A Walk in the Woods
There aren’t too many things I like better than going for a walk in the woods. There is something so renewing and motivating about hiking a trail, I wish it could be put in a bottle and sprayed on like perfume. If it were that easy then I could make millions of dollars while making people feel good. Wait a minute, while I don’t make millions of dollars I do sell trips into the Boundary Waters that make people feel good, but that’s another story.
Today’s story is about my recent hike on the South Rim and Bryce Breon Hiking Trail. This is a trail that is remarkable in the sense that it is unremarkable. There isn’t a big magnetic rock at the end, there is no gushing waterfall and nothing, that I am aware of, makes it special. I think that’s why I like this particular hike so much.
To get to the Bryce Breon Trail I usually park at the Loon Lake boat landing. Then, as a creature of habit, I hike up to the high cliffs that overlook Gunflint Lake. If you have never done this then I highly recommend it. When you are at the top of the cliffs you are gazing into Canada and since the Ham Lake Fire occurred it is a totally new view. Most days you can see for miles and the short 10-minute hike up is definitely worth the effort.
My hike continues as I follow the South Rim ski trail east along the ridgeline for about an hour. The trail stays close enough to the edge affording many views of the expansive Gunflint Lake along the way. The trail is easy to follow but as the summer goes on it tends to get very tall grass growing on it which hides rocks that can get in the way of the solid ground. There isn’t much change in elevation along the ridge so it’s not a difficult hike by any means. Just before you come to the intersection of where the South Rim and Bryce Breon Trails meet is my favorite spot on the South Rim Trail. Huge, towering pines dot the ridgeline and sway in the wind and they literally take my breath away every time I see them.
The Bryce Breon Trail leads south through beautiful cedar trees and the shore of Loon Lake. Then the trail heads in a westward direction towards the Loon Lake boat landing for about another hour of hiking. Along the way there are trickling streams, granite ledges and humungous cedar trees that you can’t get your arms around. The shoreline is dotted with rocks, driftwood and the occasional beaver lodge. I heard grouse drumming in the forest, saw what I believe is an eagle’s nest and felt in awe of nature as I made my trek through the woods.
Before I knew it I was back at the Loon Lake Landing and done with my walk in the woods. I felt relaxed and at peace, not something I had felt since May 5th. That’s the secret to my sanity, my magic potion. It works for me and I think it would work for you too, go ahead, give it a try. A walk in the woods, no matter how remarkable the trail, is time well spent.