Grand Marais, MN


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Grand Marais is a city in Cook County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 1,351 at the 2010 census. It is also the county seat of Cook County. Grand Marais is French for “Great Marsh,” referring to a marsh, which in early fur-trading times was 20 acres (81,000 m2) or less in area, nearly at the level of Lake Superior, and situated at the head of the little bay and harbor that led to the settlement of the village there. Another small bay on the east, less protected from storms, is separated from the harbor by a slight projecting point and a short beach. In allusion to the two bays, the Ojibwe name for the area is Gichi-biitoobiig which means "great duplicate water," "parallel body of water" or "double body of water" (like a bayou), a reference to the two bays which form the large harbor off Lake Superior.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.7 square miles (6.9 km²), all of it land. Grand Marais is located on the northwestern shore of Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota, and is well known as an entry point for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, being at the beginning of the Gunflint Trail. The Superior Hiking Trail passes near Grand Marais and Judge C. R. Magney State Park is nearby with the peculiar Devil's Kettle waterfalls.
Road access to Grand Marais is by Minnesota Highway 61, which generally heads northeast following the shore of Lake Superior and is known as the North Shore Scenic Drive. The Gunflint Trail (Cook County 12) begins in Grand Marais and heads northwest away from the lake and into the Boundary Waters region.