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“Maybe is used to be nice?”

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Hungry Jack Lodge & Campground
midwest us
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Maybe is used to be nice?”
Reviewed 14 July 2012

All I can think is that perhaps this was once a nice place.

The good: Beautiful lakes nearby, lots of wildlife.

The bad: Everything else.

It appears to be a classic example of what happens when a person leaves his empire to his kid. You know; Kid goes to college, then inherits business and it coasts for awhile resting on it's laurels. Today this place is pretty run-down. In fact, the only part they seem to have fixed up really nice is the main lodge, where he lives with his girlfriend. The cabins have no locks so good luck leaving your valuables for the day while you are out paddling. The owner and his workers spend pretty much every waking hour running ATV's around the property. It felt more like I was at a dirt track than in a peaceful wilderness area. We watched while one worker actually started up the quadrunner at the main lodge and rode it to a nearby building. It took longer to start the machine, drive, then shut it off than it would have to just walk. This was common throughout the day, quadrunner start up, run for 15 seconds, shut off. A good portion of the day also involved listening to their skid loader working on moving rocks and dirt around the property. While they might say they are "improving" the property, one would think this work would be done early in the season or after the masses have gone in the fall, not right at the height of tourist season. The owner never so much as said hello to us or most of the other guests (we tried but he usually walked the other way when we made eye contact). You will also be "greeted" by one of the dogs they let run around the property. It's oh so fun and enjoyable when they rub up against you on your deck or while seated in the dining room trying to enjoy dinner, while the owner looks on and thinks nothing of it. These are outdoor dogs. Pretty gross.

For this place to have existed for so many years it can only mean that the original owner was a much more personable guy who really understood what it is that makes a place successful (happy guests).

If you are looking for just one step above a tent, you will probably be ok. If you want a cabin that will actually keep the bugs out you might be less than satisfied here.

There are other resorts in this area and on adjacent lakes. I would research carefully. Maybe find one run by an older couple who have been doing it for a couple decades.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank world_traveler39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ErickaJB, Manager at Hungry Jack Lodge & Campground, responded to this review, 30 January 2013
Dear World Traveler,

We are truly sorry you thought our establishment was something that it is not. After the TRAGIC loss of Jerry, then the loss of our home and main lodge to a fire; it has taken some time to get to a good place, and back on our feet. Since the rebuild of our home, and lodge, we have been trying to focus on the rest of the resort. Last year we put new windows, and beautiful hardwood floors in three cabins, new appliances in our Premium cabins, and this year we are building a garage to help clean up the property.

Our cabins do not have keys, because there has never been a reason to have them. We are a family resort, hosting people who love and enjoy the outdoors; not people looking to steal from one another.

Forrest and I do have two really great dogs that run the resort with us. They live in the main lodge with us, which is where our restaurant and bar are. We do keep the dogs out of the dining area when people are eating, however most guests let the dogs back in to sit with them. We do have outside dining as well, and just as we ask people inside eating if they mind the dogs being there, we do the same for guests dining outside.

Our lodge is beautiful, and our cabins are rustic & all are different from each other and unique in their own way. We are NOT a Hilton in the woods, we are a Ma & Pa family resort trying to make ends meet in this economy. We do not have cell phone service or good Internet, but we do have great personalities, and always service with a smile :)

We also know, our place isn't always for everyone.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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49 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
83 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2011

We rented the Caribou Cabin for 3 mights. Its just the two of us so we used the second teeny bedroom for our luggage. The cabin is meant for about 10 people and has two sofabeds and a large futon couch. The eating table is gigantic and takes up a lot of room. The kitchen was very good and had most of the accoutrements we needed. It was right on the water with a great view from the deck and had our own dock. We rented kayaks for the 3 days for $25 per kayak per day. They kayaks were small and cheap but did the job. We did a lot of paddling explored the whole lake. The cabin had nice windows that let in lots of fresh air but no bugs! The cabin was a combination of rustic and shabby with a new fridge, stove, windows, bathroom and was clean as a whistle.

Upsides: though it was in the high 80s it cooled off enough every night for comfortable sleep. there are 3 ceiling fans. Large deck with good view. Bathroom good enough, bed comfortable queens in teeny bedrooms. No keys on the property, leanred to relax into trusting (we're from chicago).

downsides: large cabin yet not one comfortable piece of furniture to sit on. Dark even with all lights blazing. The only place we could read was in bed or floating in our kayaks. The deck is nice and large, but it in the full hot sun all day so we couldn't stand to be out on it. Fall and spring would be more pleasant. this may be one of the better cabins there.

General: Forrest (owner) was a nice guy but not invasive. He had given me a lower price on the phone when booking since it was just two of us. The beautiful lodge offers nightly dinners. We tried it one night and had a nice salmon with wild rice and salad.

If I were returning to the area I would select a different lake, maybe a larger and more interesting one.

Room Tip: take caribou or one of the newer cabins
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mcmousee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
minneapolis
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2010

We have been coming to Hungry Jacks for last few years. We typicaly make this our base camp for canoeing and camping around the lakes. The owner, Forest, is very caring and kind man providing excellent service. He will always give you good pointer what to do or where to go. The place is located on the beautiful Hungry Jack Lack with gorgeous sunsets. We'll be back again. Canoe into Boundary Waters!

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank rostov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norther Illinois
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2010

We recently returned from what has become a yearly trip for us to Hungry Jack Lodge & Campground, located on the Gunflint Trail in Grand Marais, MN. As was the case during all of our previous stays at Hungry Jack Lodge everything was excellent. We were at Hungry Jack Lodge and Campground from August 21st until September 5th this year (2010).

We have stayed at various other log cabins and log sided cabins, over the many visits that we have made to Hungry Jack Lodge. This year we stayed in “Bear Cabin”. "Bear Cabin" is our favorite cabin at Hungry Jack Lodge and is located on the tip of a peninsula that juts out into Hungry Jack Lake. Bear Cabin, though it is one of the smaller cabins available, is our personal favorite cabin because of the spectacular sunsets that can be seen across the lake from within the cabin itself and from its' outdoor deck. The cabin itself was, as always, was very clean. Cleanliness is what we have grown to expect at Hungry Jack Lodge, over the many years that we have stayed there and we were not disappointed.

Though we cooked our own meals in our cabin most nights we did have dinner in the Lodge one night. Both my wife and I had the Walleye dinner. The walleye was top rate! I can honestly say that it was some of the best walleye that I have ever had in my life. Not only was the dinner delicious, the portion was large and more than enough to fill almost anyone. The desert, which was a lemon tart, was also fantastic. Not only was the meal itself great, the view of Hungry Jack Lake from the dining room is beyond what I can describe in words. There are not enough adjectives in the English language to describe the beautiful view that we had while enjoying a truly great meal.

The new main lodge building at Hungry Jack is phenomenal. Words cannot begin to describe this modern, yet rustic appearing lodge. Because it is newly constructed, it has all of the modern amenities that people want and at the same time has that northwoods rustic look and feel to it that most visitors to northern Minnesota have come to expect at a family lakeside resort. The lodge is spacious, modern, impeccably clean and has a spectacular eastern facing view of Hungry Jack Lake through the glass wall in the dining room or from its’ lower level patio.

The upper or main level of the Lodge has a spectacular two story cathedral ceiling and is where the check-in desk is, along with a small gift shop and the dining room area. There is also a relaxing and sitting area with over-stuffed leather chairs and a sofa, in front of a huge two story stone fireplace in this main, entry level of the main lodge building. The décor throughout the main lodge is “northwoods” and has many antiques and items which relate to the northwoods style of life both past and present.

The lower level of the main lodge houses the “Loggers Lounge” bar and recreation room, which was very clean and spacious. There are video games, a pool table and a couple of darts games in the Loggers Lounge along with the actual bar, which has stools made out of huge logs. There is also a sitting area with recliners and a love seat in front of a stone fireplace in the Logger Lounge. Outside the Loggers Lounge lower level door is a large patio made from pavers, which has a table with chairs and a number of Adirondack chairs to relax in while taking in a gorgeous view of Hungry Jack Lake.

The activities available at Hungry Jack lodge are many. There are a number of hiking trails close by. Canoeing day trips into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCAW) is also very popular and one of our favorite activities. Though my wife and I do not fish, most people seemed to do very well fishing, including kids, who mostly fished from the boat dock. There is a playground area, swimming beach and free sauna located on the rear lawn of the main lodge.

The friendly, courteous staff as Hungry Jack Lodge was and always has been fantastic. They are always there to help make your vacation all that you want it to be. We highly recommend Hungry Jack Lodge and Campground to anyone that wants a relaxing (or exciting) northwoods vacation. The Gunflint Trail area, Hungry Jack Lake, the staff at Hungry Jack Lodge, the available activities, the great food, the moderately priced log cabins all add up to what we think was a fantastic vacation. We will go back to Hungry Jack Lodge again and wish that we never had to leave.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank captainsportster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2010

When we arrived, we were unpleasantly surprised to see that the property looked like a junkyard! There were antlers lining the ground around the main lodge, which looked as if they were placed there to conceal unfinished construction. The roads to the lodge and the cabins were ornamented with trailers and dilapidated pick-up trucks. Luckily, our cabin was pretty nice....or so we thought. The service was good, but there was only one employee checking in customers, cooking, serving dinner, and bartending. She was really professional and nice, which is the only reason this rating is Poor instead of Terrible! The food and drinks were okay, but I would have rather eaten at one of the great restaurants in Grand Marais. This lodge is dog-friendly, which we loved. Most of the other guests were too.

The cabin overlooked a beautiful, small lake and we had our own private deck and dock. We could, however, hear the neighbors through the sparse tree line separating our cabins. The cabin had two bedrooms and a nice sized kitchen and living area. Overall, the cabin was very clean and cozy. While we were getting comfortable in our bed, we all of a sudden heard a rather gross gurgling sound under the cabin. About 10 seconds later, a penetrating odor of sewage filled our bedroom!! I am not kidding. We were abhorred once we realized there was some kind of sewage line running under our cabin! Needless to say, my boyfriend was awoken by the dangerous stench the next morning.

The decor in the cabin was peculiar. I understand that this cabin is off of the Gunflint Trail in Northern Minnesota, but that should not lead someone to believe that it is cool to have 25 animal skins from hunting exploits draped on every piece of furniture in the cabin. Oh, and let us not forget to mention the stuffed pheasants, deer, and other game hanging from the ceiling and walls. One or two skins would have been enough.

Luckily, we only stayed one night.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank mbw10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norther Illinois
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2009

We have been to Hungry Jack Lodge many times and are always very pleased. It has moderately priced cabins and log cabins which are lakefront. Each cabin has it's own dock, deck, grill, and much more. Cabins are well spaced for privacy along the shore of Hungry Jack Lake. Great fishing and canoeing in the summer and the only resort on the Gunflint Trail that caters to snowmobilers during the winter months.

The staff at Hungry jack Lodge is the best. They are always pleasant and ready to please you in any way that they can. The staff makes you feel as though you are a part of the "Hungry Jack Family".

We have vacationed in many areas of northern Minnesota and western Ontario almost every year since 1985. Hungry Jack Lodge is the best resort that we have ever been to in northern Minnesota or western Ontario in all that time.

Moderate pricing. EXCELLENT hospitality. Great area with many activities.

  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank captainsportster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
minneapolis
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 June 2008

Had a great time on one of the most beautiful spots on the Gunflint Trail. The hosts of this fine esatablishment make it exciting to arrive, very tough to leave.

Stayed January 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank 14bri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hungry Jack Lodge & Campground

Property: Hungry Jack Lodge & Campground
Address: 372 Hungry Jack Rd, Grand Marais, MN 55604-2008
Region: United States > Minnesota > Grand Marais
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 31 Speciality Lodging in Grand Marais
Number of rooms: 20

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