Grand Portage State Park

Parks & Geology / Sunday, October 7th, 2018

Grand Portage State Park is at the northeastern tip of Minnesota, on the Canadian border.
Not actually owned by the state of Minnesota, this State Park is located in the Grand Portage Indian Reservation and is leased to the state for $1 a year.
Interestingly, it is the only U.S. state park jointly managed by a state and a Native American band.
I took advantage of Explore Minnesota’s MN Hike campaign and set my sights on Pigeon River’s, High Falls – a 120-foot waterfall.
It is the tallest in the state, though it is technically on the border of Canada.
Not to be confused with the High Falls on the Baptism River in Tettegouche State Park, as that one is the highest waterfall entirely within Minnesota.
The Pigeon River, which runs through the park, also has Middle Falls, a 30-foot waterfall that is accessible by a much more rugged trail unlike the paved and boardwalk trail to the High Falls.
Grand Portage is a favorite among history buffs because of the rich sagas of American Indians, voyageurs and fur traders in the 1700s. Grand Portage and the Pigeon River were the borders between Dakota and Cree tribes. Rough terrain and waterfalls kept non-native travelers away, thus creating a need for an alternative route. The route that allowed portage on the fur trade routes became known as “the Grand Portage.” The story of this park certainly doesn’t end with the fur trade.

In 1842 the Webster-Ashburton Treaty solidified Pigeon River as the international border between Canada–United States. When visiting, you are a stone’s throw from the Canadia border and a window into the areas past. The park emphasizes interpretation of Ojibwe cultural heritage.
If you love Minnesota history as much as I do, I strongly suggested researching how this park came to be.
I also suggest checking out nearby Grand Portage National Monument where you can peruse historical artifacts and even go on a tour of a re-created fort along the Lake Superior shoreline.
This post was brought to you by Explore Minnesota, but opinions are all my own. #onlyinmn
Enter Explore Minnesota’s HIKE MN sweepstakes here.

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