The highest waterfall in Minnesota! A beautiful welcome center with picnic shelter! Amazing scenic views! Grand Portage State Park has it all. This state park sits on the border to Canada, so it’s a bit of a drive, but the views are worth the trip.

In addition to being an incredibly beautiful and accessible state park, this is a unique park. Grand Portage State Park is the only state park that is operated in a partnership between the state parks service and local Native American band. The park is located entirely within the Grand Portage tribal lands. The nearby National Monument is another destination to consider for your next trip up north.

Our Top Five Things to do in Grand Portage State Park
  1. Stop by the Welcome Center: This distinctly beautiful welcome center’s design was influenced by the Grand Portage Band of Ojibwe. Look for the bright turtle on the lobby floor that represents creation and migration.
  2. Hike: Take the paved, ADA-compliant trails to the High Falls of the Pigeon River. Torrents of water plummet 120 feet over the falls as the river winds its way to Lake Superior. (Note: the trail is not wheelchair accessible in the winter months).
  3. Mountain Bike: There are 12 miles of hard-packed dirt trails with difficulties varying from beginner to expert. Bikers can pedal through the rugged terrain and enjoy the incredible scenic beauty along the way.
  4. Snowshoe: Grab some snowshoes, which are available at the Welcome Center, and take on the non-plowed, half-mile trail to the High Falls.
  5. Go Birding: Print a bird checklist and try to spot some of the elegant birds that frequent this area. Birds you may see include the Savannah Sparrow and Dark-Eyed Junco.
More Info

If you want to learn more about this state park, check out the Exploring the North Shore guide. The guide includes more information on accessibility, cost, hours, and seasonality.

Getting There

Grand Portage State Park is located along the US/Canadian border in far northern Minnesota. Take Highway 61 until shortly before the border crossing. Look for signs for the state park. The parking area is located on the non-lake side of Highway 61.


Listen to Joe and Jaye explore the Grand portage on the Exploring the North Shore Podcast: