Voyageur Quote: "If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."  Anne Bradstreet


Winter on the Gunflint Trail




Winter Fun 



Weather Report

     We have perfect winter conditions on the Gunflint Trail and are continuing to enjoy our snowy season activities.  We recently went snowmobiling on the Gunflint Trail system and were pleasantly surprised with the awesome ride.  Our guests who have been out ice fishing for Lake Trout experienced success and reported the ice is in great shape for travel.  The cross-country ski trails are perfectly groomed and with the good base we'll no doubt be skiing into April.  While many places in Minnesota were blessed with almost 20 inches of snow on the 1st of March we only received about 6 inches but that has made conditions ideal for snowshoeing in the woods.  

     February was a disappointing month where weather was concerned.  It was so cold and dry that by the time the last week of February rolled around I was hoping for more cold and no snow.  That may not make sense but since it was such a strange month I wanted it to be really bad and if we didn't include the last 7 days of February our average temperature would have been below zero and our snowfall would have been a meager .15".  When the last week of February is included then the average temperature becomes .30 degrees(just above 0) and total snowfall is 4.90".  It still sounds dry and cold, but not as bad as I wanted it to sound!

     March came in with snow and perfect winter temperatures.  We're hoping for more snow, more cold and time to continue enjoying our winter wonderland on the Gunflint Trail. 




Feeding Deer




 Fox Trotting















 Wildlife Report:  What's Happening-  The month of March is a busy time for many of the northwood creatures.  Some of the animals are busy mating including timber wolves, lynx, bobcats, rabbits and red squirrels.  The Black Bears have given birth to their cubs and the red fox are preparing to have their young.  Other animals are anxiously awaiting the spring thaw which will make finding food easier.

     We have been seeing a great variety of wildlife on the Gunflint Trail as is normal for our area.  The moose are making their presence known as one held up traffic on the Trail for 10 minutes and another held up snowmobile traffic on the snowmobile trail.  We have been seeing wolves on Saganaga Lake and on the Gunflint Trail; one paused for a photo opportunity just the other day.  The otters continue to slide alongside the road and on top of frozen creeks and rivers.  The fox are busy making their rounds and deer continue to enjoy being fed by property owners on Gunflint Lake.

     The winter birds have been enjoying our feeders.  Soon they will be able to find food on their own and will no longer come for their daily visit.  It won't be long and some of our winged wonders will start their return to the northwoods.

     The awesome amount of wildlife we see make living on the Gunflint Trail all the more special.  



Fun Run



Let me Out!




Dog in Pink






What's New? 

Black and Pink Magic- This year's Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon was postponed and then eventually canceled due to lack of snow on the North Shore.  The Gunflint Trail had plenty of snow so we decided to have a race of our own.  

     It was a Fun Run with over 30 teams participating in the one day event.  The race start was a Sour Dough Start where mushers began in their sleeping bags and waited for the sound of a shotgun.  Once the gun signaled the start the mushers had to get their boots on, harness up all of their dogs and take off across Devil's Track Lake. 

     Racers made their way to the finish line at Trail Center Lodge on Poplar Lake.  The race was a blast and we're hoping to make it a Gunflint Trail Tradition.

The Boundary Waters Blog Have you ever seen a moose working in a field?  What does the owner of Minnesota's based Wenonah Canoe have in common with Steven Spielberg and Neil Armstrong?  Where is the world's largest Paddlesport Expo?  Find the answers to these questions and much more at the Boundary Waters Blog.

Gunflint Trail Winter TracksThis year's Winter Tracks was a huge success.  Guests had so much fun participating in snowshoe obstacle courses, cross-country skiing, listening to seminars and dancing the night away at the Snow Boot Ball.  If you are one of those people who say you don't like winter then I dare you to come up for Winter Tracks next year and participate in the events.  I can't imagine someone not enjoying themselves at this awesome event that celebrates winter on the Gunflint Trail.  Keep your eye on the website for dates for Winter Tracks 2008!




Seneca Canoe






Product Review:  Wenonah's Newest Canoe-     There are some people who absolutely love the MN III Kevlar Canoe by Wenonah but there are a few who find it a little bit narrow for their liking.  Wenonah has listened to the requests of paddlers and created a new three-person Kevlar canoe that is everything the MN III is but with a little added room.

      The Seneca is a large canoe of large capacity and has seats for three paddlers.  It is 19.4 feet long and is 37.5 feet wide in comparison to the MN III that is 20 feet in length and 35.5 feet in width.  The extra width and flatter bottom makes this canoe more stable and roomier for larger paddlers.  This is an ideal canoe for three adults or a family for multi-day trips into the Boundary Waters or Quetico Park.

  •  Length:  19.4  
  • Gunwale width:  37.5  
  • 4" Waterline width:  39.5  
  • Rocker:  3
  • Bow depth:  22
  • Stern depth:  22
  • Center depth:  14 
  • Weight:  54 lbs. (Kevlar Ultra-light only)  


Boundary Waters Blog


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Skill: Choosing a Canoe-  Some people want to rent the lightest canoe while others want the cheapest.  As an owner of an outfitting business I have full access to a variety of canoes and as a guest of Voyageur you also have the same option. It's nice to be able to choose what canoe to take on a trip because I want to paddle the canoe that will best meet the needs of each particular trip I take.

     I decide what canoe I'm going to take on my trip after I decide the route of the trip and who I am paddling with.  If I plan a trip that will involve long portages and lots of them then I will normally choose a Kevlar canoe.  The length of the canoe will depend on who I am paddling with and the size of the lakes I will be crossing.  If I will be with a strong paddler then a longer canoe is faster and I will choose it, but if I am going to be with a small child or a weaker paddler then the shorter the better so I can easily control it in wind and waves.

     When I plan to take a trip with minimal portages and lots of time spent at one campsite then I like to use a Royalex canoe.  While they are heavier it doesn't really matter if I don't plan on carrying it too often.  I prefer to fish out of a Royalex canoe because if I get a fish on and get really excited and lean over the canoe then the chances of me tipping are less likely than if I was in a Kevlar canoe.  I also like the Royalex for the kids to use while we're at the campsite because then I don't have to worry so much about them banging it against the rocks or having problems if they're out collecting firewood.

     There are times when I prefer to use an aluminum canoe.  If I know the water is cold and I don't want to get my feet wet then I will use an aluminum canoe. With an aluminum canoe I don't have to be so careful to avoid rocks and the rough shoreline.  Other times I will choose an aluminum canoe is when the water level is low or if I know I will have to drag the canoe over beaver dams.  When I know I will be the one steering the canoe with a weaker paddler in the front of the canoe then I often choose an aluminum canoe so I can steer more easily.

     I love having the option to paddle different canoes based on who I am paddling with and what type of trip I am taking.  Renting a canoe gives our guests the option to choose the canoe that will best fit their needs.  While it's nice to paddle your own canoe it's even nicer to have the flexibility to choose the best canoe for each trip.



Trout Fishing


 Fishing:  Lake Trout Fishing-   Mike has been able to get out and go fishing for Lake Trout this past month.  He's had some luck catching them and we've had some fresh fish to eat.  Guests have reported good catches on Saganaga and some interior Boundary Waters lakes.  The Brook Trout have been biting on local lakes and the weather has been great for spending time on the ice.

     We fished in the Trout Derby on Gunflint Lake this year.  We didn't catch anything but there were 9 fish caught and a 6 pound 10 ounce Trout was the winner. 

      There isn't too much time left to ice fish for Lake Trout so you better hurry up and head North.  Lake Trout fishing closes in Canada on the 15th of this month and by the end of the month it will be over in Minnesota and the Boundary Waters.  Hope to see you fishing on the Trail. 





 Thank you for reading our newsletter.  We hope you enjoy it and tell others about it. 

  Mike, Sue and the Voyageur Crew