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Reader’s report: Dog-friendly Grand Marais, MN

Reader Gail also has a Cavalier (a lovely year-old ruby named Bella), and she sent me pictures and a report from a mid-July visit to Grand Marais, a lakeside village and artist’s community in northeastern Minnesota.

“Grand Marais is about 5 hours from our house,” Gail told me, “and one of my favorite places. It is on the shore of Lake Superior, has many lovely hiking trails in the surrounding area and it is very dog friendly!  Dogs are allowed in many of the stores.” It sounds, too, like dogs can join their owners on the patios of at least a couple of good restaurants, including The Angry Trout Café [5/15/16 Alas, the Angry Trout no longer welcomes dogs], and you’ll definitely want to snag a Skizzle at the walk-up window of World’s Best Donuts.

Here’s Bella on a hike with her youngest person, and overlooking the rock cairns at Artist’s Point, a beloved local landmark:

There are lots of nearby hikes to go on, including the Pincushion Mountain and Devil Track River Gorge bits of the Superior Hiking Trail (dogs must be leashed). If you’re looking to get right the heck away from it all, Grand Marais is a good jumping-off point for the Boundary Waters wilderness area (pet dogs are allowed in the BWCAW, but “they must be under control at all times,” so they don’t harass the wildlife or diminish other visitors’ enjoyment of the area).

Gail also mentioned that “there is a ski resort — Lutsen — about 25 miles south of Grand Marais that we have never actually been to during the winter months. BUT it is wonderful to visit in the summer/fall.  They allow small dogs (under 40 lbs.) on the gondola ride to the top of the ‘mountain.’ Anyway, it’s beautiful, dog friendly, and you can see for miles over Lake Superior from the top.  Great place for a picnic!”

“Bella poking her nose out the window of the Gondola”

And the last shot Gail sent was of Bella snoozing after a long walk:

Thank you so much, Gail — Grand Marais sounds like a delight! There’s really nothing like a report, and pictures, from someone who’s been there. Gail mentioned that Grand Marais is 5 hours from her home — the town is also about a 5-hour drive from Minneapolis St. Paul, and a 2-hour drive from Duluth.