Posts Tagged ‘Lutsen’
Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
The nights this past week on the North Shore of Minnesota have been beautiful. The sunny blue skies almost call your name to get outside and do something fun. I have not been to Mt. Oberg in Lutsen so far this year so I decided it was the perfect time to go! The hike was so wonderful with budding flowers at every turn. My favorite in the spring are the Trillium flowers. The views from the overlooks were amazing with a green trees and the bright blue shoreline of Lake Superior (finally)! The trail is about 2.25 miles in length and takes about 45 minutes at a moderate speed. It is a designated Superior Hiking Trail hike. There are a few places to rest on wooden benches. It is also a great spot to hike (or snowshoe) year round! The location is easy to get to for many of our Lake Superior cabin rentals in the Lutsen and Tofte area or if you are on your way to one of our Grand Marais vacation homes – right off Highway 61 and the Onion River Road in Lutsen.
Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
Did you know that the highest point in Minnesota is located in Cook County? Eagle Mountain is our highest peak, at 2,301 feet. It is located within the BWCAW (Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness), but the trail head is only 20 miles from Grand Marais.
This past weekend we decided to take the 7 mile (round-trip) hike. You don’t need to get a permit ahead of time if you are doing a day hike; just be sure to fill out the self-issuing permit at the trail head/parking lot. It is a more difficult hike in that there are steep grades and rocky portions, but we didn’t find it overly strenuous as regular hikers. I would recommend going prepared, with good footwear and basic day-hike supplies. The first part of the hike is quite level and after three boardwalks, you’ll find yourself at Whale Lake. From there, the trail becomes quite steep for the remainder. There are a few good lookout spots on your way up, so you can enjoy spectacular views while you take a breather.
Another interesting part of this hike is that you may run into a “High Pointer.” These are enthusiasts that go around the country, visiting the high point of each state. We met one at the top from New York City! This was his 38th high point. I’m not sure that I’ll make it to all 50 states to visit the high points, but it’s pretty cool that Minnesota’s is practically in our backyard.
We thoroughly enjoyed this hike and would definitely do it again. The colors were just starting to come when we went this weekend, so in the next few weeks this hike will be even better!
Thursday, August 25th, 2011
This Monday I had the chance to take my son on a little road trip up the Gunflint Trail. Our destination – Seagull Beach - one of the only public sand beaches in our area. We left our home in Lutsen and the outside temperature on my car thermometer read 55 degrees. I thought I was crazy for even attempting the beach when it was so cold, but I could only imagine it was warmer up the trail! If it wasn’t maybe we would go on a hike to keep warm instead!
The drive up the trail was nice. We unfortunately didn’t see any wildlife, but the scenery was worth it. We had a conversation about why the trees didn’t have any leaves and were black because of the Ham Lake fire in 2007. As we reached the end of the trail, sure enough my thermometer had risen to 70 degrees! Yeah – swimming would happen after all.
The Seagull beach is right at the Seagull Lake boat landing. It has a bathroom, flat ground for some games of catch, and a nice picnic table with fire ring close by. You walk below the picnic area to a wonderful sand beach. It isn’t very big, but plenty of room for a few families. We had the beach to ourselves most of the time we were there! The other great part of the area, is you can walk about 200 feet out into the water and it is still only up to your knees – a great spot for toddlers and kids. The water is so clear you can see the ripples in the sand from the waves, any rocks or tree debris and of course fish!
We enjoyed our picnic lunch and made some grand sand castles, which were promptly smooshed by little feet. We also enjoyed the water and walked almost all the way to the deep part of the water. You can see some burned branches and places where the fire had been, but does not overwhelm the beauty of the area.
It took us about an hour and twenty minutes to get from Lutsen to the beach and it was totally worth it! – Kris
Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
We had the chance this Thursday to help our friend’s Molly and Travis with their Maple Syrup production. They tap about 100+ trees which they empty sap from daily. The amount of sap they collect daily depends on the temperature and weather. This was the second time this year they were boiling the sap down to syrup. It is amazing to see how far they have come over the years! It is definitely a more refined process than it was a few years ago.
A few maple syrup facts:
-It takes about 30-40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of Maple Syrup
-Sap flows best when the temp goes from below freezing nights to warm days
-On good days, sap can be collected more than once per day
-Maple syrup can be bought in Lutsen at Wild Country Maple Syrup and Caribou Cream (both up the Caribou Trail)
(Upper Right) Here are a couple of trees tapped on their land, (Upper Left) James is putting sap (looks like water still) into smaller jugs from the large container to bring to the boiler
(Middle Right)The boiler with sap in it (it fills the top tray), ( Middle Left)The fire which heats the sap down to syrup
(Lower) Molly skims loose particles off the top
They keep an eye on the syrup all through the day and night. When the syrup is done it tastes like the best syrup you have ever had! Once you try it, you will never go back to store bought syrup. It taste great in coffee, oatmeal, pancakes, and much more! – Kris
Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
Instead of receiving the predicted blizzard on the North Shore last week, we were visited by the Gales of March on Lake Superior. The picture of our Great Lake was magnificent, painted with dark blue, green and sometimes brown. The waves came crashing in with an enormous white cap topping. To add to this beautiful and surreal scenario, was the magnificent artistry of ice sculptures found on rock ledges and cliffs. This scene, I am certain, can only be created by Mother Nature herself. Watching the waves on the shores made me daydream about the tales of Lake Superior. My speculations are that if Lake Superior could talk, the stories would fill the Lake itself. Lake Superior was named Gichigami by the Ojibwe for ‘big water’ and is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. It is truly the greatest of the Great Lakes measuring to be the largest, deepest and coldest of the five with an average temperature of 40 degrees in the summer (brrrrr!). The best part about Lake Superior is that it is ‘right out the back door’ and for miles and miles and miles! -Cindy
Tags: Cascade Vacation Rentals, Duluth, Grand Marais, Lake Superior, Lutsen, Minnesota, North Shore, Northern Minnesota, Tofte
Posted in Outdoor Activities, Specials, Spring Events, Travel, Views and Scenery |
Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
Lovely one or two bedroom condo available for rent by the month at a special rate for the winter. Located on Lake Superior and minutes from Lutsen Mountains, it offers the best in winter recreation and comfort. Perhaps rent for a month and let your employees rotate through as a perk. Cleaning and changeover available in between stays at an additional charge. No smoking and no pets. Please call Steve Surbaugh at 800-950-4361 ext 4
Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
This year we have decided to embrace winter to its fullest with our son Carson. He is now 3, and should get accustomed to the cold Minnesota weather and the fun you can have even when it is cold and you might now want to go out! Two weekends ago we attempted to try downhill skiing in our backyard! Joe put on his skis too and they ventured down the small hill we have. It was exciting, but after a few runs we decided that downhill skiing would probably work better at Lutsen Mountains where it is meant to happen!
This weekend we went out to Caribou Lake in Lutsen to try out Carson’s new cross country skis. For his first time out he did a great job. Joe’s mom is visiting, so she helped us out and made sure he was following the path and staying upright. We probably enjoyed about an hour of outdoor fun. It wasn’t that cold unless the wind was blowing. As you can see in the pictures below, we probably could have just enjoyed a walk on the lake, but skiing was too much fun! We skied back to the car with the promise of hot chocolate when we got home. This weekend I expect there may be a chance to try out some new skates at the local Birch Grove school rink! – Kris
Monday, September 13th, 2010
I think I have been in slight denial that it is fall. You would think the change in weather to cooler temperatures would have tipped me off, but I still feel like the change was so fast – one minute I was wearing shorts, the next minute I was wearing my winter sweater. It literally was that fast. It wasn’t until my drive up the Caribou Trail in Lutsen on Sunday that it hit me – IT IS FALL! The maples are starting to change to beautiful reds and some of the underbrush is changing too.
Sunday my son Carson and I went on a mini Maple Syrup tour. My first stop was Wild Country Maple Syrup to see Larry. Driving down his road/driveway is one thing everyone must do in the fall if you are up in our area. The striking red leaves are just plain awesome, not to mention seeing all the tubes they use in the spring weaving through the woods to bring the syrup to be processed is pretty neat. In his sugar shack you can buy syrup, honey, and the best maple candies. We purchased syrup and of course, maple candies to snack on for our way home.
We drove back down the Caribou and then stopped at Caribou Cream to see Herb and to pick up some wild rice and their incredible pancake mix. In the sugar shack at Caribou Cream you can see where the syrup is processed and buy many items from syrup, lupin seeds, maple sugar and much more.
Both sugar shacks have pictures, awards, and information on their process on making maple syrup which actually happens in the spring. The don’t have posted hours – it is an on your honor system. Usually if either are home or working they will pop in to see you and you can chat with them about their businesses. The syrup at these places is way better than any syrup you would buy at a store. It is something many people up here consume on a daily basis in their coffee, on oatmeal, or on ice cream! Both homes are also on the fall colors tour that starts either here if Tofte on the Sawbill Trail or in Lutsen on the Caribou Trail. Just look for the signs and check it out! – Kris
Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
I ran across this great pair of deer close to the Lutsen Ski Hill on Monday. The mom deer was watching me closely as I took some pictures of the two. The baby still had spots on its fur! I haven’t seen many baby deer over the years, but when I do it is always a pretty neat sight. -Kris
Thursday, June 24th, 2010
It is beautiful weekends like last weekend that make me treasure living up here. The weather was great for a hike to Lake Agnes on Saturday and a family canoe trip on White Pine Lake on Sunday. Both are located up the Caribou Trail in the Lutsen area. The hike to Lake Agnes is a beautiful way to see some major changes in the forest. There are some areas of thick moss, large rock, and of course the lake. The lake itself is quiet as there is no access via motorized vehicles. It is the perfect area for an afternoon lunch or swim.
There are 2 routes to get to Lake Agnes – one is via the Caribou Lake Boat landing which involves a steep climb up at the beginning and some wood log stairs midway through and the other is via County Rd 39 which is pretty flat the whole way. Drive about 1/4 mile or less down Cty Rd 39 and you will see the trail head on your left.
Our adventure on Sunday to White Pine Lake was a real treat. It was our first time bringing our son out in the canoe and he loved it (minus the part where he threw a golf ball in the water and then wanted us to jump in and get it). We watched 5 ducks enjoy the day too - a mom and 4 babies. White Pine Lake is a larger lake, great for fishing and recreational sports like canoeing and kayaking. There is a nice boat landing with bathroom and a fishing pier if you don’t have a boat. Our friends have caught good sized walleyes on this lake, but be aware that there are some pretty large rocks to watch out for. To get to White Pine Lake, take the Caribou Trail to the Honeymoon Trail. You will see signs for White Pine a couple miles in. – Kris