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.
Our lodging businesses pride themselves on providing safe, clean and beautiful spaces to getaway to.
Enhanced cleaning and sanitation measures are in place to ensure that visitors and employees are being protected. Prior to arrival, plan to check in with your lodging establishment to ensure you are aware of any new practices and procedures. Some may require you to bring supplies or go through a short screening process. For the outdoor adventurers, camping is now allowed in dispersed areas (such as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness or sections of the Superior Hiking Trail), private campgrounds, public campgrounds and US Forest Service Campgrounds. State Park campgrounds are expected to reopen soon. Cook County has many outfitting services that are just as excited as you are to be back in the wilderness, if you have any questions or concerns about permitting or safe wilderness travel during this time, please reach out to any of these awesome businesses.
Shopping and Dining
We are a region filled with eclectic small businesses. These stores are lovingly filled with items meant to be taken home--tokens to keep your favorite place fresh in your memory long after your visit. The restaurant menus are chock-full of local flavor to keep your heart full and your belly happy after a day of adventure. Like all small businesses, they operate on razor thin margins and navigate challenges to open every year because they love to serve their community and visitors. More than ever this year these local businesses are reimagining how to best serve guests with the new regulations and safety precautions. There will be some significant changes to the way some of our favorite businesses greet and serve you. However, the friendly faces will still be here, even if their smile is hidden behind a mask. Check out our business hours and services update to learn who is offering curbside pick up or window service and if there are any requests of their guests or other guidelines you might need to know for how to successfully navigate during your visit.
Unique and fun events are a part of the fabric of our community, and while we may not be able to gather together as we have in the past, we can revel in the memories of the past. Sharing memories is the best way to keep some traditions alive, and build excitement for when Cook County’s heritage of hosting good parties returns again. This summer, we hope you’ll share some of your favorite memories and photos from events you’ve participated in over the years. And of course, there are many events that are creatively continuing to bring celebration and sport to you virtually. Check our events calendar for updates on cancelled and virtual events.
Nature is good for you!
There are a lot of things to be gained from a day spent outside in the wilderness and we hope you’ll come and take advantage of all of them! As a community rooted in adventure, we know you’ll find plenty of ways to get outside and make the most of what our region has to offer. If you need some ideas, we have a host of great activities you’ll want to be sure to check out. Be sure that while you are out enjoying our vast wilderness you are aware of any restrictions, you leave no trace and you practice social distancing by keeping one moose apart from others.
Patience and construction
The best part of getting away from the hustle and bustle is the immediate change of pace and calmness that you find up north. As we all learn to adapt and change to the new environment, things move a little more slowly providing a great opportunity to notice the world around you. You are going to find that there will be some construction in and around Grand Marais that have started but the same great town is here waiting for you and it still smells sweetly of donuts. Slow down, enjoy the ride and be kind to one and other.