30 July 2009

North Woods Pet Friendly

Seeing the world through a new pair of eyes is what traveling with your fur children (a.k.a. pets) is all about. Here are some “up north” destinations for maximum pet-friendliness.

If destinations limit pet size or require a stay in a smoking room, they are not on this list. If you know somewhere interesting that should be included or want to update folks on the places listed here, please let me know.

Crane Lake, Minnesota
Distance from Minneapolis: About 6 hours.

Where to Stay:
Voyagaire Lodge and Houseboats
Crane Lake, MN
Host: Jim Janssen
Web Site: http://www.voyagaire.com
E-mail: info@voyagaire.com
Rates: Lake Home $175 – $1695 Houseboats starting at $385 per day. Houseboats accommodate multiple people easily. Currently there are no extra charges for pets.

It is likely your entire trip will be spent touring the waterways in one of 33 houseboats that allow pets. You will have an in service prior to striking out on your own on the proper operation of the houseboat. The houseboats offer a fantastic opportunity to let your dogs be dogs while enjoying the solitude of the border country.

During the winter, this area is known as “The Nation’s Icebox” and is located near International Falls. When summer arrives, though, there are magnificent things to behold. Voyageurs National Park is a 219,000-acre water-based park. So much of this park is covered with water that no roads lead to its interior. During open water season your best travel bets are by floatplane, canoe, kayak, motorboat, sailboat or houseboat. There are some excellent hiking trails on the Kabetogama Peninsula, but the only access on the United States side is via air or water ferry.

Duluth, Minnesota
Distance from Minneapolis: About 2.5 hours.

Where to Stay:
Historic Willard Munger Inn
7408 Grand Ave. - Duluth, Minnesota
Telephone (218) 624-4814
Toll Free: (800) 982-2453
Web Site http://www.mungerinn.com
Email: munger@mungerinn.com
Host: Will Munger
Nightly Rates: $45 - $200

This is a very pet friendly destination with a pet exercise area and numerous trails that lead right from your front door. There are 23 smoke-free rooms ranging from economy, whirlpool studios, kitchen studios and fireplace suites. The Inn also manages the adjoining 70-site Indian Point Campground located on the Western Waterfront Trail, where you can enjoy hiking, make a campfire, or take a short canoe paddle on the river during the summer and fall seasons. Enjoy the new courtyard with rock garden, fire ring and complimentary grills.

Your hosts want to help you experience Duluth’s Urban Wilderness. As a guest, you will receive a continental breakfast served around a wood-burning stove in the cedar lounge. There are complimentary, quality mountain bicycles provided with your room and for a small extra charge you could rent canoes and kayaks.

The Munger Inn is located at the end of the Willard Munger State Bicycle Trail and the Western Waterfront Trail, just one mile from the foot of Spirit Mountain Ski Area, across from the Lake Superior Regional Zoo. They are 4 miles from the Canal Park area. In addition to the West Waterfront Trail and Munger Trails, there are a number of other
excellent bicycling /mountain biking / hiking / cross country ski and birding trails within close proximity to the Munger Inn.

Grand Marais, Minnesota
Distance from Minneapolis: About 5 hours.

Grand Marais is located between the shores of Lake Superior and the Sawtooth Mountain range. This area offers wonderful outdoor adventures where you will discover a pristine natural harbor, an incredible selection of hiking and mountain biking trails, well groomed cross-country ski and snowmobile trails, a multitude of streams and waterfalls, and spectacular scenic vistas. You can also experience an eclectic mix of creative crafts, inspirational art and historic souvenirs. This small harbor village has many cafes, coffeehouses, diners, taverns, restaurants, museums, galleries and specialty shops all within walking distance of each other. Here’s a tidbit about Grand Marais: The Kadunce River northeast of Grand Marais was once known as the Diarrhea River. Drinking its water was not a good idea.

Where to Stay:

Gunflint Lodge
143 South Gunflint Lake
Grand Marais, MN 55604
Hosts: Robert, Miranda and Zach Kerfoot. Bruce and Sue Kerfoot. (Retired)
Rates Start at: $99
Pet Fees: $20/night/pet

Gunflint Lodge is located in the wilderness of northern Minnesota. Established in 1927, they have created a tradition of providing every accommodation to make your vacation as adventurous or relaxing as you wish. The atmosphere pervades wilderness elegance and comfort. Your hosts strive to make your every wish and desire possible while providing excellent attention to detail.

Gunflint Lodge also offers a Dog Lover’s Weekend in Afternoon dog socials will give you a chance to meet other pets. They set up an agility course for the entire weekend (for a K9 Olympics, north woods style). Pet fees are waived during this special weekend. First reservations received get a complimentary upgrade to a premier cabin with a spa. Dog Lover’s Weekend rates start at $395.

Minocqua/Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin
Distance From Minneapolis: About 5 Hours

Where to Stay:
Loon Call Cottage
Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin
Contact Telephone Numbers: (760) 399-6308 or (715) 356-3301 in the summer.
Web Site: http://www.outdoorfrontiers.com/stories/LoonCallCottage.htm
E-Mail: sp1944@aol.com
Host: Sue Parker
Nightly Rates: $150 per night with a two-night minimum. Additional non-pet rooms are available at the main house, price available on request.

This private getaway offers a beautiful cabin on a 6-acre island in Lake Tomahawk, part of the Minocqua Lake Chain. The cottage has one bedroom, which is very comfortable for two to three people (if you don’t mind sleeping on a sofa) and has all the amenities. Hot and cold running water, heat, electricity, complete kitchen, all dishes, utensils and bedding. All you need are your personal items and food. The cottage has a fireplace and a generous supply of firewood. It is classic "North Woods" with lots of knotty pine and a deck to relax on as well as a gas grill. The only access (other than by water) is via the footbridge, so the only vehicle traffic on the island is golf cart. The island is extremely quiet and is the perfect location to get away from it all.

Pet Travel Packing List and Tips

* Crate/Kennel/Carrier
* Leash and Collar (Flexi-Leash is good to take along too.)
* ID Tags (We include on with local information too.)
* Food and Water (Bottled water works well too.)
* Food and water bowls.
* Blanket or other bedding.
* Pooper Scooper, baggies and kitty litter if your cat is traveling along.
* Favorite toy.
* Grooming supplies
* Pet First Aid Kit
* Petastic or similar carpet cleaner, just in case there is an accident.
* Call and confirm that pets are still allowed where you plan to stay.
* Ask about restrictions and fees so you are prepared.
* Get a ground floor room for easier access to the “bathroom.”
* Keep your dog on a leash in public areas.
* Don’t let your dog swim in the hotel pool.
* Don’t leave your dog loose and unsupervised in the hotel room.

Helpful Links:
http://www.petswelcome.com/ Pets Welcome
http://www.bringfido.com Bring Fido
http://www.outdoorfrontiers.com/stories/LoonCallCottage.htm Loon Call Cottage (Image)
http://www.gunflint.com Gun Flint Lodge
http://www.mungerinn.com Munger Inn
http://www.voyagaire.com Voyagaire Houseboats and Lodge

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