Respecting Tradition to Make Your Gunflint Trail Adventure Meaningful

Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters has hosted wilderness adventurers for almost 100 years on beautiful Poplar Lake at the edge of the BWCAW. Its history is inextricably bound to the history of development and recreation along the Gunflint Trail.

Founded by Jennie and Paul Stoltz along with Wally Anderson in 1926, Rockwood still operates out of the historic main log lodge the Stoltzs constructed at the beginning. 

After almost 20 years of operating the property, the Stoltzs sold at the end of World War II. Five other families owned Rockwood before we were fortunate enough to acquire it, fulfilling a lifelong dream in 2015.

Rockwood team with dogs in front of lodge

While bringing modern-day technology to our operations, we deeply respect the history and traditions of our historic resort, the Gunflint Trail, and the wilderness that sits out our back door. To honor that history, we provide excellent service to our resort and outfitting guests, a hallmark of Rockwood for nearly a century.

We purchased Rockwood from Lin and Mike Sherfy, who owned it for a dozen years. Before that, we’d been their guests and helpers for several years. They were outstanding resort operators.

2011 red begonias

In a written history of the Gunflint Trail, there is a story about the red begonias that perch on either side of the entry to our lodge. 

It says that shortly after the Sherfys took ownership of Rockwood, they hosted a visit by George Stoltz, son of Paul and Jennie. George was accompanied by Mabel Stoltz, Paul’s second wife, and several members of Mabel’s family.

George stopped by the front door as the visitors left and said, “I see you’re keeping up the tradition.”

Lin Sherfy wasn’t sure what he meant. Mabel told her that red begonias were Paul’s favorite flowers, and he always ensured the lodge’s front door was decorated with large hanging begonia baskets. 

“That’s funny,” Lin said. “My husband insists that I buy red begonias for the lodge.” She showed the begonia baskets to Mabel, who teared up and said, “Another man like my Paul. I hope you will do well at Rockwood.”

Sherfy’s in 2010

The Sherfys did well, and we are grateful to carry on the traditions of this piece of wilderness. Throughout our season, hanging baskets of red begonias decorate our door, and always welcome you to our lodge.

This month finds us gearing up for the coming soft water season. 

By mid-May, the bunkhouse and cabins will be ready, the canoes will be standing by, and our outfitting shop will be fully stocked. It’s not too early to plan your wilderness adventure. Head over to our trip planning page and get started. 

Cabin 12 is the first to open on May 7; a few nights are still available. You can find all the information about our cabins, including descriptions, prices, and availability, on our website

The pet-friendly Bunkhouse is open from mid-May to mid-October. It’s a great place to spend a night before entering the BWCAW and to get a good night’s sleep before heading back to civilization.

Our website is loaded with information, but we are also available to answer your phone calls, texts (218-388-2242), or emails. We are working on getting everything ready for your upcoming vacation so you may catch our voicemail. If you leave us a message, we’ll call you back as soon as we can. 

Remember, in addition to fully outfitting your BWCAW trip, we can help you get all the permits you’ll need. 

We look forward to sharing our traditions with you in 2024 and can’t wait to welcome you between the red begonias