Cook County Blog

Tell Us A Story - Surviving social distancing through storytelling and imagery

Posted by Kjersti Vick on 3/19/20 2:44 PM

Tell Us A Story - Surviving social distancing through storytelling and imagery 

During this time of social distancing and isolation, let's join together to share stories of your favorite times in Cook County. Tell us a story about the time you encountered a moose on the Gunflint Trail, or when you taught your kid how to skip rocks in the Grand Marais harbor. Tell us about that time you learned to ski at Lutsen Mountains or about how all of your senses were heightened the first time you felt the raw power of nature crash down High Falls in Grand Portage

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Topics: Spring, Outdoors, Northern Lights & Night Sky, BWCAW

Find Winter Adventures on Cook County Trails

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 12/10/19 8:37 AM

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.

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Topics: Winter, Kids & Family, Outdoors

Our Top 8 Tips for Seeing the Northern Lights in Minnesota

Posted by Kjersti Vick on 11/11/19 12:13 PM

For many, seeing the northern lights is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s a chance to experience the mystical, feel connected with something almost otherworldly and experience natural beauty at its utmost perfection. There is simply no comparison to seeing the northern lights with your own eyes.

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Topics: Winter, Kids & Family, Outdoors

Beware the Gales of November | Lake Superior Storms and Shipwrecks

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 11/7/19 8:00 AM

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.

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

Paddle and Play on the Gunflint Trail

Posted by Lily Nelson-Pedersen on 5/20/19 5:16 PM

Canoeing is a sport that can be intimidating. There are rules about boats, PFD’s, and a lot of flak from experts on how to hold your paddle correctly. But once you know what you’re doing, padding through the BWCAW can be one of the most memorable and influential experiences of your life. To get you started, or “Wet Your Paddle”, Gunflint Trail Outfitters have banded together to offer newbies a chance to try an hour of paddling for free. AND they’ll even give you one of those experts I talked about earlier to teach you how to do it! This program, called Wet Your Paddle, is an incredible deal and a great way to spend a few hours on your annual family vacation learning something new, together! To prepare you for your first Wet Your Paddle adventure, here is some more information on canoeing, the BWCAW, and how to strut your stuff in the backcountry.

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Topics: Gunflint Trail, Summer, Kids & Family, Outdoors, BWCAW

A Few Of Our Favorite Spring Things

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 4/9/19 3:00 PM

In honor of this wonderful season, we’ve compiled a list of 19 awesome springtime adventures you won’t want to miss.

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Topics: Events, Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, Scenic Drives, Services, Spring, Summer, Art, History & Culture, Grand Portage, Lutsen Tofte Schroeder, Outdoors, Northern Lights & Night Sky, BWCAW, Lake Superior

Plan a Dog-Friendly Vacation in Cook County, MN

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 3/4/19 9:00 AM

Spring is in the air, and it is time to plan a getaway. Whether you’re looking to escape the confines of your everyday life for a few days or even a week, planning can come with a tinge of sadness when it means leaving your four-legged family members behind. Finding a dog sitter or taking family and friends up on offers to keep your dog company while you’re away is all well and good, but up in Cook County, Minnesota, we say bring your fur-babies, too… the more, the merrier!

With so many dog-friendly activities and a wealth of lodging options that welcome canine family members and pet-loving locals everywhere you turn, Cook County is a fun destination on two legs and four.

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Topics: Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, Services, Summer, Winter, Grand Portage, Lutsen Tofte Schroeder, Outdoors

5 reasons why you must go cross country skiing this winter

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 12/18/18 3:59 PM

5 reasons why you must go cross country skiing this winter

There are several reasons cross country skiing is an excellent winter activity, most notably it gets you outside in the winter. But also, cross country skiing is very versatile, you can do it anywhere there is snow and it is a fantastic cardio workout that can burn up to 500 calories in one hour. What is not to love about that? Here are our top five reasons you should try cross country skiing this winter.

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

Celebrating 40 years of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 10/17/18 3:04 PM

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.

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

Be Inspired by Nature This Fall in Cook County

Posted by Kjersti Vick on 8/20/18 9:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Fall, Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, Services, Grand Portage, Kids & Family, Lutsen Tofte Schroeder, Outdoors