Voyageur Quote:  "There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature-the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.        Rachel Carson  



Collecting Maple Sap



Weather Report

If April showers bring May flowers then we're heading for a flowerless May unless we get some more rain.  We did have about an inch of rain last weekend and there is some in the forecast for this weekend, so we'll keep our fingers crossed.  There is plenty of moisture in the ground and lake levels should be good since we had a good winter with lots of snow.  The river is open in front of Voyageur but the lakes are still covered in ice.  To check out the status of ice on Saganaga and different lakes in Minnesota you can go to this ice-out website and click on the ice out link.  The ice on Sag usually goes off during the first week of May so by the time the next newsletter is sent out I'm guessing ice will be off of our Boundary Water's lakes.  The temperatures have been nice during the day with highs in the 50's and lows in the 30's.  The forecast is for more mild weather with highs creeping up into the 60's and lows in the 40's.  Spring is here and summer is right around the corner and with it are those paddlers who are anxiously awaiting their first canoe trip of the year.



Hooded Merganser










Waterfowl-  This is the time of the year when we see ducks on our river.  The Seagull River is one of the few places with open water on the Gunflint Trail so the waterfowl tend to hang out here.  Yesterday there were two mallards eating from our dog food bowl sitting right next to the door of the store.  The other day there were Hooded Mergansers swimming around our area.  Most of these ducks are on their way farther north to nest.  There are some local waterfowl that will stick around for the summer but these are few. To learn more about different types of waterfowl you can check out this informative website



Voyageur Canoe Outfitters

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

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May Specials





What's New?

Spring is a great time of the year on the Gunflint Trail.  The pussy willows are blooming, the grouse are sunning themselves on the side roads, moose are preparing to have their young, and the loons have returned to our river with their beautiful hello song. This is the time of year when preparations for the upcoming season are occuring.  We clean up the yard around the snowbanks, stock the shelves of the store with new merchandise, and get outfitting in order for our first trips of the season.  It's an exciting time of the year and we are really looking forward to the arrival of our guests, both old and new.

This weekend is the Cook County Emergency Medical Services annual conference in Grand Marais.  As members of the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department Mike, Sue and Don will take part in classes and training for their roles as first responders and firefighters.

Thank you to those of you who have donated money to MS by supporting Sue's Team at the MS Walk on May 2nd.  She and her teammates will walk 10 miles and will raise awareness and money for MS. There is still time to send a check or make a pledge online at the MS website.  You can click on the e pledge icon that has a heart by it and enter Sue's information; last name Prom, first name Susan, team name SAGE, participating in Minnesota.  On behalf of the MS Society we really appreciate your support.





Wild Country Syrup








Product Review 

Wild Country Maple Syrup - I don't think I will ever take maple syrup for granted again, at least not the stuff we sell in our store.  Wild Country Maple Syrup is a local syrup company that has over 320 acres of maple trees.  Each February they begin the work of tapping their maple trees in preparation for the sap season; this is not an easy feat since there are over 12,000 taps to be set.  When the temperatures warm up, usually in April, the sap begins to run.  It follows a tube from the tree into the sugarhouse where it is made into syrup.  It takes 30-40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup!  If weather conditions are perfect then up to 13,000 gallons of sap may be collected in a 24 hour period.  In order to get a good amount of sap flowing the daytime temperatures need to be warm and the nighttime temperatures should still be below freezing.  If a storm front is moving through with sleet and snow then it is even better for collecting sap.  After the sap is collected there is more work to be done;  the syrup must be made, packaged and distributed before we can taste the delicious flavor on our pancakes.  E-mail or call us to order some for yourself.



Invaded Forest 


Forest with Duff


The dirt on earthworms; Preventing Exotic Species in the BWCA & Quetico- Earthworms are an exotic species in Minnesota because they do not naturally occur here.  They were brought in by European settlers and can cause significant damage to forested areas.  The earthworms eat the leaves off of the forest floor that would normally create a spongy layer of duff.  This layer of duff serves an important function by controlling erosion and allowing wildflowers and ferns to grow. Without this layer soil erosion occurs and small trees and ground dwelling animals are prevented from thriving in the forest.  In order to prevent the spread of earthworms in the canoe country or any forest in Minnesota the help of all anglers is needed.  Anglers should not throw their crawlers onto the ground or into the water, unwanted bait should be placed in the trash.  This will help protect the forests from future damage by earthworms.  For more dirt on the earthworm check out this site.




Fishing Report  

Opening Fishing- Saganaga Lake shares its' border with Canada and because of this northern and bass fishing does not close.  Smallmouth bass are not easily caught in early May but northern can be.  May 8 & 9th is take a mom fishing weekend where women can fish without a license.  How about bringing your wife or mother up to celebrate Mother's Day on a fishing trip for northern pike? The Minnesota Fishing Opener is May 15th this year and guests will be able to fish for walleye, northern pike and lake trout.  We still have openings in our lodge for both weekends and you can get a three night stay for the price of two by mentioning this newsletter.  If you need fishing advice then we can help you with where to fish and what type of bait and tackle to use.  Give us a call to book your May fishing trip today.  1-888-CANOEIT.