Brave the Chill, Warm the Soul: Take the Plunge for Gunflint Trail Firefighters!  
Celebrate the end of the winter season and raise funds for the local fire department

Gunflint Trail, Minn. – March 18, 2024 – Calling all thrill-seekers and community champions to participate in this brand new event on the Gunflint Trail on Saturday, March 30, 2024. This exciting event invites participants to take a refreshing (and icy!) dip into the beautiful Poplar Lake, located on the Gunflint Trail. But don't worry, the shivers won't last long! Following the plunge, participants will be treated to a rejuvenating sauna session at either Poplar Haus or White Pine Lodge, the perfect way to warm up and relax.


“After such a mild winter, this felt like the best way to say goodbye to this season and welcome spring,” said Chris Short of White Pine Lodge on the Gunflint Trail. “It is also a fun way to raise money for a good cause.”


More than just a dip, the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department will be supervising each hole and accepting donations. These dedicated individuals are the backbone of safety on the Gunflint Trail, and the proceeds from the Poplar Plunge will help them continue to provide essential services to the community. 


“There is a lot of great creative energy coming from local businesses on the Gunflint Trail this year,” said Linda Jurek, Executive Director of Visit Cook County. “From creating skating paths to polar plunges, they continue to come up with new ways to attract visitors to the area as well as give back to the community - I applaud their efforts!” 


Each location will have a hole in the ice for participants to plunge as well as a sauna to use afterwards. Participants who plunge at both locations will earn a free drink and a prize. In addition to the plunge festivities, there will be food and drink specials at both locations throughout the day.


Here's what you need to know:

  • Date: Saturday, March 30th, 2024
  • Time: 12pm - 4pm 
  • Location: White Pine Lodge & Poplar Haus on the Gunflint Trail
  • Cost: Donation to the Gunflint Trail Fire Department (includes plunge and sauna access)

For more information on the event or to find lodging in the area, 

Visit Cook County, Minnesota 
Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior.”  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently, it was named America's Best Small Lake Town by Travel & Leisure Magazine, USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, and Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #donorthmn, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at


Snow covered sauna at White Pine Lodge on the Gunflint Trail in the winter

Post-plunge, warm up in a hot sauna! Participants can use the sauna at either White Pine Lodge or Poplar Haus. A special prize is available for anyone who plunges at both locations. 

Poster for Poplar Plunge