BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY Minneapolis 2002 - Gunflint Lodge
Make it a long weekend. Crack open the piggy bank, drive about five or six hours to the North Shore (and a bit beyond--but watch out for moose!), and discover this nature lover's nirvana in the Superior National Forest, adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. We daresay there's nothing else like it in the state. Deer regularly come to feed in front of all cabins, which range in size from one to four bedrooms. But it's your own ability to graze that best distinguishes the Gunflint Lodge experience. Particularly in spring or summer, the north woods around the lodge are conducive to some of the best wildlife-watching, mountain biking, and trail hiking in Minnesota; and the fishing on lakes near the BWCA offers plenty of action as well. (Walleye, lake trout, and smallmouth bass can all be found biting here.) The Gunflint offers a dozen or so theme-related packages during the year. The Best of Spring Weekend (May 10-12), for example, includes two nights' lodging, canoe and motorboat use, fish-cleaning and -packing, and unlimited horseback riding, for $220 per person--and that includes all meals, which, at the Gunflint, are the gourmet variety of rustic. The three-night Canoeing Weekend package (June 20-23 and September 19-22, $295 per person) includes one guided canoe trip and unlimited opportunity for private paddling (north of the border, even) during the rest of the weekend. For the coming fall, we're already considering October Moose Madness (any three-night period between October 6 and 17, $355), which includes a moose-calling tutorial along with guided moose-seeking expeditions and an orientation on the history and behavior of this gigantic and amazing creature. That there's "an element of risk in this activity," according to the management, only makes it sound more appealing.