Our Great Northern Minnesota Resort Tour with Wedding Guy, Bruce Vassar, continues this week with Gunflint Lodge.
Sensational feelings! I’m just sitting on top of the world! Have you ever experienced the feeling of just being at the pinnacle point of something or somewhere, an intense feeling of well-being and happiness mixed with Déjà vu?
After staying overnight at Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior I was up bright and early to hit the road on my way to Grand Marais. Have you been? I hadn’t but when I pulled into town the first thing I thought of was, “Where’s the lobster or clam bake?” Looking out onto the lake with the sailboats, it felt like I was on the Eastern Shore, not the North Shore.
From the town of Grand Marais, Minnesota, to Gunflint Lodge on the Gunflint Trail will take about one and a half hours of driving through the Superior National Forrest, on a two-lane winding road through hills and valleys with dappled sunlight shining through the trees. You and your guests will love it. If you ever needed time to relax and think less of the world’s problems and just taking the time to enjoy yourself; leave the city behind, the drive to Gunflint Lodge is just the trip for you.
Like many resorts on the North Shore, they all started with a small cabin as immigrants moved to the United States and specifically the Minnesota area in the early 1900s. Although their story is a bit different from the rest, Mrs. Doris (Dora) Blankenburg and her son, Russell started Gunflint Lodge in 1925. The Blankenburgs were originally from Chicago and owned a resort called Light House Lodge in northern Wisconsin. As their guests were leaving the Light House Lodge they informed Dora and Russell they were going to a new area in Northern Minnesota called the Gunflint Trail the next summer. With a keen interest, Russell convinced Dora to purchase the land for lodging. After running the resort for two years, Dora thought to have two resorts was too taxing on her and so Gunflint Lodge went up for sale only to be purchased by their friends Mae and Justine Spunner in 1929, only to be followed by the depression of 1933.
With many owners from the 1940s to today, I met up with the current owners, John and Mindy Fredrikson, for a delightful chat and tour. I have to say just going on the tour was a treat itself. In the process of exploring the grounds I learned so much from John who explained everything about the property and the former owners, and yes he said Canada is just across the lake! The amazingly beautiful cabins are just the beginning to this gem-of-a-find in Minnesota. The Voyageur Cabins are for those liking a more rustic, adventurous stay. These cabins are usually rented to people hunting and fishing for a quick rest before moving on.
With horseback riding, fishing, swimming, canoeing, bike riding, rock climbing, boating, massage therapy, zip-lining, snowmobile, cross country skiing, to even sled dog trips, there is no lack of activities to enjoy. You can count on the fact that all of your guests venturing up for a wedding will have the time of their life. Now, like in past articles, I like to end with a couple of things that perhaps are not so well known about the resort, so here we go!
If an elopement is in your wedding plans, they have the perfect elopement package available. It’s the greatest “cute” get-away idea. Just remember to bring your license. Gunflint Lodge has been a place of romantic nuptials since the very beginning. In 1934 Justine Spunner was married to Bill Kerfoot. Bill was the son of the president of Hamline University. Justine Spunner Kerfoot is the author of two books: “Woman of the Boundary Waters” and “Gunflint”.
Gunflint Lodge is a magical place, it’s like being on your own island only Up-North.
For more information: https://www.gunflint.com/
All photos courtesy of Gunflint Lodge