Just beyond Cascade River State Park, the Highway 61 dips into the somnolent little port of GRAND MARAIS, where a walk around the photogenic Circular Harbor will soon cure car-stiff legs. The visitor centre here has lists of outfitters for those heading west into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a paradise for canoeing, backpacking and fishing. It’s one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the country; overland trails, or “portages”, link more than a thousand lakes and in winter you can ski and dogsled cross-country.

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