Pawsome Adventures on the North Shore
Em”bark”ing on a North Shore adventure in Minnesota is a treat for both two-legged and four-legged companions. From the bustling city of Duluth to the rugged landscapes of Grand Portage, the North Shore offers a ton of dog-friendly activities. Whether you’re into wineries, coffee shops, breweries, or state park hikes, there’s something for every dog-loving duo.
1. Tofte Trails, A Cozy Dog-Friendly Cabin
My husband and I, along with our Newfie, Ole recently stayed at Tofte Trails, a rental property located in Tofte, Minnesota. You’ll find five cabins on the property, each with its own private deck, kitchen, king-sized bed, and large bathroom. There are also views of Lake Superior and a large community fire pit on the property. The windows are absolutely massive, allowing tons of natural light to pour in. We chose to leave the blinds open at night so we could see the stars as we fell asleep and also enjoy the colorful sunrise each morning. Tofte Trails is just minutes away from some of the best dog-friendly spots along the North Shore including Oberg Mountain, The North Shore Winery, and Lutsen Mountains.
2. The Angry Trout Cafe
Located in the heart of Grand Marais, The Angry Trout Cafe is a waterfront gem that welcomes dogs on its outdoor patio. Enjoy fresh, locally sourced fish while your pup relaxes at your feet.
3. Betty’s Pies
No North Shore journey is complete without a visit to Betty’s Pies, located in Two Harbors. While you enjoy their famous pies and hearty meals, your dog can join you on the outdoor patio.
4. Black Beach
Black Beach is one of my top five stops along the North Shore, it’s absolutely stunning. The sand is literally black due to taconite which was dumped into the lake, then later washed ashore creating a man-made beach. The property used to be privately owned, but luckily in 2015, it became public. Dogs are welcome and must remain on a leash.
5. Brighton Beach
For some off-leash fun, head to Brighton Beach, located just northeast of Duluth. This scenic spot along Lake Superior offers a designated dog area for playtime. It’s one of my favorite spots to stop and collect cool rocks.
6. Caribou Falls River Wayside
For a winter wonderland adventure, head to Caribou River Wayside in Schroeder. This hidden gem along the North Shore offers a perfect snowshoeing experience for both you and your dog.
7. Cascade River State Park
Cascade River State Park offers a network of trails winding through dense forests, along the cascading river, and up to stunning overlooks. Leashed dogs are allowed.
8. Castle Danger Brewery
Located in Two Harbors, Castle Danger Brewery offers a diverse selection of craft beers. Dogs are welcome in the outdoor seating area, which includes a large deck and spacious grassy area.
9. Cross River Heritage Center
The Cross River Heritage Center is a cultural hub that welcomes leashed dogs in its outdoor spaces. Learn about local history and check out art exhibits while your pup enjoys the fresh air.
10. Eagle Mountain
For a truly immersive wilderness experience, set out on the Eagle Mountain trail, a moderate seven-mile round trip that leads you to the summit of Eagle Mountain, the highest point in Minnesota. Revel in the breathtaking views of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
11. Gooseberry Falls State Park
A short drive north of Two Harbors, Gooseberry Falls State Park is one of the most popular spots along the North Shore, and for good reason. Leashed dogs are welcome on the park’s hiking trails, allowing you to explore waterfalls, dense trees, and rocky shores together.
12. Grand Portage State Park
Minnesota’s most northern state park brings you to the state’s tallest waterfall, which is partially in Canada. Take the one-mile round-trip paved path to the waterfall. Or, if you’re looking for an expert-level hike, take the 4.5-mile round-trip trail to Middle Falls, a 20-foot waterfall. This trail is heavily wooded and rugged and will take you 3 to 4 hours.
13. Louise’s Place
Situated in Silver Bay, Louise’s Place is a cozy diner that welcomes dogs on its outdoor patio. Enjoy hearty food while your pup enjoys a treat or two from the friendly staff.
14. Lutsen Ski Mountains
In the winter months, Lutsen Mountains transforms into a snowy playground for outdoor enthusiasts, and in the fall it’s one of the best places to see fall colors! Leashed dogs are welcome to join you on the scenic gondola rides.
15. Magnetic Rock
Magnetic Rock is a three-mile hike to a 60-foot rock with a powerful magnetic attraction that will make your compass spin. The trail winds through prime blueberry territory in the summertime.
16. Moose Mountain
This trail promises miles of beautiful backcountry trails, with panoramic views of Lake Superior, the Poplar River, and Lutsen Mountains. The winding paths offer endless opportunities for exploration.
17. North Shore Winery
The North Shore Winery welcomes both wine enthusiasts and their canine companions. The North Shore Winery imports grapes from California’s Lodi region, resulting in a quality glass of wine in an unlikely location. Leashed dogs are allowed on the outdoor patio, which has a view of Lake Superior and fire pits in the winter.
18. Our Place
In Silver Bay, Our Place is a beloved eatery that not only serves delicious meals but also provides a dog-friendly patio. Enjoy home-cooked dishes while your pup relaxes at your side, making it a perfect pitstop during your North Shore adventure.
19. Park Point Beach
Park Point Beach is one of my favorite spots in Duluth because it reminds me of the Long Island beaches I grew up going to. Located on the far eastern side of Park Point, you’ll find sandy beaches with crashing waves, seagulls, shells, and sand dunes with tall grasses. It’s in stark contrast to the rocky, ruggedness of the rest of Minnesota’s North Shore.
20. Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park offers leashed dogs the chance to explore its scenic trails. Enjoy stunning views of Lake Superior and the iconic lighthouse.
21. Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center
Nestled in Schroeder, Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center offers a peaceful escape that seems to be less crowded than other North Shore beaches (probably because it isn’t free). Leashed pets are allowed on the trails and beach. Enjoy a picnic or quiet walk together.
22. Temperance River State Park
Temperance River State Park offers a rushing river, rocky canyon, and quiet dense woods. Leashed pets are permitted on the park’s trails. And always remember to bring poop bags!
23. Tettegouche State Park
Located between Silver Bay and Schroeder, this park allows leashed dogs on designated trails. With hikes running along Baptism River, and lookout points leading to epic views of Lake Superior, like the very popular Shovel Point trial.
24. Voyageur Brewing Company
In Grand Marais, Voyageur Brewing Company not only offers a delightful selection of craft beers but also allows dogs on its spacious outdoor patio, located across the street from Lake Superior. Servers will bring your pup a treat and ensure the water bowls remain filled with fresh water.
25. Wussow’s Concert Cafe
Located in Duluth, Wussow’s Concert Cafe is a great spot to enjoy a cup of coffee or a latte. Bring your dog along to enjoy the outdoor patio and share a pastry.
Plan Your Trip
Minnesota’s North Shore is a haven for dog lovers seeking memorable experiences. As you travel from Duluth to Grand Portage, these dog-friendly spots offer a delightful mix of culinary experiences, outdoor adventures, and cultural explorations for you and your furry companion. So pack your bags, leash up your pup, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure along the stunning shores of Lake Superior. Looking for more ideas? Check out my blog post on 10 indoor places to take your dog this winter, 10 dog friendly things to do in Fargo, 20 dog friendly things to do in Madison, Wisconsin and 45+ dog friendly restaurants, patios, breweries and hotels in Minnesota.