What is Leave No Trace and Why is it Important
Spring in Cook County is a reawakening in the wilderness. Just as the birds migrate north for the season, so do many familiar faces. For generations, we have been a welcoming destination for friends near and far looking to get away. That will never change. However, due to COVID-19 regulations, there are a few things you’ll want to know to prepare for your upcoming visit.
Whether you live here full time, part time, or are a visitor and fan of the North Shore and Gunflint Trail - we can all agree that this is a special place. During this extraordinary time of coronavirus (COVID-19) and social distancing, we have a few suggestions to keep you connected to your favorite place. Above all, health and safety is of utmost importance – please be sure to consult with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Minnesota Department of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure you are following all of the proper safety procedures.
Cook County is a mecca for serious snowmobilers who enjoy a long ride with delicious food and beverages along the way. With 450 miles of snowmobile trails and an array of dining and lodging available at every turn, Cook County is the perfect destination for a snowmobile adventure.
The perfect winter adventure awaits you in Cook County, where in one place, you can find the largest cross-country skiing network in North America, 450 miles of impeccably groomed snowmobile trails, and the rugged Sawtooth Mountains rising above Lake Superior offering alpine skiing and snowboarding at the Midwest’s largest ski resort, Lutsen Mountains.
Winter is full of magical experiences and snowshoeing in Cook County is one of the most incredible ways to explore our dramatic landscape. Our favorite time to get out on the trails is early in the morning after an overnight snowfall, just as the sun rises above the horizon. The utter silence you’ll experience is indescribable – that is until the birds awaken to serenade you. Take the opportunity to strap on a pair of snowshoes and explore miles of trails this winter!
Winter means something different to everyone. Up in Cook County, Minnesota, it means freedom. Freedom to explore. Freedom to push your limits. Freedom to adventure to your heart’s content, and then relax and recuperate for as long as necessary. No judgment! Up here, winter slows things down, so you can focus on whatever you need in the here and now.
So… what winter adventures do you want to tick off your bucket list on your next stay in Cook County? Here are just a few for inspiration.
Beware the Gales of November
Fall is a tumultuous time of year along Minnesota’s North Shore. We’re battered by huge, icy swells that pommel our shoreline. Every day is a gamble. Will the Gales of November make it impossible to take to the water? Or will the lake be still as a sheet of glass? Every year, Lake Superior sees about 30 inches of precipitation, most of which falls May through October. Over the years, we’ve had some truly incredible storms pass through the region, wreaking havoc, sinking ships and making the news.
The Minnesota Sea Grant has conducted extensive research into why, exactly, so many epic storms develop around Lake Superior. It all has to do with climate, and what is going on in the air above the big lake. The experts explain that “collisions between belts of low and high pressure from the Gulf of Mexico and Canada generate the region's wildest storms and blizzards.”
During November, the winds really start to pick up. This is caused by low-pressure systems passing over the lake, bringing on the Gales of November. During this time, wind speeds can easily reach 50 miles per hour, and gusts can exceed 100 mph. In Cook County, this natural phenomenon is a cause to celebrate.
Downtown Grand Marais has been hit by major early winter lake storms going back to the turn of the 20th century. In the spirit of the Storm Season🌊, we asked local historian and seasonal Information Center guru, Dan Helmerson, to share some of his favorite stormy season photos and stories he could find from the Cook County Historical Society. We hope you'll enjoy this photographic journey through history.
Not only is Cook County MN drop dead beautiful, but it happens to be home to many delicious drive-worthy food destinations. On Fridays for the month of May, we are featuring a unique foodie pairing experience only found in Cook County. Please tune in weekly to see the latest #FoodieFridays pairing.