Grand Marais cabins
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Grand Marais cottages
Your guide to Grand Marais
All About Grand Marais
An hour north of Winnipeg, the small village of Grand Marais is the perfect pushing-off point for exploring Lake Winnipeg and its myriad outdoor activities. The lake’s calm waters are well suited for swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, and kayaking in the warmer months. On windy days, the lake can also be fun for windsurfing.
Away from the water, in nearby Grand Beach Provincial Park, you’ll find a variety of hiking and biking trails that lead through rolling fields and boreal forests where moose, woodland caribou, omnivorous black bears, and river otters are known to roam. For indoor activities, head to the Heritage Wing of the Grand Marais Community Central, which aims to inspire appreciation of the area’s culture and history. Most notably, it houses a miniature model of the old Grand Beach boardwalk. On Friday evenings, Grand Marais also plays host to a farmers’ market and craft fair.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Grand Marais?
The summer months bring mild, warm weather and some humidity, although June can also see rain. These months are great for swimming, boating, and making the most of Lake Winnipeg’s shallow, calm waters. Spring is generally the most popular time to visit Grand Marais, as it’s an ideal time for hiking, bird watching, and exploring Lake Winnipeg. Fall starts to become quite chilly, though it’s still possible to hit the hiking trails early in the season before it starts to snow. During the winter months, Grand Marais is an idyllic spot for snowshoeing, ice fishing, and ice-skating.
What are the top things to do in Grand Marais?
Lake Winnipeg is the sixth largest lake in Canada and is home to the beautiful Grand Beach, renowned for its powdery white sand. The beach runs for three kilometres and is backed by high sand dunes. In summer, the lake is perfect for swimming, canoeing, hiking, and boating. It’s also a popular fishing spot. Common catches include perch, walleye, northern pike, silver bass, and carp.
Ancient Beach Trail
Many people flock to Grand Marais for its hiking and mountain biking, and in the cooler months, cross-country skiing. The Ancient Beach Trail is a short two-kilometre loop that winds through forest near Lake Winnipeg. Other easier trails include the Spirit Rock Trail and the Blueberry Trail Loop. If you’re after something more challenging, the Reuben’s Ridge Trail runs for 10 kilometres and takes around three hours.
The area around Grand Marais is known for the diversity of its bird life, especially within the Grand Beach Provincial Park and the Grand Beach marsh. The best time to see birds is early morning or evening. Bring your binoculars and try to spot cardinals, great grey owl, blue heron, and if you’re lucky, the protected and endangered piping plover. For a more structured experience, take the International Pine to Prairie Birding Trail.