We’ve been seeing a little buck around Voyageur at the end of the Gunflint Trail lately. We haven’t seen many deer in the past few years and many of us think that is a good thing. When the deer population is up the moose population usually drops. Deer are also carriers of brainworm that can affect moose too. While it’s nice to see deer I prefer to see them closer to Grand Marais or elsewhere in the state of Minnesota.
There’s a little less water in the Brule River this month than there was earlier this summer but it’s still flowing and as beautiful as ever. It’s a must-do hike when you’re in Grand Marais, Minnesota.
I sometimes wonder about wildlife in the canoe country. In July our family paddled across the Quetico Park from Beaverhouse Lake to Cache Bay, under 100 miles but pretty close. You would think in that vast area of wilderness there would be plenty of wildlife to see. Maybe it was because the lakes were large or we weren’t looking closely enough but we didn’t see any big wildlife.
When we got back to the Gunflint Trail we saw a moose on our drive back to town. Why is it we see more wildlife at the end of the Gunflint Trail then we do by paddling almost 100 miles through the Quetico Park? I wonder.
We’re beginning to see some color changes on the Gunflint Trail. Maybe it was the hot, dry spell we had that started the transformation of colors? Whatever the reason we’re not ready for summer to be over quite yet. There’s still plenty of time to get a canoe camping trip in!
The blueberry crop this year has been disappointing. First the very wet spring was to blame and then too many days of hot sunshine dried out the few berries there were. Combine that with all of the extremely large piles of bear poop I have seen in our favorite blueberry patches and it’s not a big surprise it hasn’t been good picking.
Good picking for blueberries is somewhat a personal opinion. I like to be able to grab a clump of ripe berries at one time and dislike having to pluck one individual berry at a time. It isn’t as much fun when it takes forever to cover the bottom of a bucket and your back is aching before it’s half full.
I am thinking the USFS might have to plan a few prescribed burns to create some good patches like some people used to do in the “olden” days. Or I’m going to have to go over to Ely where the Pagami Fire raged through the woods.
It’s still nice to be outside in the fresh air and however few blueberries I pick it’s still better than none.
The North Shore of Lake Superior has a number of wonderful places to hike. State Park hiking trails, rivers, the beach, the Superior Hiking Trail or even just along dirt roads you can easily find a place to stretch your legs. Cascade State Park is just a few miles out of Grand Marais(10) and it’s one of my favorite places to hike.
The trails at Cascade allow you to hike through Aspen, birch, pines, spruce and cedar trees. In the last three miles of the Cascade River the river drops over 900 feet creating a number of waterfalls and cascades. You can make a round trip hike by walking along the west side of the river for a little under 4 miles and then cross the County Road 45 bridge to the east side of the river to head back towards Highway 61 for a little under 4 more miles. There are numerous places to rest alongside the river or dip your feet in the river.
There are other trails to choose from including one along the Lake(approximately 3 miles round trip), one up to Lookout Mountain(3.5 miles round trip), one down to a secret waterfall(2.8 miles round trip), one up to Moose Mountain(8 miles round trip), trails to the campground, cross-country ski trails and connector trails.
Cascade State Park is a great place to hike with trails of all lengths to choose from and wonderful waterfalls of all shapes and sizes.
If you’re waiting for a person to get rid of a bad habit or start a new healthy habit it seems to take forever. Compare that slow change to how quickly things in nature sometimes change. Wildflowers and plants in northern Minnesota don’t have much time to grow. The transformation that takes place each summer on the Gunflint Trail is absolutely amazing. The ferns in the woods in August blanket the forest floor while in May they were just tiny sprouts and fiddleheads. The blooms of the wild roses have been replaced with giant rose hips. The list goes on and on. That’s why it’s so important to savor each day and take time to smell the flowers because they don’t last forever.