With the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness  so close, some people overlook the fantastic paddling available on Lake Superior, but not Superior Coastal Sports (20-B E. 1st St., 218/387-2360 or 800/720-2809, www.superiorcoastal.com , 7 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Sun. summer, reduced hours in winter), who do sales and rentals for those with experience and lessons and guided trips ($39 half-day) for those without. SCS also offers sailing lessons and charters.
The North House Folk School (500 Hwy. 61 W., 218/387-9762, www.northhousefolkschool.com , 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. Thurs.–Mon. June–Oct., weather permitting, $45 adults) has two-hour sailing trips.
To explore on land, rent a mountain bike, road bike, or tandem from Superior North Outdoor Center (13 S. Broadway, 218/387-2186, www.superiornorthoutdoor.com , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Sat.–Sun. summer, hours vary Nov.–Mar., $30 day, $38 mountain bike, $60 tandem, hourly rates also available) right in downtown Grand Marais . They also lead regular group rides and can provide a private guide. Ask about rock and ice-climbing trips.
The nine-hole Gunflint Hills Golf Course (1181 Golf Course Rd., 218/387-9988, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. daily summer) has sweeping views of Lake Superior. The moose are in play.
Bear Track Outfitting (2011 Hwy. 61 W., 218/387-1162 or 800/795-8068, www.bear-track.com , 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily) rents skis and snowshoes in the winter and offers fly-fishing clinics in the summer.
Devils Track Nordic Ski Shop (922 Gunflint Trl., 218/387-3373, www.devilstracknordic.com , hours vary by season) also has winter rentals.
When the lakes are frozen, several companies, including Arleigh Jorgenson Sled Dog Adventures (60 Frank’s Way, 218/387-1107 or 800/884-5463, www.dogmushing.com ), offer mushing trips. For around $320 you can drive your own team for a full day. Overnight trips through the BWCAW and Superior National Forest  offer the option of camping or staying in cabins.