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15 09, 2020

Northern Lights

2020-09-15T15:21:40+00:00Activities & Attractions, Nature|

One of the Earth’s natural wonders, the Northern Lights, cast radiant, multi-colored lights over the northern landscape. They most commonly appear between 60-75 degrees longitude, making the North Shore a hot spot for seeing a display. What causes the Northern Lights? Also known as Aurora Borealis (meaning “dawn of the north”) the Northern Lights are created by solar winds interacting with the earth's magnetosphere. The magnetosphere is the sphere that gives earth its magnetic field and protects us from space. The magnetosphere ensures that these winds are drawn to the poles, where particles rain in the upper atmosphere, causing this phenomenon. Typically the lights are [...]

3 07, 2020

Best Ways to Preserve Nature While Hiking


Hiking is one of the best ways to stay healthy. Regular hiking gives you a full body workout that will help lower stress, lower your risk of heart attack and stroke, and help manage the symptoms of depression. Studies show that spending time in fresh air surrounded by healthy green plants, grasses, and trees is good for your mental health as well as your physical health. However, there are more than 40 million taking advantage of those health benefits each year and that puts a big strain on the natural world. Do these four things to protect the natural [...]

2 01, 2020

Root Beer Water

2020-09-09T17:27:19+00:00Activities & Attractions, Lutsen, Nature, Waterfalls|

Cascade Falls and Root Beer Water  The beautiful stair-step waterfalls that cascade down the river are what give this park its name. With a nice waterfall near the footbridge on Highway 61 and additional waterfalls two miles inland, the views make the hike very worthwhile. If you have explored rivers and lakes along the North Shore you’ve probably noticed that the water is the color of root beer. Why? Well, most people think it’s caused by water containing large amounts of silt. However, the actual reason is that North Shore rivers, especially when the water is low, carry tannins from swamps [...]

2 01, 2020

Upper Manitou Forest Preserve


Upper Manitou Forest Preserve If you’re looking to find some of the largest and oldest trees on the North Shore, the Upper Manitou Forest Preserve is the place to go. It includes one of the best remaining examples of what the North Shore forest was once like. The 2,450-acre preserve is full of sugar maple, yellow birch, white spruce, and white cedar that are estimated to be more than 300 years old. Some of the trees growing in the area are more than 5 feet in circumference, which is significant for a maple tree, especially along the North Shore where maples [...]

2 01, 2020

Superior National Forest


Superior National Forest The Superior National Forest is a large (almost 4 million acres) forested area located in the Arrowhead region of northeast Minnesota. It is part of the United States Forest system and offers unlimited recreational activities year-round. The forest encompasses the greater Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) which is sandwiched between the Canada-United States border and the North Shore of Lake Superior. Land (and Air) Over 2,000 miles of trails are designated for recreational use such as hiking, hunting, fishing, birding, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobile and ATV riding. Canoeing, biking, and hiking are the most popular [...]

2 01, 2020

Old-Growth Forests


North Shore Old-Growth Forests There are not many old-growth forests remaining in the state of Minnesota, but we're lucky enough to have three of them that can be easily accessed near Lake Superior’s North Shore in Minnesota. An old-growth forest is a forest that has not undergone any unnatural changes or major disturbances (e.g. logging) for at least 100 years. These forests contain young, mature, and dead standing trees and have a multi-layered canopy. They tend to recover from natural damage like wind and fire faster than disturbed forests and create a habitat that is ideal for diverse wildlife. Old-growth [...]

1 01, 2020

Fall Drives

2020-09-21T17:51:10+00:00Activities & Attractions, Nature|

Fall Colors on the North Shore Fall is an incredibly beautiful time on the North Shore. Fresh lake breezes blow in from Lake Superior and the hills are ablaze with color. Maple leaves (which are typically found inland) begin to change from green to fiery shades of orange and red while the aspen, poplar, and birch trees add to the display with vibrant shades of yellow. If you're looking for a destination for fall color drives, the North Shore is it! Some of our favorite routes are below. 1. Seven Bridges Road (1.9 miles), Duluth This 4-mile route passes over a [...]

1 01, 2020

Lake Superior Agates


Lake Superior Agates are a specific kind of stone that was formed by volcanic activity along the North Shore 1.2 billion years ago. Gas pockets in the molten lava filled with mineral deposits like ferric iron, quartz, or calcite as the years passed by. The pockets that were filled with quartz-rich deposits gradually crystallized into concentric bands (known as chalcedony) to form agates. Over time, (we’re talkin’ a billion years) the agates were freed by water and ice from the lava rocks that they were buried in. Now, you'll find them scattered along the North Shore. Agates are red, orange, [...]

1 01, 2020

Gales of November


You’re wrong if you think there isn't anything to do on the North Shore during the late fall/early winter season. As the season changes and the temperature drops, Lake Superior becomes alive with the Gales of November! Gales are winds that exceed 39MPH, an occurrence that happens usually once a week during the month of November. They are created by air pressure differences between low-pressure systems and high-pressure systems. The greater the difference, the higher the wind speeds are. These winds create enormous white caps just like you’d see in the ocean. You haven’t seen Lake Superior until you’ve seen [...]

1 01, 2020

Waterfalls of Minnesota’s North Shore


An Interview with the Authors Eve and Gary Wallinga are St. Cloud residents who have a healthy obsession with water. This works out well for the artistic couple who love to visit Lake Superior and Minnesota’s North Shore. Showcasing their fascination with the area and its many incredible waterfalls, Eve and Gary published a book on exactly that topic; Waterfalls of Minnesota’s North Shore: A Guide for Sightseers, Hikers, and Romantics The book is titled Waterfalls of Minnesota’s North Shore: A Guide for Sightseers, Hikers, and Romantics. Published by the Northern Wilds Media company based in Grand Marais, the book [...]

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