Coming Soon to a Forest Near You

The trees are starting to show their true colors along the Gunflint Trail. There are some leaves turning yellow, orange and red but it will be awhile before the colors are peak.  To find out when we’ll have peak colors on the North Shore read the press release below from the Minnesota DNR.

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    Sept. 8, 2014

DNR’s fall color finder will help travelers with trip planning

Minnesota state park and trail visitors will soon be seeing red and orange and yellow and countless other shades of autumn as the leaves and prairies grasses put on their annual show.

To help travelers plan their fall hikes, bike rides, paddling trips and scenic drives to coincide as closely as possible with peak color, staff at Minnesota state parks and recreation areas will update an online fall color finder at every Thursday, starting Sept. 4. This online trip-planning tool includes a map showing where to find peak color across the state, a link to fall color programs and special events, a slideshow and a photo uploader that provides an easy way for people to share their favorite fall color images.

“We’re anticipating a beautiful fall color display,” said Patricia Arndt, communications and outreach manager for the Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division. “It will move across the state quickly, though, so we encourage everyone to get out and enjoy it while it lasts. The fall color finder can help people locate a park or trail to visit or a naturalist program that the whole family can enjoy.”

Family-oriented fall color programs are also listed in a free “Feel the Wow of Fall” brochure available at Minnesota state parks and recreation areas, at Twin Cities libraries and at metro area outdoor retail stores. The DNR Information Center will also mail the brochure to anyone who requests it.

Colors typically peak between mid-September and early October in the northern third of Minnesota, between late September and early October in the central third, and between late September and mid-October in the southern third (which includes the Twin Cities). Peak fall color typically lasts about two weeks, but that can vary widely, depending on location, elevation and weather. Trees at higher elevations are the earliest to show color change.

For smartphone and tablet users, the DNR offers fall colors “to go” on a mobile fall color finder that is integrated with Google maps. To access the mobile version, scan the QR code at or visit and bookmark the site.

For more information, visit the online calendar at
or call the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A vehicle permit is required for entrance to Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. Anyone who purchases a one-day permit ($5) can exchange it for $5 off a year-round permit later the same day. Year-round permits, $25, provide unlimited access to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas for a full year from the month of purchase.


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Wildlife Coming out of the Woods

When the two legged creature visits to the Gunflint Trail slow down the four legged creatures appear more frequently. Numerous sightings of wolves, bear, bald eagles, fox, grouse and more have been reported and yesterday I saw our moose back on the road. Fall is a great time to visit the Gunflint Trail, come see for yourself.

Gunflint Wildlife

Moose on the Gunflint Trail

Moose on the Gunflint Trail

Gunflint Trail moose


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Garage Sale on the Gunflint Trail

This weekend is the annual Gunflint Trail Garage Sale. On Saturday and Sunday, September 2oth and 21st you’ll be able to find deals up and down the trail.  Businesses and cabin owners are participating so there will be plenty of places to stop. Participating businesses are Clearwater Lodge & Golden Eagle Lodge(set up at Clearwater), Boundary Country Trekking, Hungry Jack Outfitters, Trail Center Lodge, Norwester Lodge, Big Bear Lodge, Gunflint Lodge, Gunflint Pines and VOYAGEUR CANOE OUTFITTERS!

If you stop in and get your map stamped at every business and bring it to Trail Center on your way back to town you’ll get a prize. If you come all of the way to the end of the Gunflint Trail and visit us at Voyageur then you’ll have the opportunity to purchase some camping gear for a great prices.  We’ll have canoes for sale including a Minnesota II Kevlar, a Seneca, a Royalex and more.  We’ll also have paddles, packs, thermarest pads and tents for sale along with some great deals on gift store items including clothing.

We hope you will come see us on Saturday or Sunday from 8am-4pm. If you’re interested in purchasing a canoe and can’t make it up then feel free to give us a call on Monday or sign up for our email newsletter so you’ll know when we have more for sale.

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Are You Ready for some Football?

It’s that time of the year and football season is here. Mike is helping coach the Cook County Varsity Football team for the second season this year. Last Friday night his team played in Duluth, then we drove up to Thunder Bay to watch our son Josh play a game on Saturday and today he took Abby and a friend to watch the Minnesota Vikings play. Tomorrow Josh has another game in Silver Bay, Minnesota as does the Junior Varsity football team so Mike will have had 4 days in a row of travel and football.  I sure hope he was ready for football!

It’s also volleyball season for Abby and she has games on both Tuesday and Thursday night of this week. The forecast calls for lots of windshield time this week.

Josh as kicker

Football season is here

Josh at Qiarterbacl


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Adventures in the Wilderness

Every once in awhile we have a guest share their Voyageur Experience with us. You can find more stories on our website but I thought I would share one with you here.

Bill and I have just returned back from a terrific trip to the Boundary Waters. It had been years since I had been on a canoe trip, and my husband had hardly even been in a canoe! So, we were very excited for our adventure in the North Woods. Voyageur Outfitters came highly recommended from a friend living in the Twin Cities area. We weren’t disappointed! Due to our lack of experience, we opted to stay in a cabin for a few days and do day trips; only venturing out into the wilderness the final day for an overnight camp out. From start to finish, the crew exceeded our expectations. All crew members were enthusiastic, informative, and genuinely concerned with our enjoyment and safety. We were given lots of advice on routing, both for our day trips and the overnight. This group truly loves the wilderness and their job! I hope to see all of them again. I hesitate to mention names because they were all outstanding. But, I guess I have to give a special shout-out to the girl! s: Kyra, Abigail, and Hannah. They were the best!

We didn’t see an bears or moose – but the LOONS!!! We were thoroughly captivated by their calls! One evening, we heard them do their dance – unforgettable!

Mike and Sue are running a great operation. We hope to be back next year!

Lindsay & Bill – Atlanta, GA

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Wolves on the Gunflint

On Wednesday a guest arrived and told us he had seen a wolf on his way up the Gunflint Trail. Hannah who has worked at Voyageur all summer expressed displeasure that she had been here all summer and still hadn’t seen a wolf.  I told her it was easier to see them in the fall and winter and that we see quite a few of them.

That afternoon she drove down the Gunflint Trail and called me when she got to Grand Marais. “Guess what I saw on the drive to town?” Yep, she saw a wolf. Then on Thursday when I drove to town to watch Abby’s volleyball game guess what I saw on the drive to town? Yep, I saw a wolf. Today on my way up the Trail guess what I saw. Yep, I saw another wolf.

It’s funny how things like that happen. We can go all summer without seeing one and then see one a day. You just never know what you’re going to see on the Gunflint Trail, but if you had to guess…

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Weekend Fun in Grand Marais

This weekend in Grand Marais is the Unplugged Festival at the North House Folk School.  If you have never been to it then I suggest checking it out in the future. There are some great bands and fun to be had. This Saturday night Mike and I will be pouring Fulton Beer at the Festival. Fulton was started by three couples, one of which is from Grand Marais, Minnesota.

While pouring beer we have the opportunity to talk about our brewery opening in Grand Marais. The progress of the construction at  Voyageur Brewing Company is incredible.  It’s so exciting to see how much gets done in such a short time.  Next year before you come up the Gunflint Trail for your canoe trip you’ll have to stop in at the Brewery for a Nalgene or stainless steel growler filled with a delicious beer.

Unplugged in Grand Marais with Voyageur Brewing Company

Voyageur Brewing Company

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Winter in September

While the other day we experienced summer in September today we had winter. Rumors circulated about the sighting of snow falling around the mid-trail region but we didn’t see any flakes at Voyageur. It was chilly with a high temperature of just 43 degrees and very windy. The main wind speed was between 9-13 miles per hour and gusts were in the 20 mile per hour range all day long. We also received over a half of an inch of rain so all in all it wasn’t a great day to be paddling in the Boundary Waters.  The sun did appear just before it was ready to set tonight and Tony’s brother Justin snapped some beautiful photos of it before it disappeared.

The rest of the week looks like it will be nicer with sunshine and less wind. Tonight the first fire of the season is roaring in my fireplace and Rugby couldn’t be happier.


Boundary Waters Sunset

Saganaga Lake Sunset

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Heading South or North

A sure sign of fall is when the flocks of geese fly over the Boundary Waters with bills pointed south. Today there were a couple of very large flocks of geese all heading south. Their timing coincides with the departure of the Quetico Park Ranger.

The difference between the geese and Janice the Cache Bay Ranger is she heads north when the weather gets cold.  What does that mean for people wanting to visit the Quetico Park?  People are welcome to visit the Quetico when the Ranger is no longer there but camping fees are purchased on a self-service basis.

Permits to enter the Quetico Park are no longer needed after the Ranger Station closes but overnight camping fees must still be paid.  Payment is by cash only that is deposited into a collection container.  Checks aren’t allowed because by the time payment is retrieved the date is old and the bank won’t accept them.

The good news is the price of the overnight camping fee goes down a little bit.  The rate is $16.50 per adult per night and youth is $6.50 per night and the rates are at par. If you have questions then you can call the Quetico Park directly at 807-597-5019.

Safe travels to all those migrating south or north.

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Enjoying a Sunset on Saganaga

We spent a couple of nights on Saganaga over Labor Day Weekend and Rugby enjoyed a lovely sunset.

Rugby Enjoying a Sunset

BWCA Sunset

Enjoying a Sag Sunset

Boundary Waters Sunset

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