More about Grand Marais Haven on Lake Superior
With 1.7 acres and 150 feet of Lake Superior frontage, this home features a restful, peaceful ambiance. Built in 2005, it features modern amenities making it very comfortable for a year-round residence or retreat home in any season. And, fifty miles of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore’s beaches, rivers and amazing rock formations are just a mile away.
The home was built with the best materials available: all paint and varnishes are free of heavy metals and volatile organic compounds found in many paints. The floors are slate, bamboo, maple, tile, and 100% wool carpeting on the stairs. The kitchen and utility room have Energy Star appliances, and there is an air recirculation and filtration sub-system that can be run independent of or in tandem with the heating and cooling systems. Each bedroom has a “kill switch” to minimize electrical currents creating an unsurpassed peacefulness. It is air-conditioned, and has both a stainless steel-lined furnace (new in December 2019) and a like-new Vermont Castings wood stove, plus a propane back-up generator. The house is built tight so it stays cool in the summer and retains heat well in the winter. The washer & dryer are in a separate utility room, the attic is available for storage, and the huge, clean and dry walk-out basement has plenty of room for a workshop, boat storage, and/or potential expansion of the living space.
And, it’s a great house for hosting guests—each large bedroom has its own bathroom just outside. The master (with walk-in closet) and one other bedroom are on the main floor, along with two bathrooms. The third bedroom and bathroom are on the second floor, along with a loft and spectacular vistas of Lake Superior and Grand Marais Bay (plus the sunny deck). The top-quality kitchen opens to the dining area and a large, airy living space with a gorgeous view of the Lake.
Historically, when all the trees were cut down in Grand Marais, if you were not on the last train out, you stayed; there wasn’t a road (77 between Seney and Grand Marais) yet and they rolled up the rails of the tracks after that last train for the metal. So, when the current owners bought the land, they planted over 75 trees and now it is lush and green. Blueberries are abundant right outside the door!
The boardwalk to the house was just replaced with new western red cedar. It will last a long time, and help keep sand in the yard where it belongs.
In this location, you are 3/4 mile from the downtown Grand Marais, but you feel much farther away. But it’s convenient if you need something—groceries, hardware store, Grand Marais Outfitters, etc. And just beyond Grand Marais is the eastern boundary of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore—truly a national treasure. If you take the now paved but seasonal H-58 between Grand Marais and Munising, there are lots of points where the North Country Trail (NCT), as it runs through Pictured Rocks, can be accessed easily — Mosquito Beach and Falls, the Dunes, Sable Falls and Sable Lake, 12-mile Beach, and more. The NCT has great maps available of the trails.
The NCT can also be accessed right on H-58 by the house, where it then enters the woods before reaching the school forest (site a disk golf course). If you hunt, there are lots of options. And fall colors are exquisite. It’s easy to make a day trip to the Two Hearted River, Tahquamenon Falls, the Seney National Wildlife Refuge or Munising.
Grand Marais has a unique history relative to the U.P. and has a different type of vast beauty relative to the central and the west. The beach is huge and diverse—plant life near the dune, wide sand beaches, and diverse small stones if you’re looking. Many come to Grand Marais searching for agates and the town is home to the Gitche Gumee Agate and History Museum as well as the old Post Office Museum and the famous Pickle Barrel House built for William Donahey who created the Teenie Weenie cartoons for the Chicago Tribune in the 1920s—Donahey vacationed in Grand Marais. (Originally the house was on Sable Lake and the 4th or 5th graders dressed as Teenie Weenies when the house was presented to Donahey and his wife as a surprise. The last living Teenie Weenie died a few years ago.) The Historical Society is inside the old Coast Guard station on the point, and Grand Marais hosts a kayak symposium annually in July and an annual Music & Arts Festival.
The Owners have really enjoyed this property, and offer these reflections:
“Oddly given my personality, I find myself enjoying what my brother called, ‘the great indoors,’ and will stay inside to read, nap, play the violin/viola, do a jigsaw puzzle. I love being outside, but sometimes it’s actually hard to get myself outside. To me, the feel of the house is like that of a retreat away from the trappings of modern life but also equipped for all-year round living.
“There’s a feel about the house that’s incredibly relaxing. I find that when we go there, I lose desire to do much of anything and enjoy resting and enjoying the views. I also tend to think about Grand Marais’s history when we’re there. If you sleep on the screened porch, you float above the dune and wetlands’ flora and always hear wildlife about, especially in the early morning. Groups of coyotes having a jam session, deer snorting, spring peepers, birds, etc. Sometimes the Bald Eagles that nest in the Grand Marais area are seen fishing in the Lake. Of course there are so many places to hike and explore at the east end of Pictured Rocks and in the winter both the school forest and the National Lakeshore have ski trails. While you see people at the campground on the other side of the bay from us and also people who walk, say, a very short distance to the log slide, there are VERY few people on the trails at peak season.
“There’s a high second story deck off of the loft. It’s perfect for soaking in the sun or sipping morning coffee. We get gorgeous sunsets from the screened porch. We’ve seen amazing rainbows. We’ve xc skied late into the spring along the dune in front of the house and the beach turns to a diverse arctic landscape in the winter with snow and ice.”
About Grand Marais
Grand Marais is charming—a little bit small town, a little bit nostalgic, and perhaps even a little bit hip. Walking around, it feels intimate, human-scaled, and decidedly outdoorsy.
Oriented toward West Bay, with the coast of the big lake nearby, water is the feature here. But there are some interesting options for food and drink, too. One is West Bay Diner, an original retro diner built in 1949 and brought to the U.P. for restoration in 1997. Another is Grand Marais’s own brewery, Lake Superior Brewing Company at the Dunes Saloon. Additionally, there are four (mostly small) museums, an art gallery, an artists’ co-op, a gas station, an outdoor outfitters, and a grocery store.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore abuts Grand Marais to the west; Sable Falls, the Log Slide, Au Sable Light Station, Hurricane River and Twelvemile Beach are all gorgeous and all within reach. Outside of Pictured Rocks are plenty of other beautiful places to go. Heading east you can follow the lakeshore to Muskallonge Lake State Park. Beyond that is the Hemingway-famous Two Hearted River, and beyond that the Crisp Point Lighthouse. Heading inland, the surrounding area is speckled with inland lakes known for their fisheries and warm temperatures for swimming.
The larger town of Munising is a little over an hour’s drive. There you have a few more options for dining, shopping, and entertainment. And Newberry, likewise, is about an hour’s drive with it’s own charm.