Exploring the North Shore Podcast
Exploring the North Shore is an adventure podcast all about getting out and exploring the beautiful North Shore of Lake Superior!
New episodes will be posted here when available. You can also download episodes from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and PodBean. You can also find us on iHeartRadio. Please be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode!
On this episode, Joe and Jaye start their North Shore Road Trip and drive along the Scenic Drive from Duluth to Two Harbors. They make stops at the New Scenic Cafe, Tom’s Logging Camp, and Great! Lakes Candy Kitchen! Learn about these iconic North Shore destinations and follow along as Joe and Jaye explore the North Shore.
Come along with Joe and Jaye while they explore Lake Superior’s North Shore in part two of their Road Trip Series. Head up the shore from Two Harbors to Beaver Bay, driving along Highway 61. In this episode Joe and Jaye stop in at Iona’s Beach, Split Rock Lighthouse, and Camp 61.
Come along with Joe and Jaye while they explore Lake Superior’s North Shore in part three of their Duluth to Grand Marais Road Trip Series. This week wraps up the road trip with the stretch of Highway 61 that runs between Silver Bay and Grand Marais, making stops at Palisade Head, Taconite Harbor, and the Schroeder Baking Company.
The road trip is over, now it’s time to explore! In this week’s episode Joe and Jaye travel up to the end of the Gunflint Trail to learn a bit about the area’s history from Bonnie at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center. Along the way, they stop for a bite to eat at Trail Center and chat a bit about the 1999 Blowdown and 2007 Ham Lake Fire- two major events that forever changed the landscape of the Gunflint Trail. Listen to learn more about the area that is the gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Joe and Jaye head back to their favorite place: The Gunflint Trail. In this episode they go blueberry picking and enter The Biggest Blueberry Contest and then head to Rockwood Outfitters to grab a canoe and some fishing rods and try their hand at some Gunflint Trail fishing. Do they catch any fish or do they get skunked? Listen to find out!
In this episode, Joe and Jaye head down to Jaye’s hometown of Silver Bay to try their hand at the new North Shore Adventure Park. The North Shore Adventure Park is an outdoor high ropes course located right alongside Highway 61. The park offers a variety of courses, referred to as “trails” that have varying levels of difficulty from easy/beginner to an advanced “double black” trail. Joe and Jaye interview park manager Natalie Rich and then take on the Grand Rapids (intermediate) trail. Check out the accompanying video on our YouTube channel.
Joe and Jaye cap off their Gunflint Trail series by checking a box off of Jaye’s Bucket list: a day trip to Rose Lake. They grab a canoe from Hungry Jack Outfitters and paddloe and portage into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to what is arguably one of the most popular lakes in the area. They see Rose Falls, go down the Stairway Portage, and take in the scenic views across Rose Lake into Canada. Check out the accompanying video on our YouTube Channel.
Located on the Brule River flowing through Judge C.R. Magney State Park near Hovland, MN, 20 miles north of Grand Marais, MN, you will find what is arguably the world’s most mysterious waterfall that has been baffling visitors for decades. One side of the river rumbles onto a stone embankment and down the rocks as waterfalls typically do. The other side, however, flows into a geological wonder known as the Devil’s Kettle, and… disappears? In 2016 geologists claimed to have solved the Mystery of the Devil’s Kettle, but three years later many still don’t believe they truly solved it. Joe and Jaye took the hike to the Devil’s Kettle to see it for themselves and speak with some visitors on where they think the water goes once it enters the Devil’s Kettle. Note: No small animals or children were harmed in the making of this episode.
Joe and Jaye continue up Highway 61 until they reach Grand Portage- home of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe). Come along and find out what food item Jaye loves at the restaurant, explore the National Monument and hear about the rich history from Karl Koster, and then go for a hike at the Grand Portage State Park to the area’s biggest waterfall (120 feet!). The area is rich in nature and history and Joe and Jaye couldn’t wait to take it all in.
Joe takes the week off so Jaye is joined by travel blogger Lizanne Lately (https://lizannelately.com/) as they explore Grand Marais. Come along as they have breakfast at South of the Border, take a timber framing class at North House Folk School, try the Juicy Lucy at My Sister’s Place, and check out the best scenic overlook in Grand Marais. Plus, they chat with some local business owners and managers at Joy & Co, Drury Lane Books, and the Betsy Bowen Studio. Can you bar hop in Grand Marais? Find out in this episode of Exploring the North Shore with LIZANNE and Jaye!
Joe is back and fall has arrived! Take a fall drive on the Honeymoon Trail in Lutsen with Joe and Jaye. Joe interviews Eric Singsaas, the director of Wood Products and Bioeconomy at the Natural Research Institute in Duluth. Eric is the area’s leading expert on Leaf Change Season and the science behind why and how the leaves change. The information is both fascinating and also gives great insight as to when the peak of the season may occur on the North Shore. Hear the leaf change conditions as of September 13th and predictions for this year’s peak.
It’s October! This month Joe and Jaye will be doing some “spooky”, or rather “really interesting” stories on the history of the North Shore. In this week’s episode, they discuss four ghost towns- once-thriving communities that have fallen victim to changing times in Lake and Cook Counties. Join them as they sit on the outskirts of one of these towns to talk about the communities of Forest Center, Sawbill Landing, Mineral Center, and Chippewa City. Find out why these towns existed and what caused their ultimate demise in this episode of Exploring the North Shore.
Legal gambling in Cook County? A buried treasure? The life of Grand Marais couple in the late-1930s.Newlyweds Curtis and Adair Erickson moved to Grand Marais in 1937 to begin their new life together. Curtis’ job was placing, managing, and maintaining slot machines in any gas station, bar, restaurant, resort, and even car dealerships who were willing to share in gambling profits by having machines located within their establishments. The Ericksons set down roots in Grand Marais and built that cabin we now know as Northern Lights Cottage. So how does all of this tie into a buried treasure in a Grand Marais cemetery? Listen to Jaye’s interview with Curtis and Adair’s youngest son, Dean, along with his wife Ann Marie and daughter Katie in our first “Minnesode”.
In this episode of “Exploring the North Shore”, Joe and Jaye sit down to discuss their favorite stories of mobsters, gangsters, and organized crime on the North Shore. From Al Capone shooting up the Lutsen Resort Fish House to an “unusual friendship” between a gangster and long-time resident of the Gunflint Trail that was the basis for a 2019 display at Chik-Wauk Museum. Finally, find out how the most prolific bank robbers in US history were brought down by a North Shore cabin builder.
Are there haunted places on Lake Superior’s North Shore? Of course, there are! Many stories swirl around shadowy figures, disembodies voices, strange smells, and random bursts of cold in an otherwise warm room. There are many well-known haunted places on the North Shore- so many that telling all these stories will likely take many years. So we will kick off our “Haunted North Shore Guide” with a few more well-known hauntings: Glensheen Mansion, Split Rock Lighthouse, and Isle Royale. In the second part of the episode we go on a Ghost Hunting Adventure with amateur ghost hunter Don Buskovick in a house that is believed to be 190 years old! Did we connect with any ghosts or spirits? Listen to find out!
On this special Halloween Minnesode, Jaye is joined by guest host Matthew Baxley and special guest Sarah Stover to go on a tour of Grand Marais’ newest (and, only) haunted house! Located in an old funeral home, the new owners, the Riddles, have done an incredible job turning an unwanted space into something really amazing for Halloween. Listen to Matthew yelp, Jaye laugh, and Sarah provides occasional commentary (she was behind us and off-mic most of the tour). Enjoy and have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Thanksgiving is coming up! The North Shore is a great place to enjoy a large, family Thanksgiving in a beautiful vacation rental or lakeside resort. But, having Thanksgiving here takes a bit of planning! Especially when it comes to getting some of the area’s best pies in time for the holiday. Jaye and new host, Martha, met up with Hana Crosby of Crosby Bakery and Dan and Melodee Riddle of Blue Water Cafe to hear all about their favorite seasonal pies and how you can go about ordering one for your Thanksgiving feast.
Bentleyville Tour of Lights was started as a modest walk-through light display on a farm in Esko, MN in 2001. It was moved to Cloquet, MN and eventually to it’s home in Bayfront Park, Duluth where it has been hosted for the past ten years. Martha and Jaye made their way to Bentleyville to watch them flip on the lights promptly at 5 PM on Sunday evening and to walk through the light display. Along the way, they munched on sugar cookies and popcorn, made smores, and attempted to maneuver through the crowds.
Cedar and Stone is Duluth’s newest guided sauna experience. The sauna is the brainchild of Justin Junteunens, a Duluth local of Finnish descent who had been raised on the culture of sauna his entire life. He wanted to bring this idea of sauna being a social experience, as it is in the Nordic traditions, to his community here in America. So, Justin set out to create a sauna experience unlike any that most living the US today have experienced. The result is an open and inviting guided sauna experience in a beautifully built sauna that has the ability to be moved around wherever it is needed. Martha and Jaye joined Justin during his soft-launch weekend at Chambers Grove Park in Duluth so talk about the social and health benefits of sauna and to, well, enjoy those social and health benefits themselves!
Martha and Jaye kick off their “Wintertime Outdoor Adventure” series with one of their favorite childhood pastimes: Ice skating! Learn where you can find outdoor and indoor rinks along Lake Superior’s North Shore. Also where NOT to try to ice skate. Then they head up to the Cook County Community Center for the grand opening of the brand new warming house and concession stand at the Grand Marais ice rink. They interview Diane Booth, director of the Cook County Community Center, and Joan Farnum, board member.
Joe is back for this week’s episode all about ice fishing in the BWCA! Joe and Jaye are joined by Matthew Baxley (last heard from in the Haunted House episode), and Chelsea Lloyd. Plus, Chelsea’s sister Whitney and friend, Rachel, come along for the adventure. Joe, Matthew, and Chelsea are the hosts of WTIP’s Boundary Waters Podcast. In this cross-over episode, the group heads into the BWCA to ice fish on Duncan Lake. Learn the legalities of fishing in the BWCA, along with some tips and tricks from one of the area’s most knowledgeable anglers (Joe). Also, listen to find out if we once again get skunked on an Exploring the North Shore fishing episode.
Martha had to be out of town, so this week we bring you another great history episode! Jaye is joined by the owner of The Big Lake, Abby Tofte, to discuss the Statues of the North Shore. They discuss the now-gone King of Neptune that once graced Duluth’s Canal Park before being destroyed in 1963. Then, they head up to Silver Bay to discuss their favorite North Shore statue: Rocky Taconite! Learn how Jaye’s dad played a big role in Rocky’s growing popularity in the mid-2010s. Finally, they jump down to Two Harbors to discuss what may be arguably the most well-known statue on the North Shore: Pierre the Pantsless Voyageur of Two Harbors. Find out why Pierre is pantsless, and all about the efforts put into saving him from being destroyed in 2008.
Learn more about Neptune, Rocky, and Pierre on the Exploring the North Shore website!
Join the Rocky Taconite Fan Club: https://www.exploringnorthshore.com/rocky-taconite-fan-club/
Join the Pierre the Pantsless Voyageur of Two Harbors Fan Club: https://www.exploringnorthshore.com/pierre-the-pantsless-voyageur-fan-club/
What an episode we have for you! To kick things off, Martha is back! Jaye and Martha hit the Gunflint Trail and find themselves on a snowshoeing adventure on the Honeymoon Bluff Trail. Listen in as Martha enjoys her very first snowshoe experience. Be sure to check out the video companion to this episode on our YouTube channel as the audio does not do their shenanigans justice.
Check out the Snowshoeing Guide on Exploring the North Shore for more tips and tricks to getting out and enjoy the Northwoods in the wintertime: https://www.exploringnorthshore.com/snowshoeing/
Then, Jaye sits down with three local Instagram influencers you will want to follow if you enjoy following outdoor adventure Instagram accounts. Ashley Bredemus documents her life living in the Pepper Shack, a small, secluded cabin at the end of the Gunflint Trail. But, really, it’s her dog Arlo’s Instagram. She just guests stars every now and then! Emily and Jordan do not live on the North Shore, but they are frequent visitors and their outdoor adventures will inspire you! Listen in as they talk about what they love most about the North Shore, and, of course, their favorite lake!
We promised a sledding episode, but we didn’t say what kind of sledding! Jaye and Martha join Jasmine Poppovich, the head dog musher at the Gunflint Lodge and Outfitters, for a dog sledding adventure on the Gunflint Trail. Jasmine not only takes us for a wild ride to Lonely Lake, but also teaches us more about dog sledding. Martha even goes to work helping to feed the dogs!
Then, Jaye sits down to interview Jenny Anderson, better known as the Girl of 10,000 Lakes. Jenny and Jaye chat about fishing, being a social media influencer, being a mom who loves the outdoors, and we find out what Jenny’s favorite lake is. Follow Jenny on her blog, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
COVID-19 means solo distancing and that means a little change (hopefully very temporarily) to the podcast format. Jaye will be bringing you some North Shore History Lessons, solo for now until it’s safe once again to venture out and explore and see other people.
If towns were amusement park rides, Silver Bay would be the roller coaster. From a small but booming city in the 60s to a town on the brink in the 70s. A virtual ghost town in the 80s, and back to booming (sort of) in the 90s. The 2000s has also brought its share of ups and downs to the little shoreside Lake Superior town. Find out more of the trouble and triumphs of Silver Bay, Minnesota in this episode of Exploring the North Shore.
Duluth became the proud home to the United States’ first transporter bridge in 1905. Then, the Aerial Bridge, just a ferry bridge at this point, was constructed in the harbor. Later, it was converted from a ferry bridge to the present-day bridge in 1929. The Aerial Lift Bridge spans the Duluth Ship Canal which leads iron ore ships into the Twin Ports from Lake Superior. The bridge connects the Canal Park and Park Point for car travel. Learn more about the history of this iconic piece of the North Shore in this week’s solo history lesson.
On April 11th, 2020 a fire swept through a block of downtown Grand Marais, destroying three beloved businesses: Picnic & Pine, Crooked Spoon Cafe, and White Pine North. This episode of Exploring the North Shore is dedicated to the history of the buildings destroyed in the fires. Learn about the histories of 15 Wisconsin Street, 17 Wisconsin Street, and 19 Wisconsin Street. Read more on the Exploring the North Shore website.
On today’s episode of Exploring the North Shore Solo History Lessons, we’re going to be learning about Father Baraga’s Cross. Also known as “The Snowshoe Priest”, Bishop Baraga serves the Upper Great Lakes tribes during the mid to late 1800s. This is the story of his harrowing journey across Lake Superior in 1846 to give aid to the Grand Portage tribe during an epidemic.
MARTHA IS BACK! And times have certainly changed! The Stay at Home Orders for the State of Minnesota expired on May 18. So we decided to take a look at how things will be on the North Shore for those coming up for a visit in the Summer of 2020. Then, we went to the mid-Gunflint Trail area to interview Carl Madsen, owner of the Rockwood Lodge on Poplar Lake. Carl has adapted some policy changes in the wake of COVID-19 that resemble other changes being made in the area. Listen and learn how you can enjoy the North Shore safely this summer. If you are planning a trip into the BWCA this summer, check out Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters.
So what’s up with the episode name? Initially we were going to adopt two slogans for the summer of 2020: “Be Smart About Being Safe” and “Plan to Plan Ahead”. “Be Smart About Being Safe” is going to stay, but we’re replacing “Plan to Plan Ahead” with “Be Like Barb”. Listen to the episode to find out who Barb is, and why you should be more like her this summer!