Best Hiking Near Grand Marais MN & the North Shore in 2024

Are you looking for the best hiking near Grand Marais? This charming town just off highway 61 has an amazing group of trails.

Are you ready to hit the trails in one of Minnesota’s most beautiful regions? The North Shore is where you’ll find some of the best hikes and most stunning views in the state.

Located on the North Shore, Grand Marais is Minnesota’s best hiking location.

From rugged mountain peaks to tranquil lakeside paths, the North Shore offers some of the most breathtaking views you’ll find anywhere in the country.

Pack your backpack, grab your camera, and get ready to discover some of the best trails and most breathtaking vistas around Grand Marais and Lake Superior.

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Where is Grand Marias Minnesota?

Grand Marais is a city located in Cook County in the state of Minnesota, United States. It is situated on the north shore of Lake Superior and is known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreational activities.

It’s 110 miles north of Duluth.

Best Hiking near Grand Marais and other North Shore Hikes?

Grand Marais is a great place to explore Minnesota’s North Shore. There is no better way than to hike. From Artist Point, to the Pincushion Mountains. 

You’ll get amazing Lake Superior views you’re looking for. Trails in the Grand Marais area are absolutely amazing.

Artist’s Point in Downtown Grand Marais

The trailhead for this hike is conveniently located right in the middle of Grand Marais. You can park your car near the trailhead and get straight to hiking. No need to drive out to some remote location in the middle of nowhere.

The Artist’s Point hike is a short and sweet hike along Lake Superior. It’s only about a mile long, so it won’t take up your entire day. 

As for difficulty, I’d say this hike is pretty easy. It’s mostly flat and well-maintained. That being said, it can get rocky and uneven in places, so be sure to watch your step and wear sturdy shoes.

From the parking lot, near the Coast Guard Station, walk straight out toward the shore. Swing right along the breakwater all the way out to the lighthouse. 

You’ll also get to see the best views of Grand Marais Harbor.

Some of the area is narrow with water on both sides. Keep an eye on your small children.

Make sure to visit Grand Marais afterward and explore the town!

Artist Point in Grand Marais

Cascade River State Park Grand Marais Trail

The Cascade River State Park hike is a 4-mile mountain loop that takes you through the heart of the park. It’s a moderate hike with a few steep inclines. Make sure you’re prepared with sturdy hiking shoes and plenty of water.

The trailhead for this hike is in either Cascade River State Park, or along highway 61 if you don’t have a state park pass. The park is known for its awe-striking waterfalls!

One highlight of this hike is the series of waterfalls. The Cascade River has carved out some impressive cascades over the years, and you’ll get to see them up close and personal as you hike along the river.

If you’re up for a challenge, you can even hike up to Lookout Mountain, which offers panoramic views of the lake and the park. This is a Grand Marais hiking trail you don’t want to miss!

Lookout Mountain

Honeymoon Bluff, Gunflint Trail

The Honeymoon Bluff hike is on the Gunflint Trail. The trailhead is easy to find, and there’s plenty of parking available.

Now, on to the hike itself. The Honeymoon Bluff hike is a 2.5-mile out-and-back trail that offers awe-inspiring views of Gunflint Lake.

The trail starts off in a dense forest, then gradually climbs up to Honeymoon Bluff. 

The hike itself is moderate in difficulty, with a few steep sections and some rocky terrain. Make sure to wear good hiking shoes and bring plenty of water. 

One thing that makes this hike so special is the history and lore behind Honeymoon Bluff.

Legend has it that honeymooners, who used to come to the area to escape the city, named the bluff.

Regardless of that’s true or not, there’s no denying that the view from the top of the bluff is nothing short of romantic.

Keep an eye out for moose, deer, and even the occasional black bear or wolf. 

The Honeymoon Bluff hike is an excellent hike!

Caribou Rock Trail

The trailhead for this hike is located just a short drive from Grand Marias, so it’s easy. The hike is a 3-mile out-and-back trail.

The Magnetic Rock Trail hike is moderate in difficulty. There are a few steep sections and some rocky terrain.

It’s definitely doable for everyone, so don’t let that scare you off!

The highlight of this hike is, of course, the Magnetic Rock itself.

This massive rock formation is over 25 feet tall and weighs over 1,500 tons. It one of the largest free-standing boulders in the world.

It’s also believed to have magnetic properties, which is where it gets its name.

Bring a compass and see it in action.

As you hike through the forest towards Magnetic Rock, you’ll pass through dense forests to rocky outcroppings to open meadows. Keep an eye out for a moose, a deer, or even a black bear!

If you’re in the Grand Marais area, don’t miss the Magnetic Rock Trail hike!

It’s a fun and moderately challenging. Plus you’ll get the chance to experience the power of Magnetic Rock. So, grab your hiking boots and get ready to be amazed!

Pincushion Mountain Trail

The Pincushion Mountain hike is located just a few miles outside of Grand Marais, so it’s an easy drive . There’s plenty of parking available, and the trail is well-marked and easy to find.

Now, onto the hike itself. The hike is a 3.7-mile loop trail that takes you up to the summit of the Mountain and back down again.

The Pincushion Mountain Trial is also accessible via the Superior Hiking Trail. It’s a spur trail.

The hike is moderately difficult, with some steep sections and rocky terrain.

Don’t worry, hikers of all experience levels can tackle this trail, as long as you wear good hiking shoes and bring plenty of water.

As you make your way up the mountain, the scenery will change from dense forests to rocky outcroppings to open meadows. 

Once you reach the summit, you’ll get the most amazing view you’ve ever seen.

Don’t miss the Pincushion Mountain hike if you’re in Grand Marais! 

Fantasia Overlook Hiking Trail

The trailhead for this hike is located just a short drive from Downtown. The trail itself is a 1.5-mile out-and-back hike that takes you through some stunning wilderness to a breathtaking overlook.

The Fantasia Overlook Hiking Trail is an easy route suitable for hikers of all experience levels.

The trail is well-maintained and easy to follow, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the scenery along the way.

As you hike through the forest towards the overlook, you’ll pass by babbling brooks, towering trees, and wildflowers. 

When you reach the Fantasia Overlook, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views.

From the overlook, you can see vistas of the hills, valleys, and even the vastness of Lake Superior. 

The Fantasia Overlook Hiking Trail is a must-do if you’re in the Grand Marais area.

It’s a fun and easy hike that offers stunning views of the wilderness and a chance to experience the beauty of Minnesota’s Northwoods.

Northern Light Lake Overlook Hike

The Northern Light Lake Overlook Hike is a 2.5-mile out-and-back trail.

The trailhead is easily accessible from Grand Marais.

The hike itself is moderate difficulty, with some steep sections and rocky terrain. But don’t let that scare you off. The views from the overlook are worth the effort!

After a mile or so of hiking, you’ll reach the Northern Light Lake Overlook. From here, you’ll get a stunning views of the lake. It’s a great spot to take a break.

One thing to keep in mind is that this trail can get pretty busy, especially during peak season.

So if you’re looking for a bit more solitude, you might want to consider hiking early in the morning or later in the evening.

Temperance River State Park

The Temperance River State Park is one of the most popular hiking. As part of the Minnesota State Parks, you’ll need a permit to park inside the park’s lot. There is also hiking trial parking along highway 61 that doesn’t require a permit.

The park has several trailheads, so you can choose a hike that suits your preferences and skill level.

One of the most popular hikes is the Temperance River Trail, a 6-mile loop that takes you along the river and through dense forests of pine and spruce.

The trail is considered being of moderate difficulty, with some steep sections and rocky terrain.

But don’t worry – there are plenty of opportunities to stop and rest along the way.

As you hike along the Temperance River Trail, you’ll pass by rushing waterfalls, towering cliffs, and quiet pools.

Keep an eye out for wildlife – you might spot a moose, a bald eagle, or even a rare species of butterfly fluttering by.

One of the highlights of the hike is the High Falls, a spectacular 60-foot waterfall that is sure to take your breath away. 

All in all, the Temperance River State Park Hike is a must-do while you are visiting the town of Grand Marais. 

Sunset on the temperance river

Lima Mountain Trail

The Lima Mountain Trail is a great option for hikers looking for a bit of a challenge and some stunning views.

This trail is located just a short drive from downtown and offers a unique perspective of the surrounding landscape.

The trail is a loop that is just under 3 miles long. It is considered moderate difficulty. You’ll encounter some steep sections and rocky terrain, but the payoff is definitely worth it.

The trailhead for the Lima Mountain Trail is located at the end of Lima Grade Road, just off of the Gunflint Trail.

As you begin your hike, you’ll wind through dense forests before reaching the summit of Lima Mountain.

At the summit, you’ll get spectacular views, including the Gunflint Trail and the Pigeon River.

The trail then descends through the forest and back to the trailhead. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for moose, and bear.

All in all, the Lima Mountain Trail is a fun and challenging hike with stunning views. 

Eagle Mountain

Eagle Mountain is the highest peak in Minnesota, standing tall at 2,301 feet above sea level. The hike to the summit is around 7 miles round trip. 

It is a challenging trail, but the reward at the end is well worth the effort.

The trailhead for the Eagle Mountain hike is about 15 miles north of Grand Marais. 

As you hike, you’ll encounter rocky terrain, steep climbs, and some stunning views. 

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife along the way, as you may spot some deer, moose, or even a black bear.

The last part of the hike to reach the summit can be tough, but the views from up there are simply amazing. 

If you’re up for a bit of an adventure, you can even camp at the summit of Eagle Mountain. The campsites have unparalleled views of the stars.

Just make sure you have the proper permits and equipment before embarking on a camping trip.

Eagle Mountain hike is challenging but incredibly rewarding.

Superior Hiking Trail

Looking for a more challenging overnight hike? Take the Superior Hiking Trail.

The Superior Hiking Trail section in Grand Marais is beautiful. It’s about 14 miles long and is a challenging hike. It’s prefect for those who are up for a bit of a challenge. 

This is just a small section of the trail. The full trail goes from Jay Cooke State Park to Grand Portage State Park.

The trailhead is located just a few miles outside of downtown Grand Marais on highway 61, so it’s easy to get to.

The trial is easy to follow. Just keep an eye out for Superior Hiking Trail sign at the trail head, and the blue blaze on the trial. 

The trail winds through some stunning North Shore of Lake Superior. 

Keep an eye out for moose, deer, and even the occasional black bear. 

Now, I won’t sugarcoat it – there are some tough sections of this trail, with steep climbs and rocky terrain. But trust me, the views from the top are totally worth it.

Plus, there are plenty of places to stop and rest along the way, including some great campsites if you want to make it an overnight trip. 

Superior Hiking Trail

Oberg Mountain

Oberg Mountain is a fantastic hike in Grand Marais that offers some stunning views.

The hike is about 2.5 miles long, making it a fairly moderate hike. You’ll definitely get a bit of a workout.

The trailhead is located at the Oberg Mountain parking lot, which is easily accessible by car.

The trail takes you through a variety of landscapes. And the views! Oh, the views. As you climb up the mountain, you’ll get some amazing views of Lake Superior.

The trail is well-maintained and easy to follow, so even if you’re a beginner hiker. 

And speaking of the summit – it’s absolutely breathtaking. You’ll get panoramic Lake Superior and the surrounding hills.

Oberg Mountain

When is the best time to hike in Grand Marais and the North Shore?

The best time to hike near Grand Marais largely depends on your preferences and the specific trail you want to hike.

Generally, summer and fall are the most popular seasons for hiking.

Summer offers warm weather and long daylight hours. Bring lots of water!

Fall has cooler temperatures and stunning fall colors. Plus who doesn’t love fall hikes?

However, winter also offers unique opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on some of the trails in the area.

Spring can be fun too, especially with the melting snow. The waterfalls are flowing.

It’s always a good idea to check the weather and trail conditions before embarking on a hike, regardless of the season.

Where to stay Grand Marais MN?

Grand Marais has a variety of great places to stay. There are some great locations intown include East Bay Suites. You can find all my favorites by clicking here: 14 places to stay in Grand Marais MN – Your Ultimate Guide

What hiking trail to do first around Grand Marais?

Grand Marais, Minnesota, is an excellent starting point to explore the many stunning trails in the North Shore area.

Hikers of all skill levels will love the variety of trails, including the easy and short Artist’s Point trail.

With many more top trails and hikes along the shore, it is no wonder that Grand Marais hiking is a favorite of Minnesotans.

If you are just looking for day hikes, or want to go overnight on the Superior Hiking Trail, you’ll have great options.

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