bay, Mount Josephine, the gap in the hills the Grand Portage footpath goes through.
  • Enjoy picnicking beside Lake Superior in the historic porkeater's camp (voyageur's who paddled from Montreal) also read the wayside exhibits in the picnic area.
  • Participate in a ranger walk or talk titles have included: (30 minutes to one hour).
    • Saving the Past Through Seeds: The Historic Gardens
    • From Tree to Makuk
    • Building a Birchbark Canoe
    • Historic Bread Baking Demonstrations in the NWCo Kitchens
    • What's Cookin'
    • Why Grand Portage,? Walking Tour
    • "My Grandpa Had One of Those," Historic Tools and Their Uses
    • To the Pacific by Land 1793
    • Native American Lifeways
    • Bindagodiwin: The Ojibwe/Dakota Conflict
    • Bagpipes at Grand Portage
    • The Art and Craft in Ojibwe Technologies
    • Portage into the Wilderness: Walk along the Grand Portage

More films shown in the heritage center:

  • Film Shorts: "Our Home: The Grand Portage Ojibwe," "The Gift of the Birch Bark Canoe," "A Gap in the Hills: Geography of Grand Portage," and "The Men of the North West Company" - Running time for all four is 24 minutes.
  • Northwest Passage - Running time is 10 minutes.
  • The Voyageur - 20 minutes.

A day:

Everything you can do in a half day plus:

  • Hike the Grand Portage footpath from the depot to new Highway 61 (1 1/2 mile round trip - about half an hour).

More than a day:

Everything you can do in a day plus:

  • Hike the Grand Portage footpath from the stockade to Old Highway 61 (eight miles round trip - three to four hours).
  • Hike the Grand Portage from Old Highway 61 to Fort Charlotte (nine miles round trip - six to eight hours).
  • Hike the entire Grand Portage footpath from the stockade on Lake Superior to Fort Charlotte and back (17 miles round trip eight to 16 hours).
  • Camp overnight at fort charlotte - obtain your backcountry permit during regular business hours from the heritage center or online (24 hours plus).
  • Visit Grand Portage State Park - See High Falls, the highest waterfalls in Minnesota - hike to upper and lower Middle Falls.
  • Take an excursion from Hat Point Marina to Isle Royale National Park for a day aboard the Sea Hunter or overnight or longer aboard the Voyageur II.

Last updated: February 27, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 426
Grand Portage, MN 55605


(218) 475-0123

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