Lake Superior

Get picking: it’s blueberry season
August 12, 2013 by Andrew Slade

Get picking: it’s blueberry season

As reports came in of wild blueberries all over the Gunflint Trail and the North Shore, I stayed home waiting for news from somewhere else...the South Shore. This weekend, we went to Blue Vista Farm in Bayfield and picked about two gallons of big, beautiful blueberries. … read more


Choose Korkki Nordic for your best ski of the year
March 7, 2013 by Andrew Slade

Choose Korkki Nordic for your best ski of the year

One of my favorite all-time North Shore ski trails is Korkki Nordic, up in the ridgeline above the shore between Duluth and Two Harbors. Sally and I played hooky today and took a few laps on this terrific woodland trail. That was the first good choice of the day. Korkki is a truly classic trail. It's narrow and winding and is groomed for classic skiing only. Because so much of the trail is in deep forest, more snow is required to open it safely. Last year, the trail might have been open only two weekends. This year, it's been open … read more


A N’ice time on the North Shore
January 21, 2013 by Andrew Slade

A N’ice time on the North Shore

Recent cold temps on the North Shore have brought back one of my absolute favorite parts of living along this freshwater sea: jagged colors of ice and thick wafting clouds of sea smoke. Turns out that even though it was 14 below on the Park Point beach this morning, I could still use my little digital camera to take a few pictures. Climate change has meant that Lake Superior water is warmer than ever. Even with temps at double digits below zero in mid-January, the lake water resists that final nudge to ice. The lake water, about to finally freeze, … read more


Desperately seeking Lake Erie
September 15, 2012 by Andrew Slade

Desperately seeking Lake Erie

Steamship William G. Mather docked in downtown Cleveland. My hotel was by the distant ornate tower above the Mather's bow. After 25 years in Duluth, I have a pathological need to orient myself to big water. At home, I open the window shade and BAM, there's Lake Superior and I know where I am.  In Duluth, Lake Superior is easy to reach from most of the city's shore area. From the Downtown Lakewalk to the end of Park Point it's public land and easily accessible. You can leave your hipster brewpub on Superior Street, cross I-35 in urban … read more


Swim the North Shore
August 5, 2012 by Andrew Slade

Swim the North Shore

Folks are swimming in the lake off the North Shore like never before. The water is crystal clear and freakishly warm. The map above is from this weekend, showing water temperatures across Lake Superior. The reds are about 70 degrees, and the purple around Duluth and the Apostle Islands shows water in the mid-70s. This warm water will go away any day now. All it will take will be a good northwest breeze like the one blowing today. That breeze will blow the warm water away from the North Shore. Up from the depths of the 800-foot deep North Shore trench … read more


Duluth’s Lakewalk: Bike to Brighton Beach
July 23, 2012 by Andrew Slade

Duluth’s Lakewalk: Bike to Brighton Beach

From the heart of Duluth's Canal Park tourist area, a paved bicycle path leads seven miles along the North Shore and through Duluth's historic eastern neighborhoods to a lovely bit of North Shore coastline, Brighton Beach.  Most folks know this path as the Lakewalk. But that's a misnomer. Let's call it the Beach Bike...and let's go for a ride! On hot summer days, Brighton Beach is often the coolest place in Duluth as light breezes slide over the lake. Here's where the "Beach Bike" will take you, with just over six miles of scenic riding from Canal Park: Brighton Beach is a longtime … read more


Beachcombing after the flood
June 25, 2012 by Andrew Slade

Beachcombing after the flood

The great flood of June 2012 is still receding, and we are just now grasping the full scale of its impact. While most of the attention is rightfully on the washed out roads and thousands of moldy wet basements, the trails enjoyed by North Shore hikers, bikers and nature enthusiasts have also suffered greatly. More details to come in a future post.Five days now after the rains, the first big chunks of debris have arrived on the Park Point beach here in Duluth. It's a tragic treasure hunt, sorting through all this stuff that was, until very recently, someone's backyard … read more


Free nature program this weekend at Iona’s Beach!
June 7, 2012 by Andrew Slade

Free nature program this weekend at Iona’s Beach!

(Normally I write my own blog posts, but this press release was just way too exciting) Discover the North Shore's Exceptional Places Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association, in partnership with the MN Department of Natural Resources - Scientific and Natural Areas (SNA) program, is pleased to offer a series of discovery walks at three North Shore SNAs - Iona's Beach SNA, Hovland Woods SNA and Minnesota Point SNA. Each of these sites were preserved for their natural features and rare resources of exceptional scientific and educational value.  Sugarloaf naturalist, Margie Menzies, is leading a nature walk at each of these sites … read more


It’s not THAT warm
March 17, 2012 by Andrew Slade

It’s not THAT warm

After a lovely late winter snowfall and a fine Tour Duluth cross country ski experience, record warm temps rolled into the North Shore area and have thrown local folks in a tizzy. Last weekend, spring-hungry Duluthians were out doing the bizarre. Out past the ice piles left by the Leap Day Blizzard, two guys in a canoe drift alongside the Park Point beach, right where one year ago the ice volcanoes were still blowing. It's not THAT warm. Although about half the Park Point beach is still covered in blue-ice boulders, there was enough sand for at least one person to … read more