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Do it: Day trip to Stairway Portage

Published 07/29/2012, Duluth News Tribune

Grab your canoe and put in on West Bearskin Lake off the Gunflint Trail and head for one of Minnesota’s high points. Take County Road 66 (Clearwater Lake Road) to the put-in. Paddle West Bearskin and portage into Duncan Lake. Paddle north on Duncan to Stairway Portage and leave your canoe there. Hike to the top and down the stairs to Rose Lake. Back at the top, take the Border Route Trail a short distance either direction for terrific views of the border lakes. Allow about two hours one way for this day trip. For more information, contact the U.S. Forest Service in Grand Marais, (218) 387-1750. You’ll need a free permit, which you can write yourself at the put-in.

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