Cook County Blog

Welcome Back Canada!

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 11/8/21 8:04 AM

Hello Canada! It has been a long 19+ months and we have missed our Northern Neighbours.

After such a long time apart, we are looking forward to seeing each other again and showing you some of the new things around town (like the newly completed downtown corridor through Grand Marais) and welcoming you back to familiar places (like Grand Portage Lodge and Casino.) 


Before you travel south, here are a few things you should know. 

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Heart of Hospitality Awards - 2021

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 10/29/21 1:09 PM

For the third year in a row, Visit Cook County has asked local business owners and managers to nominate staff members who exemplify extraordinary hospitality service within their organizations.   

Typically this award is announced during the annual Fall Gala celebration that Visit Cook County co-hosts with the Cook County Chamber. Unfortunately, the 2021 annual Fall Gala that was scheduled to occur on October 30 at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.  However, it was overwhelmingly agreed that it was important to continue the recognition of the individuals who work so hard to keep our local economy moving forward. Great service creates guest loyalty, something that is clearly the case in Cook County. 

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Topics: Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, Grand Portage, Lutsen Tofte Schroeder

Road North Toolkit

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 10/8/21 4:03 PM

Planning your road trip north? We've created and curated this toolkit that will help prepare you for any trip to Cook County. 

Travel North Quiz
Get inspired and informed with this educational quiz all about Cook County's water, wildlife, local lore, geography/environment and more. 


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Fall Color Report on the North Shore and Gunflint Trail | 2021 | Updated weekly

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 9/1/21 11:31 AM

Fall is one of the most captivating seasons on the North Shore and Gunflint Trail. Our deep green forests transform into brilliant fields of red, orange and yellow over the course of a few short weeks. Whether your fall color viewing plan is to go for a hike, bike or a scenic fall color drive - we're here to help guide you towards the best activities

COVID-19 update: Our community has worked hard to keep COVID-19 infections low. Businesses in Cook County are operating in accordance with Minnesota Department of Health guidelines and remain open to serve guests. It is strongly encouraged that everyone continue the practices of social distancing, frequent handwashing, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and wearing of masks indoors and whenever a business has a posted preference. Please adhere to our Visitor Pledge and mask when asked!

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Topics: Fall, Scenic Drives, Outdoors, phenomena

What is the current wildfire situation in Cook County, MN?

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 8/24/21 10:43 AM

UPDATED Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

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Topics: Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, Summer, Grand Portage, Lutsen Tofte Schroeder

Project 61 Highway Construction and Your Visit to Grand Marais in Summer 2021

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 4/27/21 4:39 PM

Grand Marais, MN is much-loved by community members and visitors alike. Nestled between the Sawtooth Mountains and the iconic harbor, the town’s natural assets have withstood the test of time.  However, like many towns across the U.S., Grand Marais’ infrastructure is aging and in need of major improvements. What many of our visitors might not realize is that this much-needed road reconstruction and downtown improvement project also includes the cleanup of a large area of soil contamination from petroleum

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Topics: Grand Marais, Scenic Drives, Summer

Paddle and Play on the Gunflint Trail

Posted by Lily Nelson-Pedersen on 4/20/21 12:55 PM

Canoeing is a sport that can be intimidating. There are rules about boats, PFD’s, and a lot of flak from experts on how to hold your paddle correctly. But once you know what you’re doing, padding through the BWCAW can be one of the most memorable and influential experiences of your life. To get you started, or “Wet Your Paddle”, Gunflint Trail Outfitters have banded together to offer newbies a chance to try an hour of paddling for free. AND they’ll even give you one of those experts I talked about earlier to teach you how to do it! This program, called Wet Your Paddle, is an incredible deal and a great way to spend a few hours on your annual family vacation learning something new, together! To prepare you for your first Wet Your Paddle adventure, here is some more information on canoeing, the BWCAW, and how to strut your stuff in the backcountry.

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Topics: Gunflint Trail, Summer, Kids & Family, Outdoors, BWCAW

Our Favorite Minnesota Winter Activities | Visit Cook County

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 1/19/21 8:12 AM

Our Favorite Minnesota Winter Activities

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Winter Trail Conditions

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 12/23/20 3:44 PM

Winter in Cook County is like no other.  A plethora of outdoor adventures await those who are willing to bundle up and get outside.  Throughout the winter, we'll be updating this page weekly with the latest trail conditions. 

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Heart of Hospitality Awards - 2020

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 11/2/20 2:55 PM

Typically each autumn, Visit Cook County and the Cook County Chamber host an annual Fall Gala Celebration.  This year due to covid-19, the annual celebration was cancelled.  The celebration, which celebrates the end of a busy summer season, certainly was missed this year. Over 200 of our business and community friends typically join together for a night of celebration and recognition of achievements. However, Visit Cook County feels strongly about recognizing our hospitality employees and  did not want to forego the Heart of Hospitality Awards. In 2019, Visit Cook County launched the new award. Nominations  are accepted from each tourism community: : Gunflint Trail, Grand Marais, Grand Portage and Lutsen/Tofte/Schroeder. 

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Topics: Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, Grand Portage, Lutsen Tofte Schroeder