Monday, July 23, 2012

Gunflint Trail

Grand Marais MN (Sunny High 82 Low 57)

We recently decided to drive the Gunflint Trail (County Road 12) after a great breakfast at the Blue Water Cafe. The Gunflint Trail goes from Grand Marais westerly to the end about 55 miles to Canada and then back again. Along the way there are scenic overlooks, trails, and lakes. Also along the trail are a ton of lodges and canoe outfitters since along the trail there are many entry points into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

The first scenic overlook showed a view of downtown Grand Marais.

Next on our adventure was the Moose Viewing Trail that takes you to a observation platform overlooking a marshy areas where if you are lucky you will see moose. Like all trails it looks like we are heading up.

Then we head up some more.

The trail then flattens out to get us to the platform. Sadly there were no moose, but a lot of mosquitos.

Here is the observation platform with Bob looking for moose.

And the marshy area where there were no moose. 

The trail heading back was a lot easier and it was mostly downhill.

We then came to the Laurentian Divide Scenic Overlook but when we got into the parking area all we could see is trees right next to the parking area obscuring the view of the lake. We then noticed a short wooden staircase and we figured it was just a few steps down and then we would be at the scenic area. So off we go but it keeps goind down until we arrive at beautiful Birch Lake.

How do we get ourselves in these predicaments, now we have to go back up. Here is the first set of stairs.

More of the trail up.

The staircase that we saw from the parking area.

The view was worth it but it was a ways to go down and then back up. Next up was Gunflint Lake which was also gorgeous and a very easy trail. 

We then came to the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center at the end of the Gunflint Trail.

Chik-Wauk was originally a resort built in 1934 using local granite. The lodge eventually became the museum and nature center where you can discover the story of the seven groups of people who have passed through or lived on the Gunflint Trail. These people are; Prehistoric, Native Americans, Voyageurs, Miners, Loggers, Resorters, Outfitters, and Residents. There were dvd players with many personal stories of these peoples that were pretty interesting.

Here is a display case with the native fish of the area.

A owl hanging from the ceiling.

A Hamm's Beer clock we have not seen in a very long time.

Bob played Broomball in intramurals at college so it was interesting to see a photo, although their brooms were much better than our regular brooms with duct tape.

After our visit to Chik-Wauk we drove back to Grand Marais enjoying the scenery from the reverse angle. Once in Grand Marais we had a great pizza at My Sister's Place.

Great food and scenery and weather, we could not have asked for a better day.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

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