Chik-Wauk Museum presents the natural and cultural history of the Gunflint Trail.
Through interactive, interpretive displays, you’ll learn the people of the Gunflint Trail’s story. You can pet a beaver or see if you’re as strong as a Voyageur. You’ll view evidence of the Sudbury meteorite which crashed to Earth 1.6 billion years ago. You’ll learn to identify area wildflowers, trees, shrubs, birds, fish and mammals. A collection of pictures, videos and other historic material allows you to immerse yourself in the lives of Gunflint Trail pioneers. Young visitors can embark on a Chik-Wauk Museum scavenger hunt.
The Gunflint Trail’s history is a unique tale filled with both high adventure and everyday routine. For thousands of years Native Americans populated this land of forests and lakes. In the late 1700s, European Voyageurs paddled large birch bark canoes through the area’s waterways, trapping and trading as they went. Land surveyors plotting out maps followed behind the Voyageurs. Mineral prospectors and loggers arrived in the late 1800s.Yet even after hundreds of years of human influence, the Gunflint Trail today maintains a heavily-forested landscape that appears relatively untouched by humans.
As transportation improved in the early 1900s, the Gunflint Trail began to host private cabins which served as family retreats or fishing shacks. Over time, the Gunflint Trail evolved into a tourism destination, becoming home to several small businesses including resorts, canoe outfitters, bed and breakfasts and restaurants, as well as several year-round private residences. It’s this Gunflint Trail, oriented on family and recreation, which you visit today.
While technically a roadway, at its heart, the Gunflint Trail is a 57-mile-long community. Chik-Wauk Museum welcomes you and your family to the community and strives to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of this beautiful wilderness area.
Temporary Exhibit: Each season, Chik-Wauk Museum hosts a different rotating exhibit. This year, Chik-Wauk Museum presents “The Evolution of the Gunflint Trail.” Through this exhibit, you’ll witness the transformation of the Gunflint Trail roadway from footpath to two-lane road. Come learn what a corduroy road is!