Voyageur Quote:

 "A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made. The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air."
-- Eric Sloane


Autumn in the BWCA 

Autumn in the Boundary Waters 


Gunflint Trail Snow

The Many Colors of Fall  


Boundary Waters Leaves Changing 

 Gunflint Trail Foliage














         Where did Fall on the Gunflint Trail go?  September was such an incredible month with warm temperatures and sunny skies that it felt like summer.  It was the warmest September we have had in over ten years and the best weather of the entire summer. 

     October was suppose to be Fall with some warm days mixed in with days chilled with the autumn air.  The warmer days were no where to be seen and instead we were treated to cold, windy and wet weather throughout the entire month of October. 

     This October didn't feel like Fall but more like winter.  The average daytime high temperature was 40.24 degrees which is the second lowest temperature seen in the past ten years.  The nights didn't get quite as cold as some years so the average temperature was pulled up to a balmy 35.84 degrees. 

     Precipitation in the form of both rain and snow was abundant this October.  More than 13 inches of precipitation fell to the ground making it the wettest October in over 11 years.  It snowed over 9.75 inches which is the most snow we've received in October in the 11 years of records.  It rained 3.25 inches which didn't break any records but it sure made for some wet and miserable conditions.

     The weather did make for some beautiful and long lasting fall colors on the Gunflint Trail.  The tamaracks are still holding their needles and when the ground isn't covered in white the grass is still green.  The sunny days were so rare and welcome that we embraced them with enthusiasm.  October didn't allow us to get all of our Fall tasks completed so we're hoping we'll have a few nice days to finish them in November.  If we don't then those tasks will still be there when the snow all melts next April.

     Ready or not here Winter on the Gunflint Trail comes.   



 Gunflint Trail Customs

Trapping on the Gunflint Trail  



Boundary Waters Rodents

Dentist Anyone? 



BWCA Beaver

Built In Swim Flippers



Beaver trapping on the Gunflint Trail

Beaver Tails- A treat for sled dogs







 Trapping on the Trail-

     The change of seasons on the Gunflint Trail not only includes the weather but also the activities.  Along with the change of weather and activities comes the task of putting away one set of toys and clothes and bringing out another.  For some folks on the Gunflint Trail this includes retrieving traps from their closet for another season of trapping on the Gunflint Trail.

     The only trapping I personally get highly involved in is that of mice.  It isn't that I don't want to trap other animals but I have never been exposed to such a thing.  In the past trapping was the way of life on the wilderness border lakes.  Irv and Tempest Benson along with the Powell's would spend weeks traveling and camping from one place to the next collecting animals along the way.  Many times they would hunt on these trips as well.  I'm not sure if anyone has trap lines this extensive anymore but there are still trappers out there.

     Modern day trappers most likely have a day job and don't depend upon what they trap to sustain them.  Pelts can be sold and some animals bring in more money than others but regulations and limits exist.  The trapping on the Gunflint Trail is primarily done more as a hobby or sometimes as a necessity to control the population but not as a way to make money.

     I don't like to think of some of my favorite furry creatures being trapped.  I love otters, bobcats and the rare fischers and even though there is a huge population of fox and pine marten I don't necessarily want to see them trapped.  I can't say I like to see beaver being trapped but when I look at the destruction they can do when the numbers get out of hand and consider the fact they are a rodent then I can be ok with trapping beaver.

     Anyone who has seen the type of construction a group of beavers can do knows how quick and innovative these creatures are.  By building a dam in a new place beavers can dramatically alter not only the lakeshore but also a lake and chain of lakes.  The water quality can be affected and overpopulation can occur.  These are the reasons, along with giardia beaver can carry, that I don't mind trapping beaver.  

     This is why when a friend invited my children to tag along to check beaver traps I made no objections.  There is alot to be learned in trapping and a certain respect of the natural world is gained.  Like hunting or fishing it allows a person to spend large quantities of time out in the woods.  Trapping, like baiting a bear for hunting, isn't always successful either.  Finding the right place, using the right kind of trap and checking traps daily requires a keen awareness of surroundings as well as a large amount of responsibility.  

     Beaver trapping doesn't bring in much money anymore but it can bring in a beaver.  A beaver that can be examined up close and personal if a person is willing.  Children are less squeamish than adults as a rule and mine didn't have a problem pushing the lips of the dead beaver back to expose its long teeth or pulling the toes apart to see the intricate webbing that allows them to be quick swimmers.  Their coat is amazing and their tails are unique.   

     The beavers aren't killed just for killing and their bodies are not wasted.  Some people love to eat the meat of a beaver, especially the meat from their cheeks.  The furs are stretched and tanned to be used for decorations or just sold for fur.  Trapping may not be a way of life anymore but it is a part of history, a way to keep populations in control and is something worth preserving.












Gunflint Trail Fox 

Gunflint Trail Mouse Trap



 Hiking on the Gunflint Trail 

Hiking on the Gunflint Trail



Fall Colors




What's New?-

     That's a Wrap- It's that time of the year when the summer season has been wrapped up and we start planning for the next.  We think about what equipment we need to buy, what improvements can be made at Voyageur and what services our guests would like us to offer.  We value everyone's opinions and invite you to e-mail us with any ideas you may have. 

     Facebook Fun- Voyageur Canoe Outfitters now has a group page on Facebook.  It's a little different than the business page you can become a fan of since you actually join the group page.    I'm not entirely sure how different it is but I do know we're inviting everyone to join and we plan to send out messages and have contests on the page.  We've been uploading photos to both pages and there's currently a discussion going on about the toughest wilderness portage.  We're hoping you will take the time to share information about the worst portage you've been on and what made it the worst.  For Chelsea it was one where mosquitoes made a meal of her.  You can check out her photo and story on our group page.   We hope you'll become a fan today.

     More to Come Soon- We're almost ready to go live with our new Voyageur Online Trading Post.  We're excited to introduce it since it will feature many great items.  Some of these items will be drop shipped directly from the supplier to your door.  It will be ready just in time to do some Christmas Shopping.  We'll let our Facebook Folks and Twitter followers know immediately and will get the information out on the newsletter as soon as we can.

     Winter Adventure- We do have one of our lodge units available for rent this winter and we'd love to see you at Voyageur.  Some highlights of the winter are Winter Tracks Festival February 25-28th and the Mush for a Cure Sled Dog Fundraiser March 13-14th.  If you're interested in a sled dog ride or learning how to mush your own team then please let us know, we can make it happen.


 Check out the Boundary Waters Blog


Voyageur Canoe Outfitters-Where the Trail Ends Your Voyage Begins


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

  Mike, Sue and the Voyageur Crew




    Different Type of Fishing- There aren't too many folks fishing on the lakes right now.  The border waters of the US and Canada in Minnesota are open for walleye, northern and smallmouth bass but the weather hasn't been cooperative.  Gill net fishing for whitefish harvesting is open right now too.

     This is something I haven't ever done but a friend recently tried and our crew member Ian would also like to try.  The whitefish swim to shallow waters for their fall spawn so a long net up to 100 feet long and 6 foot maximum depth is anchored out into the water.  Marked by bouys on the water's surface a person must check the net on a daily basis.  

     The fish are caught on the net as they attempt to swim past it.  Other species besides whitefish are also caught in the net and these must be set free.  Our friend caught about a 10 pound northern, an eelpout and four whitefish.  Whitefish taste like lake trout and can be frozen, smoked or made into fish cakes as our friend did. There's all sorts of ways to have some fishing fun on the Gunflint Trail.




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