Cook County Blog

Finding that perfect training ground

Posted by Molly O'Neill on 5/10/18 4:42 PM

Cook County Minnesota is the ultimate training ground for any outdoor fitness enthusiast at all levelsThe 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.

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Topics: Events, Spring, Summer

Waterfall Wednesday - Waterfall season weekly updates

Posted by Kjersti Vick on 4/18/18 3:02 PM


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. 


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Topics: Spring

A Spring Break Destination for Those Who Think Differently.

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 2/23/18 3:52 PM

Spring break. Every student’s rallying cry – and every teacher’s earned respite. Sometime between New Year’s and Valentine’s Day, spring break daydreams begin. You’re probably thinking about the perfect spring break destination. When you picture it, what do you see?

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Topics: Events, Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, Winter, Grand Portage, Lutsen Tofte Schroeder

Escape the Super Bowl madness - head NORTH!

Posted by Kjersti Vick on 2/1/18 10:13 AM

Super Bowl fever has caught on in the Twin Cities, and while it is an excellent boost to the local economy, it sure is a headache for many Twin Cities residents. So why not escape the madness, and head north to the real #boldnorth.

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Topics: Lodging, Winter

Make the Most of Your Winter Vacation | Visit Cook County

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 1/24/18 3:06 PM

Cook County, Minnesota is the ultimate winter vacation destination. There’s simply no better place to embark on a winter adventure. Things are quieter up here in winter, which means it’s the perfect time to explore. You’ll feel like you have the trails to yourself. Fewer lines at your favorite restaurants, the nation’s darkest skies and the most beautiful show of northern lights make regular appearances.

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Topics: Events, Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, Winter, Grand Portage, Lutsen Tofte Schroeder

How to harvest the perfect Christmas tree in the Superior National Forest

Posted by Kjersti Vick on 11/28/17 10:32 AM

How to harvest the perfect Christmas tree in the Superior National Forest

Have you ever harvested your own Christmas tree from the forest? If you are someone who likes to choose your own adventure and drink hot chocolate from a thermos while wearing a festive flannel - Christmas tree hunting is for you! For as little as $5 you can embark on a memory filled adventure out into the forest to find the perfect Balsam fir tree.

What you’ll need to make your outing successful:

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Topics: Winter, Art, History & Culture, Kids & Family, Outdoors

Finding your inner warmth - Hygge Season

Posted by Kjersti Vick on 11/16/17 12:37 PM

Finding your inner warmth - Hygge Season

The Thrillist recently ranked Minnesota #1 in its list of every state, ranked by how miserable its winters are. Please, not to name names, but I think we can think of several worse places. With almost 6 million Minnesota proud residents, we know it’s not all bad. Sure, reading the thermometer on a frigid below zero morning can be disheartening, but temps ain’t nothing but a number. With our guidance, the proper attire, and a good attitude - winter might even become your favorite time of the year.

  1. Layers are a Minnesotan’s best friend. While cotton is great for keeping you cool in the summer months, there are only four words you need to know to survive winter: merino wool base layers. Wearing the right kind of garment underneath your outerwear will keep you nice and toasty no matter the wind-chill.
  2.  Sun’s out, you’re out. Staying inside day after day is a surefire way to sour even the most optimistic soul on winter. Even though the thermometer reads well below zero, getting out for a daily dose of Vitamin D is critical. Going for a ski, snowshoe, hike, snowmobile ride, or ice fishing will do wonders for your mental well-being even if it is just for a short bit. So layer up and get out!
  3.  Get out at night. It’s easy to lose motivation once the sun goes down, but don’t let the cold stop you. Catch some live music. Do a little stargazing (and maybe even northern lights?!) and if an opportunity for a moonlight ski arises – do it! Gliding through the sparkling boreal forest is a bucket list must.
  4. Hygge like there is no tomorrow. Hygge is the ritual of embracing life’s simple pleasures. Feeling relaxed, cozy and surrounded by the warmth of family, friends and fire. So go ahead, have a second cup of hot chocolate today, you’ve earned it!

You've heard our suggestions for finding warmth, what are yours? How do YOU find warmth in winter? Connect with us on Social Media

Instagram: @donorthmn   or #donorthmn

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Topics: Winter, News

Northern Lights Viewing Routes - Find the best places to view the aurora borealis in Cook County MN

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 11/12/17 11:00 AM

Catching a glimpse of the northern lights is at the top of many "bucket lists" but the number one question we hear is "where are the best places to view the northern lights in Minnesota?" With the help of local photographer, Bryan Hansel, we have created a comprehensive list of some of the best places to view the northern lights in Cook County, MN.  

Please note: These maps are intended for reference only. Please pick up an official road map for offline navigation. Locations identified can be done individually or as a driving route. Not all roadways accessible year-round or maintained regularly. Proceed with caution during winter months and observe all road signs or closures. Visit Cook County is not responsible for lost or stranded drivers.  Safety is at the discretion of the driver

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Topics: Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, Grand Portage, Lutsen Tofte Schroeder, Northern Lights & Night Sky

What are frost flowers? Rare phenomena appears in Cook County, Minn.

Posted by Kjersti Vick on 11/10/17 2:35 PM

Frost flowers are a rare natural phenomena that occur when the air temp is lower than the water below. They can be compared to "giant" snowflakes and can be up to 3" high (the one pictured above was about 1" tall). Typically found on thin or new ice, or ice that has some imperfections that allow air to evaporate into the cold dry air.  

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Topics: Winter, phenomena

Why you should VOTE for Grand Marais, MN for Best MN Town

Posted by Kjersti Vick on 10/4/17 10:29 AM

Grand Marais, MN is in the running for Best MN Town, a contest hosted by Minnesota Monthly Magazine and Old Dutch. This contest is bigger than the other previous contests because it includes substantial prizes such as:

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Topics: Grand Marais