Archive for June, 2011
The guests we get at Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply are an adventurous bunch, and often ask about local hikes, events and restaurants. Our staff is always excited to offer ideas, so be sure to ask when you’re in town. If you’re ready to hike, however, here are a few great state parks to start with:
At the west end of Cook County is the Temperance River State Park, where you can take a short hike down to the lake and look at the beautiful palisades as the rive enters Lake Superior. Or you can go away from the lake and hike up the rocks towards the Superior Hiking trail where you can look down into the chasms and small canyons as the river moves along.
Closer to Grand Marais is the Cascade River State Park. As you hike up the trail you can get great pictures of the Cascade River as it … well, cascades …. towards the lake. You can also make a longer day of it by hiking up the trail to Lookout Mountain. And as you get back to your car you are a stone’s throw from the Cascade Lodge, where you can get snack or stop at their new Irish pub.
About 15 miles east of Grand Marais is Judge Magney State Park. Here you can take an hour’s hike back to the Devil’s Kettle. This is where the Brule River splits off – part of it goes into the ground, never to be seen again. They have tried to put dye in the water along with ping pong balls and other tracing materials, but no one has ever seen it come out, neither down below nor out into Lake Superior. You can turn your hike into a daytrip by continuing north along the Brule, which is a very quiet, relaxing hike. And when you are finished, simply cross the road to visit Naniboujou Lodge for lunch, dinner or high tea. This amazing place is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
If you keep heading up Highway 61 to the Canadian Border you’ll come to Grand Portage State Park. Here you can take a short hike up to the High Falls on the Pigeon River. It is a stroller/wheelchair-friendly asphalt trail until the very end, which has a wooden staircase to a lookout over the river. If you are looking to get off the paved trail, try turning at the bathroom about half-way up the trail, where you see a sign for the hike to the Middle Falls. This hike is much more secluded and will take you to one of my favorite spots – very quiet, very beautiful. When you finish your hike, go into Grand Portage and check out the interpretive center at the National Monument. It will give you a great history of the area from the days of the Voyageurs. If you still have some energy after that, you can even visit the casino for a bite to eat or to try your hand at one of the poker machines.
There are even more hikes within a very short distance of Grand Marais, which I’ll try to share with you in the future – these state parks only scratch the surface when it comes to great hikes in the area. And restaurants? We may be a “small town” – but we have some of the finest restaurants you can find anywhere, reaching from one end of the Cook County to the other. Stop in and we’ll tell you all about them.
Stand Up Paddle Boards are on display in the store and the staff has been out in the East Bay trying them out. Yes, the water is cold but once you get the hang of the boards, all that gets wet are your feet so it is not as bad as it sounds. I was up on a board last week and if I can get out and stay dry, anyone can get out and stay dry.
We have demo days scheduled in July using both the Grand Marais harbor and Devil Track Lake:
- Saturday, July 2nd, 1:00 – 5:00 PM. Grand Marais City Campground Beach
- Saturday, July 9th, 1:00 – 5:00 PM. Grand Marais City Campground Beach
- Tuesday, July 19th, 4:00 – 8:00 PM. Devil Track Landing
- Saturday, August 6th, 1:00 – 5:00 PM. Grand Marais City Campground Beach
If it’s not demo time while you’re here, come on in and rent a board to give it a try – although we do encourage you to get familiar with the boards on an inland lake where the water is quite a bit warmer.
Private instruction for SUP is available at $35 per person per hour. That rate also applies if you want to take a rental out on Lake Superior – for your safety, you’ll need go with a Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply Instructor. Otherwise, one of the area’s inland lakes is a great place to start!
- Half-Day SUP/Paddle/Life Vest Package :: $25
- Full-Day SUP/Paddle/Life Vest Package :: $40