We are often asked to recommend day trips and experiences to help Bluefin Bay guests plan their North Shore vacation getaway. One that tops our summer list is a day trip along Hwy 61 to Grand Portage to see the Grand Portage National Monument and experience the Annual Rendezvous Days & Pow Wow.
Grand Portage National Monument – located within the Grand Portage Indian Reservation — is rich in natural and cultural history. The National Park protects two depots of the North West Company, the main depot on Lake Superior and the site of Fort Charlotte on the Pigeon River. The 8.5 mile Grand Portage trail connects the depots and contains most of the acreage of the Monument.
Each year during the second weekend of August (August 11-13th, 2017), Grand Portage comes alive to celebrate Grand Portage Rendezvous Days & the Rendezvous Days Pow Wow, sponsored by the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe).
Visitors during Rendezvous days are invited to explore the partnership of the Grand Portage Ojibwe and the North West Company during the North American fur trade. Visitors during Rendezvous Days will see more than 250 volunteer re-enactors portray what it was like in the late 18th century to early 19th century when thousands worked and lingered here. Ojibwe and other native families gathered along the gitchi gami (Lake Superior) to trade and reunite with friends and family during the peak of summer at kithi onigamiin.
Most activities, programs, and workshops during Grand Portage Rendezvous Days are free and open to the public to watch. If you would like to participate in a workshop, you may register in advance at the Information tent near the North Gate.
Watch an authentic Native American Pow Wow, with Stonebridge singers and drumming. Try your hand at blacksmithing or native arts and crafts. Sample Native American cuisine and participate in a variety of recreational activities. Click here for the full schedule of events.
A Day Trip from Bluefin Bay: Grand Portage is located about 60 miles North of Bluefin Bay – a gorgeous 1.5-2 hour drive along Scenic Hwy 61, Lake Superior’s North Shore. Note, the drive can take longer if you plan stops along the way. For more information, check out the links below or ask for assistance at Bluefin Bay Guest Services.