Summer Revisited: Voyageurs National Park

I hate to admit this, but winter is closing in on us. I don’t know if I’m quite ready for the snow and a true Duluth winter. Instead of dwelling on this fact, I am choosing to relive one of the highlights of my summer that I didn’t really have a chance to share here on the blog. During the 4th of July weekend when my sister was visiting me, we made the trek northward to check out Voyageurs National Park. After I was bitten by the National Park bug a few years ago, I was super excited when I realized that I now live just a short 3 hour drive from a National Park…wooooo!

Voyageurs Sign

Here is a blurb about Voyaguers NP right from the NPS map/information handout:

“As the fur trade expanded westward, it relied heavily upon the voyageurs, or French-Canadian canoemen, who moved beaver and other pelts and trade goods between Montreal and the Canadian Northwest. Voyageurs depended upon native North Americans for furs, guide services, clothing, food, and medicine. The route these adventuresome men, who paddled up to 16 hours per day, became so established that the 1783 treaty ending the American Revolution specified that the international boundary should follow their ‘customary waterway’ between Lake Superior and Lake of the Woods. Today, Voyaguers National Park, established in 1975, adjoins a 56-mile stretch of that Voyageurs Highway.”

There’s your history lesson for the day.

Our lunchtime view

To really see a lot of Voyageurs NP, you need a boat (which many people were doing that day). Since Julie and I were only at the park for the day, we decided just to use our feet to explore. We went to the Ash River Visitor Center. We chatted with a really nice park ranger who gave us the down-low on the hiking in the area. I also got another stamp for my NPS Passport. After our visit to the Visitor Center we found a picnic table for lunch with an awesome view of Kabetogama Lake. Beautiful July day. After lunch, we headed towards our trail, the Blind Ash Bay Trail, loaded up on bug spray (deer flies were in full force), and set off for a couple mile hike.

View of Kabetogama Lake early on our hike

The narrow trail

The trail itself was narrow and filled with rocks and roots. Julie and I had to hike single file for about 99% of the hike. I led and called out when there was debris to watch for. At one point I called out “big ass ferns” because the ferns were about as high as my waist and covering the trail. The only wildlife sighting we had was a pheasant that scared the poo out of us as it flew away out of a nearby bush or tree.

Blind Ash Bay

Our destination for the hike was Blind Ash Bay. It was so peaceful…as was our hike. There were almost zero people. We only came across a family and a couple. Overall, it was fun to explore a small portion of Voyageurs NP. You can bet since the park is so close, I’ll be visiting it again. I may have to make it a summer tradition…

The woods near Blind Ash Bay

Are you finding yourself revisiting fun times from the summer?

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