Our Favorite Restaurant

During our trip to the boundary waters, we were in a very remote area. We were a solid 30 miles outside of Grand Marais proper, and we had no phone service, no internet, and – as it turned out – no options for dining. Well, there was one option. The Trail Center Lodge Creek quickly became our favorite restaurant. Admittedly, I did really enjoy the food, but there also wasn’t much competition given that it was the only place to go.

After busy days of hiking and canoeing, we didn’t feel like a long car ride, so it was to the Trail Center Lodge that we headed three consecutive nights.

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Since there wasn’t much around the area (am I repeating myself?!), the Trail Center Lodge functioned as a one-stop shop. Of sorts.

There was gas…


There were groceries*…
*don’t let this word fool you into expecting a wide selection


There was the saddest produce section I have ever seen…


Fun fact: there were more types of mayo on sale here than vegetables. Oh yeah, and don’t bring your pets:


I am assuming that other boundary waters adventurers had the same thinking we did in terms of not wanting to drive anywhere, because the wait time to get a table was about 45-70 minutes every night. The food was good though! There was a fairly extensive menu with burgers, steaks, salads, and sandwiches. Fresh bread came to the table at the start of every meal:


And all entrees came with a salad:

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The first night, I got a salmon salad:


Others ordered the blue cheese filet with pasta, mussels, and a regular filet with baked yams:

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The portions were all very generous and everyone enjoyed the meal.

The second night we went was Friday, and Friday at the Trail Center Lodge means ALL YOU CAN EAT FISH FRY. woop woop. I didn’t get the fish, but others did.


No one at our table could even finish the regular serving of fish and chips, much less take advantage of the all-you-can-eat option. That is a lot of food!

The exciting thing for me the second night was the discovery of the Trail Center Lodge malts:


be still my heart


blended ice cream, I love you. I ordered a chocolate pumpkin malt, and the last night I tried pumpkin peanut butter.

Other food around the table included chocolate milk, fried chicken with fries, chili burger with fries, and another filet.

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There’s no question that the food at the Trail Center Lodge was pretty heavy, but for a few days on vacation it really hit the spot. If you are in the Poplar Creek area, definitely go here. But, then again, if you’re dining out in the Poplar Creek area, you won’t really have a choice. 🙂

Boundary Waters Hiking and Canoeing

While in the boundary waters, we spent one day hiking and one day canoeing. Rather than finding one long hike, we decided to piece together two shorter hikes for a full day.

Ready to hike with my baby little younger brother:


The first hike was called Caribou Rock Trail, and it featured some beautiful views of the area as well as some parts of tougher trail that involved a little scrambling.

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The second hike was called Magnetic Rock Trail, and the whole trail was lined with blueberry bushes! This trail was a lot more crowded with families and individuals filling containers with blueberries. We didn’t bring a container to fill, so we enjoyed en route:

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The second day was consumed by a canoeing trip.


The folks at our B&B helped us bring two canoes to Bearskin Lake:


We canoed across Bearskin Lake and then walked across a short portage to Duncan Lake:

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The above pictures were actually taken at the start of the trip and not at the portage. I don’t have photos from the water since I didn’t want to risk my camera getting wet. This turned out to be a good call since the canoe with the supplies bag tipped over!

Total, we were out canoeing for about 4 hours, including a short hike and lunch break at Rose Lake Falls by Duncan Lake.

Poplar Creek B&B

This past weekend, my fabulous family was in town visiting. Rather than staying in Minneapolis as we normally do, we decided to venture up north for a vacation around the boundary waters. We stayed at a small inn called Poplar Creek Bed & Breakfast. The B&B is technically in Grand Marais, MN, but it is about 30 miles outside of Grand Marais proper.

The B&B is quite small – only 3 rooms, and run by a friendly couple named Ted and Barbara. The rooms were spacious and comfortable, and the breakfasts were unquestionably delicious.

Due to some booking overlaps, we had to switch rooms during our stay (we were there three nights), so I can share the details of two of the three rooms. The first night, I stayed in ‘Dorothy’s Room.’ The room had two queen beds, a small bath, a desk, and a small table for two:

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The beds were incredibly comfortable! All of the rooms also came equipped with slippers and robes.

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Don’t mind if I do. 🙂


For the second and third night, we were put into Ollie’s room. This room was similar in set-up except there was only one bed and there was also a jacuzzi in the room (similar to in Two Harbors!).

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Both Dorothy’s and Ollie’s rooms were located upstairs at the B&B and shared a common kitchen and sitting area:

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Although the rooms were very nice, the real excitement came in the morning at breakfast. Breakfast was a three-course meal with juice, tea, and coffee.

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Breakfast each morning started with a plate of fresh fruit:


Followed by a breakfast entree:

Day 1: scrambled eggs, tomatoes, and veggie 'meat' patties

Day 1: scrambled eggs, tomatoes, and veggie ‘meat’ patties

Day 2: ricotta stuffed french toast

Day 2: ricotta stuffed french toast

Day 3: egg bake and chicken sausage

Day 3: egg bake and chicken sausage

And, last but not least, a breakfast dessert:

Day 1: baked apples with cinnamon

Day 1: baked apples with cinnamon

Day 2: poached pears

Day 2: poached pears

Day 3: peaches and cream

Day 3: peaches and cream

Both the rooms and the breakfast at Poplar Creek B&B were great. The distance between the inn and Grand Marais proper was definitely an inconvenience though (we weren’t aware of the distance so we hadn’t prepared and brought food with us). During our stay, we went hiking, canoeing, and became very well acquainted with the restaurant (singular) in the area. More on that to come soon!