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An Outdoor Expo Unlike Any Other at the Boundary Waters Expo

If you're an avid fan of the outdoors, few vacation destinations can compare to beautiful Northeastern Minnesota and the stunning Gunflint Trail. Starting in Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail winds its way over 57 miles through the lush Minnesota wilderness, all the way until it reaches Sea Gull Lake. The terrain covered by the trail is breathtaking, from the vibrant forests to the seemingly endless streams and lakes, you're treated to panoramic vistas unlike any other.


Things to do in Northeastern Minnesota are numerous. The state of Minnesota is known for its abundant lakes, and this area is no different. The thousands of lakes in the area are perfect for almost any water based activity you can think of. Some popular location options include boating, water skiing, kayaking, canoeing, fishing or just sunbathing on one of many beaches. If you're more of a land lover, you’ll find a multitude of fun things to do. Enjoy great opportunities for hiking, biking, photography, geocaching and more. The Gunflint Trail also is home to many unique shops, restaurants and outfitters. Whether you're looking for a meal, souvenir or someone to help find the ultimate fishing spot, the Gunflint Trail region will deliver. Schedule your trip for early June to not only catch Minnesota's best weather, but also to take part in the one-of-a-kind Boundary Waters Expo.


Entering its second year, Boundary Waters Expo embodies a fun and unique experience. The event gives people the opportunity to find out more about outdoor equipment as well as the chance to use it first hand. The event is family-friendly and consists of speakers, demonstrations, presentations, and exhibitors with some of the best outdoor gear you’ll find anywhere. Attendees will find food and beverage on hand as well as the opportunity to try out a lot of the outdoor gear for yourself. Offering the perfect fusion of exhibition and entertainment, the Boundary Waters Expo will turn any getaway into an outdoor adventure. got the opportunity to interview Katie Krantz, representative for  the Boundary Waters Expo, to talk about this great event.


RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.

KK: This will just be the 2nd year of the Boundary Waters Expo. It was created with the idea of giving people a chance to test out gear in a place where they would actually be using it. Last year there was an estimated attendance of about 100 people with 14 speakers and around 15 exhibitors. There were a few families and a lot couples, both older and younger.


RAL: What can attendees expect during a typical day at the event?

KK: As an attendee one can expect a beautiful environment first and foremost. The expo takes place right on Seagull Lake, toward the end of the Gunflint Trail. It’s timing during warm, sunny weather before the bugs come out is key. Last year people were even swimming and paddle boarding on the lake. There is a large tent set up with exhibitors inside, and there are also demonstrations and presentations going on all day both outside and at a Community Center. Chances are you’ll see a moose while attending the expo or driving to it. There will be some sort of food although that’s not determined yet. Last year there was BBQ, which was a big hit. Voyageur Brewing, a local brewer from Grand Marais, will bring free beer samples from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm on Saturday night.


RAL: What is the local lodging situation like?

KK: The lodges on the Gunflint Trail are amazing. They are all family owned and they take great pride in their lodging establishments. The owners are hands-on and take care of everything from cleaning your room to outfitting you for an outdoor adventure. There’s a property called Trail’s End Campground where I think a lot of people go, but none of the lodges are far away. Check out this page to find more information about the Gunflint Trail and to find lodging.


RAL: What does the event mean to the community.

KK: This event means a lot to the Gunflint Trail community. It’s our way to promote the trail as the entrance to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The event also gets businesses ready and excited for the start of the summer season.


RAL: Why should people come?

KK: People will remember our event because of the beauty that is the Gunflint Trail. The Gunflint Trail is a National Scenic Byway that begins in the town of Grand Marais. Grand Marais was voted last year as the “Coolest Small Town in America”. The paved trail winds through 57 picturesque miles near the border of Canada. There are ample opportunities to see all sorts of wildlife including moose, wolves, bear, deer, loon, eagle, fox, lynx, and more. The trail is surrounded by the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, which was named one of the world’s “50 places of a lifetime” by National Geographic. The expo is held toward the end of the trail and features equipment and gear that one would use in the Boundary Waters.

For more information about the Boundary Waters Expo, please visit their website.