Hiking on the Gunflint Trail
The Seagull River Nature Trail is open once again. The trail has been impossible to travel since the 1999 Blowdown but thanks to some kind people who were in our neighborhood during the Cavity Lake Fire the trail has been cleared. The Trail begins at Trail’s End Campground at the bottom of the boat ramp into Seagull Lake. It travels 3/4 of a mile along the River to a point of land on Seagull Lake. It’s a nice, fairly easy hike that takes about 20-30 minutes to walk each way. I love this Trail and am so happy it is open again.
If you want to read about how stubborn I am then please continue. If you do not want to know about who I really am, then please stop reading now.
I hadn’t hiked the Seagull River Nature Trail since the Blowdown. It wasn’t because of the Blowdown but because I had my daughter in November of 1999, my son in June of 2001, and no time to go hiking in between. So, when Don and Marilyn, our managers tried hiking the Seagull River Nature Trail last year and came back and said it was impossible, it came across as a challenge to me.
I walked the 1.7 miles to the Trail’s End Campground and started on my way down the Trail. I was just beginning to think Don and Marilyn were crazy for thinking the trail was impossible to hike when I came to a tree down on the Trail. I crawled over it and continued on my way and quickly came upon another tree. Soon I was having a difficult time following the Trail and before long I came to an area of blowdown where the trees were piled up 10 feet high. I crawled over piles of trees scraping my legs, I scurried underneath piles bumping my back along the way, I picked my way around the trees as I was scratched by the limbs of trees and I wove through the trees until finally four hours later I came to the end of the Trail. I had made it, bruised and broken, completely exhausted and wondering to myself how I was going to get back. Then I heard something that sounded like a foreign language being spoken.
I looked out onto Seagull Lake and saw three canoes bobbing in the waves a little ways away from shore. I figured they were looking for the landing so I yelled out to them and asked, "Are you looking for the campground?" The answer was an accented yes so I said, "I can show you the way if you give me a ride back with you." Their reply was, "Where is your canoe? How did you get here?" I briefly explained the existence of a hiking trail while I climbed into the canoe of two Japanese students from the University of Minnesota. I was thankful to be hitchhiking back to the landing because my preferred alternative prior to their arrival was to swim the mile back to the campground. I gave them my sincere thanks before walking the 1.7 miles back home to tell Don and Marilyn about the adventure.
When I got home I went straight to Don and Marilyn and said, "I made it to the end of the Trail, it wasn’t impossible." Then I hobbled my way up the stairs, licked my wounds and went to bed…
Be sure to check out the Seagull River Nature Trail the next time you are on the Gunflint Trail.