My fellow canines: Feeling stressed? Not getting enough time to stop and mark the roses? Do I, canine reporter extraordinaire, have a pup-tastic treat for you. I recently trotted upon a Minnesota gem where we dogs can convince our humans to truly disconnect, relax, and focus on what matters most: us, of course!
Located in Grand Marais (up the Gunflint Trail), Gunflint Lodge appreciates our oh-so-strong bond with our humans; as such, it welcomes us pooches with open paws (er, arms). Dating back to 1927, the resort offers something for all!
Here’s why I give Gunflint Lodge two (relaxed) paws up and a basenji tail wag:
The Resort: The grounds are nothing short of pawsome, as are the abundant and diverse activities. Mellow mutts like me will love bird watching (even getting very close to ducks on the front beach), hiking the easier trails, meeting the on-site naturalist to learn about all things nature, and relaxing on the dock.
Adventurous pups will enjoy going on boat rides, watching the sled dogs, and dippin’ their paws in the water. Some hiking trails have off-leash areas; otherwise, we’re welcome almost everywhere on-leash.
When it comes to supper, the huge (dog-friendly, of course) patio is a can’t-miss. And don’t worry, there’s plenty for your humans to do: horseback riding, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, presentations (for the academically inclined), fine/casual dining, and so much more.
The Dog Lovers Weekends: I’m not yankin’ your leash. Gunflint Lodge offers not one, not two, but three (three!) Dog Lovers Weekends a year: Pawloosa, Woofta Uffta, and Waggalot.
Think seminars and activities with experts on topics like doggie massage, training, communication, and pet health. Waggalot, billed as the premier dog weekend of the year, is coming up October 10-13 and includes even more fun (I’m trying to convince my mom to go for the dog-treat baking class). Gunflint also hosts a K9 Olympics event and dog socials.
The Cabins: Gunflint Lodge has accommodations and packages for all (my mom counted 30-plus options). Our waterfront cabin included a full kitchen with fridge (for my perishable food, since my mom has to cater to my picky palate), washer/dryer, king-size bed, fireplace — and huge whirlpool tub!
I highly recommend pawing through the lodge guidebook in your cabin. It includes the interesting history of Gunflint Lodge, summer and winter must-dos, loon/deer/moose facts, a list of viewable wildlife, and photos. (Note: Rarely should we pups need to be left alone in our cabins since there’s so much to do, but if so, we must be kenneled. Make sure your humans bring yours).
The Privacy: Think of Gunflint Lodge as an experience and a destination. Its remote locale will bring your definition of relaxation to a whole new level. (Your humans will agree.)
The Final Journey: Regardless of where you’re coming from, your humans will enjoy the drive from Grand Marais to the resort. But give ‘em a bark if they’re exceeding the speed limit; there’s a good chance you’ll see a moose, up close and personal, like we did.
[Editor's note: Our deepest condolences go out to the Gunflint Lodge family as they mourn the loss of their friend and longtime fishing guide Dennis Todd.]