7 09, 2022

Lake Superior Agates


Rockhounds and casual beachcombers alike know the term "Lake Superior Agates". For many, finding one is a central part of their North Shore vacations. Entire Facebook groups are dedicated to those on the hunt for the elusive Lake Superior Agate. But what are they? Why are they so special? And, most importantly, where can I find them? We answer all of that, and more, right here! The Formation of the 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 [...]

2 09, 2021

Fall Colors on the North Shore

2022-10-06T16:54:54+00:00Activities & Attractions, Nature|

Once September rolls around the questions about Fall Colors on the North Shore begin. When will they start? Why do leaves change colors? Have they started? When will they hit their peak? Where is the best place to go to see them? So in this post, we will be answering those very questions, and more! Fall Colors on the North Shore: When Will They Start? Fall Colors on either side of Temperance Road near Tofte Answering this question is usually one big guess, with some basic knowledge and science to back up our response. It's vague, but [...]

11 03, 2021

North Shore Waterfalls

2022-03-08T14:00:56+00:00Nature, Waterfalls|

The North Shore is home to dozens, if not hundreds, of waterfalls. Sometimes, especially in the spring, it seems like waterfalls are everywhere along Minnesota’s North Shore. Some of them run throughout the year, while others need heavy rain to form. In the winter, frozen snowfalls are popular winter climbing destinations. So, no matter what time of the year, visitors and locals alike flock to the area's many waterfalls. Dotted along the North Shore are hidden waterfalls that take some effort to get to, such as the falls at the Stairway Portage near Rose Lake. Others are much easier to [...]

13 11, 2020

Sea Smoke


The North Shore offers us the opportunity to witness some unbelievable Lake Superior phenomena. One of those phenomena is Sea Smoke. What is Sea Smoke? Sea Smoke happens when temperatures drop the cold air meets with the warm water. The “warmer” water below generally sits at a frigid 33-35 degrees and the above air below zero. When this happens it creates the appearance of "smoke" billowing off of Lake Superior. The smoke is actually water vapor that rises and condenses into fog. This happens because the cold air above is already saturated with water. When the smoke is paired with [...]

15 09, 2020

Northern Lights

2021-02-25T16:44:09+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 green, [...]

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 [...]

3 03, 2020

Lake Superior Pancake Ice


Would you like some syrup with your Lake Superior Pancake Ice? Unlike regular pancakes made with flour and buttermilk, pancake ice is formed when surface slush thickens and swirls caused by a current or light wind, a process known as rafting. The circular pads of ice form anywhere from 1-10 feet in diameter, and up to 4 inches thick. That's a big pancake. A signature feature of Lake Superior's pancake ice is its raised edges on the perimeter which is caused by continued crashes into one another from the waves.   Recipe for Lake Suprior Pancake Ice The process begins [...]

2 01, 2020

Root Beer Water

2021-09-06T17:10:39+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? Most people think it’s caused by water containing large amounts of silt. However, the actual reason is that North Shore rivers carry tannins from swamps. Decaying vegetation also makes the color [...]

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, check out the Upper Manitou Forest Preserve. 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. They are estimated to be more than 300 years old. Some of the trees growing in the area are more than 5 feet in circumference! That is significant for a maple tree, especially along the North Shore where maples tend to [...]

2 01, 2020

Superior National Forest


About the Superior National Forest The Superior National Forest is an almost 4 million-acre forested area that is located in the Arrowhead Region of the state of Minnesota.  The forest also encompasses the greater Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). The forest is home to the tallest natural peak in Minnesota, Eagle Mountain, which is 2,301 feet tall and offers spectacular views over the vast forest. The Superior National Forest is part of the United States Forest system and offers unlimited recreational activities year-round. You will be treated to different images of the forest as the season change. The deep [...]

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