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Minnesota's Hungry Hippie Hostel satiates North Shore travelers

Kelly Smith, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Travel News

Already, the couple are working on expanding the business, building a shower house and opening up sites for primitive camping and canvas tents next spring. Meanwhile they're getting some competition in Grand Marais, as the new Wunderbar opened an upscale "glampground" with yurts and vintage camping trailers.

Inside the Hungry Hippie kitchenette one night, guests mingled as they poured coffee and made dinner. One Minneapolis man said he was a frequent guest while taking classes at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais. A young woman traveling solo ate cheese and crackers for dinner while the St. Paul family roasted hot dogs on the campfire outside.

At dusk, the sky glowed with patches of pink and purple as temperatures dropped into the 40s. Most guests retreated to bed while a few huddled around the campfire, mesmerized by flying sparks or the shimmering white full moon rising in the pitch-black sky.

A pair of St. Paul sisters grew impatient with the lack of cell service before finding a new distraction, lying down in the cool grass as they stared wide-eyed at the sky. The young girls gawked at the Milky Way and squealed with excitement as they witnessed their first shooting star.

"Where we live, there's like 10 stars," the 10-year-old sister said to her younger sister. "Here, there are 50 -- or 100!"


The Keebles will pick up Superior Hiking Trail hikers at a trailhead nearby if booked in advance.

From the hostel, drive 10 minutes to Judge C.R. Magney State Park and hike about a mile to the mysterious Devil's Kettle Falls. Drive another 20 minutes to Grand Portage National Monument to learn the history of the Grand Portage Band and join a free tour with a National Park Service ranger to learn about the fur traders, French voyageurs and Ojibwe Indians. Another 10-minute drive from there is Grand Portage State Park on the Canadian border, where a quick hike takes visitors to the aptly named High Falls, the highest waterfall in Minnesota.

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The Hungry Hippie Hostel is located at 401 County Road 14, off Hwy. 61, northeast of Grand Marais and about 4 1/2 hours from the Twin Cities.

More info: Go to or to Airbnb. To make a reservation, call 1-218-387-4827.

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