The Gunflint Trail is the best way into Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

May 30, 2012

The Gunflint Trail is a two-lane highway that winds 65 miles inland from Grand Marais, on Lake Superior's North Shore, and along the preserve's southern edge. Stop in Grand Marais to outfit yourself for a trip into this realm of hundreds of forest-rimmed lakes straddling the United States/Canada border. You also can find all the expert advice you need to get started safely, including fishing and canoeing guides for hire.

Autumn is one of the best times to set out on a canoe trip from the Gunflint. It's the driest season in an area often lashed by intense rains. And the foliage can be lovely, of course.

If you don't crave a wilderness experience, you'll find plenty to do within shouting distance of the region's many lodges cabin compounds and campgrounds. Trails abound for horseback riding, biking and hiking. Or you can just laze on your cabin porch and listen to the serenade of the loons.