In Northern Minnesota, it is most common that soon after the lakes freeze a significant snow storm arrives. This winter, on many of our lakes that was the case. They froze and the snow came. However, this year on iconic Gunflint Lake conditions were different.
Happy anniversary to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (commonly known as the BWCAW/BWCA)! On October 21, 1978 President Jimmy Carter signed the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act into law, amending the national Wilderness Act of 1964.
While the 1964 National Wilderness Act included the BWCAW in the National Wilderness Preservation System, the new Act signed in 1978, set the course leading to the wilderness as it is known today. Each year, over 150,000 visitors travel from around the globe to explore the pristine waters that are home to moose, wolves, bears and more.
The moment the first trees start to change, excitement ensues. The first question we start to hear around town is “when will it be peak fall color?” While it is difficult to predict, peak fall foliage in Minnesota is typically the last weekend of September & first weekend of October. First to go are the maple trees which begin turning in early-September. Depending on conditions, the peak fall color will extend on either side of the two peak weekends and sometimes longer. For a great resource for estimating this year’s fall color - review past fall color status reports. This PDF, produced by the Superior National Forest Service office in Tofte, demonstrates a comparison of eight years of peak fall foliage in Minnesota dates also check the Fall Color Finder map updated weekly for the most up-to-date fall color report.
Being out in nature is an incredible thing. It’s one of the primary reasons so many fine folks choose to make the journey north every fall. Cook County is the perfect place to be inspired by nature. Stepping out of the towns and into natural areas engages every one of our senses. The views take our breath away. The smells bring us back to our childhood. The sounds of animals, birds and the wind through the trees have a calming effect, washing away the stressors of everyday life. You’ll feel invigorated after spending time in the elements and tasting that first fall brew or exquisite local wine is the icing on the cake.
Simply being out in the wilderness forges connections between the land, our minds and our bodies. It’s no wonder so many of us turn to nature for inspiration.
The Sky is Falling! Just kidding, it's the annual Perseid Meteor Shower.
Northern Minnesota’s night skies are spectacular for stargazing on any clear night. But this weekend there’s an extra special treat that we might be lucky enough to enjoy. If clear skies prevail as they are forecast now, it could be the kind of spectacular night show your kids will remember all their lives. Or maybe it’s the kind of moment with a special someone that’s usually reserved for Hollywood Rom-Coms. Whoever you may be with this weekend, or if you’re enjoying some solitude, don’t miss the chance to take in some magic. Or science. Observer’s choice.
The pristine waters. The dramatic, glacially-carved landscape. The seemingly unending wilderness. A trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is a chance to set technology aside and spend days on end out in the elements. Maybe you’ve been wanting to take your family camping in the BWCAW for years but haven’t taken the leap quite yet. Maybe you’re a seasoned BWCAW veteran thinking about taking your little ones in for the first time. Maybe you fall somewhere in-between.
No matter your experience level, a trip into the BWCAW will challenge your family to slow down, work together and to enjoy life’s simplest pleasures. This is the year you transform your family into a Boundary Waters family.
Our Top 5 Fun Summer Activities
Although we love Cook County all year round, there’s something inherently special about summer up north. Its sunny and warm (but not too warm, thanks Lake Superior!). It’s peaceful, but there are lots of things to do. We have hundreds of thousands of visitors in Cook County every summer, but somehow, there’s room for everyone to breathe. Everyone can do their own thing and find fun summer activities to experience and enjoy.
Cook County Minnesota is the ultimate training ground for any outdoor fitness enthusiast at all levels. The varied terrain, limited traffic, and spectacular scenery make working out a reward not only for the body but also the mind.
There are at least a bazillion, with a B, great resources on the internet for planning the perfect training schedule. However, after viewing several great blogs and websites on cycling and running, I was quickly completely overwhelmed with too much information. Ultimately, I found clarity in going back to basics.
Similar to peak fall colors, the exact peak of waterfall flowage can be difficult to predict. However, the lake and rivers break-up every spring after several days of warm weather and can last at peak flow for several weeks. We're checking in at some of our favorite waterfalls this spring to check-in on their spring breakup status.