Here are some important tips and facts that will make your visit to Seagull Outfitters and the BWCA/Quetico wilderness areas go more smoothly. For a detailed packing list, check out our Ultimate Canoe Trip Checklist... it's one of the most popular features we've posted!
Before You Come
Menus must be sent to us two weeks prior to your arrival if we are packing your food. If we do not receive your selections at least two weeks prior to your arrival, we will make the selections for you. You may download your menu form on-line by clicking here. Special requests require four weeks notice.
To help us serve you better...
Please keep us informed of your plans. Always reference your arrival date and party leader's name in any e-mails, faxes, or phone calls.
We must charge for equipment, services, and food that you reserve, so make sure of your plans!
Freshen up on your Boundary Waters lingo before you arrive by reviewing some of these common Boundary Waters terms.
Packing For Your Trip
General Packing List
Rain jacket and pants...essential!
Two pair of shoes
Two pair of wool socks
Two pair of long pants
Two or three pairs underwear
Two pair of shorts or swim trunks
One long-sleeved shirt
One sweatshirt or long jacket
Personal toilet articles
Add gloves, stocking cap, long underwear and an extra sweater for spring or fall trips
Pack toilet articles and towel for use at our base camp
If using your own sleeping bag, keep it on top so you don't have to carry your whole pack up to the lodge
Don't forget clean clothes and a towel for your trip home
Please leave your radios, walkmans, guns, fireworks, flares and large knives at home
Beer balls are not allowed in the BWCA or Quetico
Pets must have a current rabies certificate
Please bring your social security number in order to get a MN fishing license once you arrive at Seagull. With the electronic licensing system a social security number is a must!
Fishing Tackle Packing List
Two-piece spinning rod in 6-1/2 to 7-foot length
Spare rod tip and super glue
Freshly oiled spinning reel with fresh 8-pound line
One back-up rod and reel for the party
Polarized fishing glasses
Small tackle box
Leech locker and/or worm box
Lindy-rig and slip-bobber set-ups
Split shot sinkers, small hooks
Lead head jigs; Mr. Twister jigs and spinnerbaits
Casting spoons like DareDevle
top-water lures like Rebel Pop'R, Tiny Torpedo, Hula Popper, Jitterbug, and Rapalas
Crankbaits like Shad Rap, and other Rapalas
Spinners like Mepps
For the fly angler:
Two-piece fly rod (8 weight)
Single action fly reel
Floating weight-forward bass line
Twenty pound backing
Streamers like Wooly Buggers
On Your Way!
How To Find Us
Take Highway 61 north from Duluth to Grand Marais (see our map). Turn left on the Gunflint Trail and follow it 55 miles to our door. Our office, store, and outfitting building are on the left side of the road. The bunkhouse and bath house are on the right side of the road. We have a large sign on the road which is lit at night.
Where To Stay Along the Way
Motels are found all along the way. We strongly recommend reservations if you plan to stay in Grand Marais or Duluth! Here are some recommendations.
Duluth: Edgewater Best Western (800-777-7925)
Country Inn (800-456-4000)
AmericInn at Tofte (800-625-7042)
Best Western Cliff Dweller (800-223-2048)
Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior (218-663-7296)
Caribou Highlands Lodge--formerly the Village Inn at Lutsen (800-642-6036)
Cascade Lodge (800-322-9543)
Grand Superior Lodge on Lake Superior (800-627-9565)
Aspen Lodge (800-247-6020) or (218-387-2240)
Best Western Superior Inn (800-528-1234)
East Bay Suites (218-387-2800) or (800-414-2807)
Gunflint Motel (218-387-1454)
Harbor Inn Motel (218-387-1191)
Lakeside Cabins (218-387-2754)
Lund's Motel & Cottages (218-387-2155)
Mangy Moose Motel (218-387-2975)
Sandgren Motel (218-387-2975)
Sawtooth Cabins & Motel (218-387-1522)
Shoreline, The (218-387-2633)
Super 8 Motel (800-247-6020)
Tomteboda Motel (800-622-2622) or (218-387-1585)
Traveler's Rest (218-387-1464)
Where To Eat Along the Way
In Duluth, Grandma's Saloon and Deli is a local favorite. We also recommend Outback Steakhouse and The Pickwick.
In Grand Marais, The Angry Trout Cafe is very popular; we also like The Gunflint Tavern, My Sister's Place, The Pie Place and Sven and Ole's Pizza.
Sea Island Lodge Restaurant, which formerly was in the next bay of Seagull Lake, has closed. We recommend Trail Center (Black Bear Bar & Restaurant), which is halfway up the Gunflint Trail and the Bistro at Gunflint Lodge which is just 10 minutes south of us.
Points of Interest on Your Way North
Split Rock Lighthouse
Tettegouche State Park
Superior National Golf Course at Lutsen
Once You've Arrived in the Area...
Please call us when you arrive in Grand Marais so we can be ready when you arrive at our base. Our phone number is (218) 388-2216.
Check-in time is between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
If you will be arriving late...we will leave a note on the office door, directing you to your room in the paddlers lodge. Your sleeping bags and packs will be left for you if you're getting complete outfitting from us. We insist on absolute quiet in the bunkhouse after 10:00 p.m.; therefore, we do not allow arrivals after 10:00 p.m.
A pay phone is located on the store/office deck for your convenience.
No smoking is allowed in any of our buildings.
We do not allow any pets in our paddlers lodge. Please plan on your pet staying in your car while you are staying in the lodge.
While You're On Your Trip
Pack out all your trash and any you find along the way.
Leave your axe at home, use your stove for cooking and keep your campfire small. Don't cut anything live, and put your fires out completely!
Wash your dishes, do your bathing, and go to the bathroom at least 50 paces from shore. Get your water 50 yards off shore.
Practice catch-and-release fishing! Keep a medium-sized fish for dinner; have your camera ready for the big ones.
Be quiet at all times! You'll see more wildlife, and everyone can enjoy the solitude.
Be proud of your wilderness conduct, and set a good example for others.
Respect the land, and practice low impact camping
--Pack all garbage out with you
--Burn only paper trash, do not burn plastic
Respect the wind and be smart when conditions aren't favorable
Follow your map closely to always know where you are
Don't worry about getting your feet wet, it makes landing the canoe much easier
Step cautiously on portages, a sprained ankle can ruin a trip
Keep a journal of your trip you'll be glad you did later
Keep your camera handy in a waterproof bag
Choose your campsite around 1 or 2 pm during busier times of the season
Paddle close to shore, it's not only safer, but you'll see more wildlife
Load your canoe while it's in the water, it's easier on the canoe and you can better determine the weight distribution
Be courteous to other paddlers and pull your gear off to the sides at portages
Fill water bottles out away from shore in deeper lakes
Land your canoe parallel to shore
The bottom of the canoe makes for a good camp table
Pull up to shore during lightning
Turn around to look where you've been occasionally, it will help you get a good idea of the landscape for your trip back
Pull your canoes up away from shore at night and secure them
Look for wildlife more so at dawn and dusk along shorelines
Explore quieter and less used lakes, you may be handsomely rewarded
Double portage if you need to, most paddlers do
Don't eat in your tent
Alcohol is allowed in the canoe country but only in the proper containers
Cut only dead and downed wood and keep fires small and in the fire pit
Remember that we are visitors in the wilderness
--The bugs can only affect your trip if you let them
--Prepare for mosquitoes on portage trails
--Carry a head net during buggy seasons
--Mosquitoes can't fly upwind if the wind is 12 mph or more
--Mosquitoes are attracted to CO2, and only females bite
--Black flies and horse flies are more active on sunny days
--Black flies are attracted to the color blue and are more prominent near running water as that's where they breed in the spring
--Anything more than 30% DEET is just overkill
To Ensure a Successful Trip:
Pack light (if you can live without it, leave it at home)
Do some research (you'll enjoy the trip much more)
--About your route
--About the BWCA in general (know the rules)
--About the fishing
Prepare for inclement weather
Consider the experience and capability of your paddling partners before choosing your route
Have good rain gear, it can save a trip
Consider the type of canoe that will be best for your particular trip
Wear a good pair of boots
Don't wear blue jeans, they don't dry very well
The campsites on the south and west shores of islands and points will generally be less buggy and offer better fishing from your campsite.
Campsites with a view to the north will offer a front row seat during the nights that the northern lights show themselves
Always carry duct tape
Smaller groups will travel faster
Wind generally is out of the southwest
Make travel plans early
If traveling the Quetico
--Be sure to apply for RABC permit 6 weeks prior to your trip
--Fishing licenses can be bought at the Ranger Station
--The Ranger Station accepts Visa, Mastercard and AmEx
--No live bait legally allowed across the border into the Quetico Park
Take only a small selection of your tried and true fishing lures
Overcast and rainy days can make for the best fishing days
While paddling, troll a fishing line out the back of the canoe
Clean your fish on an island or shoreline away from any campsites
Keep only a couple smaller fish for dinner
Make sure to have pliers and a stringer
Bend hook barbs down to decrease the chances of an accident
Fish the windward sides of lakes, you'll increase your catch