Voyageur Quote: Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.  John Muir



Fall Colors 


Weather Report

Visitors to the Boundary Waters were treated to a beautiful week of paddling from September 7-13th.  On the Gunflint Trail temperatures were in the 60's and 70's during the day and only into the mid-forties at night.  There was no precipitation during the week and camping was ideal.  According to Gunflint Trail Weatherman Dave Clutter, average precipitation on the Trail in September has ranged from as little as 1.6" in 1997 and as much as 4.5" in 2002.  The extended forecast calls for more nice fall weather with temperatures in the high 50's and 60's and nothing colder than 43 degrees predicted for nightly lows.  The leaves are changing their colors and soon they will be falling to the forest floor so come on up and enjoy them while they last.





Northwoods Neighbor









Wonderful Wildlife- Living in the northwoods you can often tell the time of year by what your wildlife neighbors are doing.  Our neighbors are making their annual fall preparations with anticipation of winter.  The geese can be heard overhead as they pass by on their way south.  The bears have been seen rummaging around for some last hearty meals before they go into hibernation.  The squirrels, chipmunks and mice are trying to find a warm home for the winter and can often be seen indoors.  The loons are gathering together before their fall journey and more ducks can be seen than at any other time of the year.  The hummingbird feeders have gone untouched for a couple of weeks and winged insects are almost non-existent.  The moose are becoming predictable and can often be seen in roadside swamps eating their lunch of water plants.  Yes, fall is here on the Gunflint Trail, and if you don't believe it, just ask one of the neighbors.





Blowdown 1999









USFS Float Plane 







 What's New?

Prescribed Burns- The USFS has been conducting prescribed burns in the BWCA and along the Gunflint Trail since mid-September and will continue to do so throughout October as weather permits.  These burns are an effort to reduce the amount of fuels available to future wildfire.  There is a considerable amount of uprooted and broken trees in and around the BWCA due to the Blowdown on July 4, 1999.  Straightwinds in excess of 90 mph occured throughout the wilderness leaving a significant amount of fuel for future fires.  This increased fuel load increases the risk of an unpredictable fire to start and to spread quickly.  Prescribed burns will help to create buffer zones and will slow the spread of wildfire as well.  Prescribed burning on the Gunflint Trail started in 2000 and each year more acres are cleaned up.  The USFS has completed a few burns already this fall and plans on doing even more.  The fires require alot of planning, preparation and personnel in order to complete.  Some of the fires are started by hand ignition while others are started by aerial ignition using a helitorch; a helicopter that drops a flammable gel onto the ground.  For more information about prescribed burns you can check out the Superior National Forest Website.

*How Could Prescribed Burning Affect Visitors?

1.) Visitors may see things that they are not used to, such as vegetation cleared from control lines or aircraft and smoke during prescribed burns.

2.) Visitors might hear things that they are not expecting in the Wilderness, such as chainsaws and motorized water pumps.

3.) There may also be more people (crews) in the Wilderness than visitors are used to.

4.) Travel routes could be changed during prescribed burns.

5.) Visitors could be escorted through adjacent area by Superior National Forest personnel while burning is in progress.

6.) Visitors might see placards with information on or notices of prescribed burns.

7.) Some areas will be closed during burns.

8.) In the BWCAW, some use of motorized and mechanized tools will be used to ignite the fire, secure control lines, and to mop up.

*Taken from the Superior National Forest Website










Product Review

Extrasport Lifevests- A lifevest will not work if you do not wear it.  The key to getting people to wear their lifevests is to find one that is comfortable to wear.  Extrasport is "first in comfort."  They have been making pfd's since 1975 and comfort is their primary goal. They are comfortable due to their unique Glidefit and Retro Glide design that allows the lifevest to give a secure, customized fit.  Try one on and keep it on anytime you are out on the water.


  Voyageur Canoe Outfitters

"Where the Trail Ends Your Voyage Begins"
Mike and Sue Prom

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Tandem Talk- Communication is the key in any relationship and this includes the relationship of the bow paddler and stern paddler in a canoe.  In order to traverse any body of water it is necessary for both paddlers to work together. The bow paddler should communicate which side of the canoe they want to paddle on by pointing, using a lead stroke or by speaking.  It is important to remember to turn around and speak or listen to your stern paddler when time allows.  The stern paddler is responsible for keeping cadence with the bow paddler and for steering the canoe with the directional help of the bow paddler.  This is one time where the back seat driver is in control.   With good communication and teamwork any two people should be able to get out and paddle together with relative ease.



Get the Lead Out!


Fishing Report  

Fish Lead-Free-  Ever since we were little we knew about lead poisioning from those dreaded #2 pencils.  We know old buildings may have lead in the paint on their walls and we know it isn't safe.  Yet according to the State Environmental Resoure Center every year 3 million pounds of lead sinkers and jigs are deposited accidentally in United States' waters and in our neighboring country Canada an estimated 500 tons of lead is lost.  Lead is a toxic metal that can cause adverse effects on the nervous and reproductive system of animals. The use of lead tackle is dangerous and a single dose can kill an adult loon.  Loons and other species swallow pebbles to help grind up their food.  Lead sinkers sitting on the bottom of a lake can look suprisingly like a small rock and a loon will ingest the lead without knowing it.  Loons usually die within two to three weeks after swallowing a lead sinker or jig.  There are alternatives to lead and this year Voyageur participated in a Lead Tackle Exchange Event.  In Minnesota there was over a ton of lead fishing jigs and sinkers turned in and replaced with alternatives such as tin, bismuth, steel and tungsten-nickel alloy.  These alternatives work just as well as lead and are not dangerous to humans or birds.  Please help do your part in saving important wildlife and get the lead out today.

What you can do to help:

*Switch to nontoxic sinkers and jigs that are made from steel, tin, bismuth or plastic.
*Ask local sporting good stores to stock non-lead fishing tackle.
*Spread the word by telling other anglers about the problem.
*Dispose of old lead sinkers and jigs properly by locating a drop-off location.


Thanks to Bob Baker from Gunflint Pines for the photos of the fall colors, moose, and float plane.