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“Wish I was there!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Trail Center Lodge

Trail Center Lodge
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Trail Center Lodge
Browns Valley, Minnesota
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Wish I was there!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 May 2011

Wonderful place to stay. Great restaurant & Bar. In fact the best place to eat on the Gunflint Trail, unless you go 25 miles further to the Gunflint Lodge, over priced & real iffy on the food depending on when you go. Trail Center's cabins are so comfortable, no TV's or phones but if you need those on the Gunflint, you problably shouldn't be there. The beds & linens are very nice quality. The owner Sarah, is one in a million. People who work for her stay with her a long. You see the same people working there year after year so you get to know them, feel like they are friends. I can't say enough about this place. Try it, you'll love it too!
Diane & John Logelin

Room Tip: Cabin 1 comes with a sauna
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  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dijon127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Duluth, MN
Level Contributor
108 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2010

My wife and I recently stayed at the Trail Center Lodge, approximately 30 miles north of Grand Marais along the Gunflint Trail. Initially intended as a fall-color watching trip along the north shore of Lake Superior, we missed this fall's early color peak, but it still ended up a nice weekend getaway for October.

The lodge is one of the more affordable options up the Gunflint. When we started planning this trip a few months ago, we were dismayed at the number of lodges in the area that required a two-night minimum stay, an outrageous non-refundable deposit, or both. Trail Center Lodge has no minimum stay requirement for the motel building but has a two-night minimum for their cabins. The rates are also somewhat less than other nearby properties; we had one night in the motel portion for just $94 with tax.

The lodge consists of two cabins, a three-unit motel building, and the main building housing the office, restaurant, and a small general store and gas station. The motel building is actually across the road from the main building. Unfortunately, this location left a little to be desired...it is the only Gunflint Trail property where the lodging is directly on the main road, and we had hoped for something a little more secluded. However, being during the off-season, there was less traffic than at peak times, and it was not a major distraction. The cabins are the only part of the lodge off the highway and overlooking nearby Poplar Lake.

We had a surprisingly spacious unit in the motel. It consisted of two bedrooms, one with a queen size bed and the other with two twin beds, a bathroom, a living room, and a kitchenette with refrigerator and sink (cold water only) but no cooking facilities. The unit was likely built in the 1950s (judging by the windows, ceiling tiles, and light fixtures that reminded us a lot of our 1950s-built ranch style house) but appeared to have been recently remodeled to give it the sort of rustic look and feel one would expect in northeastern Minnesota. The unit was exceptionally clean and had very comfortable and cozy accommodations. One concern was that a couple of the light switches were not fastened well; this is a safety hazard that hopefully will be corrected. But it appeared as though this may be due to the recent remodel which may still be ongoing; the desk clerk mentioned one of the other units was to be remodeled very soon.

We had both supper and breakfast at the lodge's restaurant. Portion sizes were HUGE and everything was reasonably priced especially considering what you get. The menu is on the lodge's website and, as my wife said, felt like a cross between Texas Roadhouse and Cracker Barrel, which is a compliment. While you won't leave the restaurant hungry, you won't leave there quickly, either. Seating is somewhat limited and was filled up Friday evening for supper, and the service was somewhat slow. But, as a sign inside says, "If you want fast food or French fries, go to McDonalds!" The decor, typical of a lot of casual dining places in northern Minnesota, with a noticeable touch of the region's typical social and political leanings through the collection of bumper stickers inside, wasn't one that we necessarily liked, yet admittedly our leanings are also much more conservative than most in our area.

If you're looking for a trip up Minnesota's Gunflint Trail, don't want to spend a lot, and don't mind a few shortcomings, the Trail Center Lodge will meet your needs.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jahoduluth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Trail Center Lodge

Property: Trail Center Lodge
Address: Midway up the Gunflint Trail, Poplar Lake, Grand Marais, MN 55604
Region: United States > Minnesota > Grand Marais
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 31 Speciality Lodging in Grand Marais
Number of rooms: 3

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