• Melissa Neeb

The Grandeur of Grand Marais: North Shore Adventures


Last fall I had the immense pleasure of vacationing in Grand Marais with my daughter and her best friend.

Honeymoon Bluff, Gunflint Trail

Grand Marais in the fall comes fully into herself. She stands proud.


The trees are mostly evergreens and birch, so every panorama unravels a ribbon of hunter green and pineapple yellow. The weather is impetuous, frequently and swiftly changing its mind. It was sunny and brisk one minute, warm and overcast the next.


We did a short hike on the Gunflint Trail up to Honeymoon Bluff at sunset. Unfortunately it was overcast, so we didn't get the full effect, but the view over Hungry Jack Lake and Bearskin Lake was staggering. We had our dog Jax securely on a leash, but at one point he gave me a panic when a squirrel scurried right over the edge of the bluff and Jax lunged after it!


We caught as many sunrises and sunsets as we could, sitting in the parking lot of the Grand Marais Lighthouse, throwing rocks into Lake Superior, walking out on the old concrete seawall, or climbing rocks to Artist's Point.

Grand Marais Lighthouse

Lake Superior is vast, unforgiving, ever-changing. Peaceful and mysterious simultaneously. Often the light on the water was so bright and ferocious that I could hardly stand to look at it. Here I found myself transformed, my body becoming as liquid as the horizon, opened up, poured into.


We also hiked the Kadunce River Wayside Trail, joyfully surprised by the many different types of mushrooms we spotted. I half expected to stumble across a fairy.

Another day we drove up to the Canadian Border, hitting up Hollow Rock on the way. This is a rock formation not far from the Lake Superior Shore at Hollow Rock Resort.


Hollow Rock, Hollow Rock Resort

Just shy of the Canadian border is Grand Portage State Park where we got to view the spectacular and majestic High Falls, which contains a 120-foot waterfall, the tallest in the state. It was a damp and drizzly hike, but well worth it for that view!

High Falls, Grand Portage State Park

Our favorite thing while in Grand Marais was to simply stroll along the shore of Lake Superior, collecting sangria red and steel blue rocks, flirting with the frigid water, and sit unencumbered in that moment when time feels suspended.

I am forever tethered to that place. It is a place that my soul has always known.


Even before I was ever there.


I am impatient to get back, to gaze at the water and let my thoughts float freely upon it's surface. To be seduced again by that all-encompassing, enveloping universe.


Go there if you can. Allow yourself to fall in love with a place. I can promise you that it is not just possible, but inevitable.


-Melissa Neeb




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