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Finding Moose in Northeast Minnesota

Moose in Northeast Minnesota

Weighing in around 800-900 pounds, the Minnesota Moose is no joke! These mammals are about as big as four or five deer and are a sight to see on the North Shore. Although they have poor eyesight, they make up for it with their great sense of smell and hearing. Plus, their long legs and spreading hooves help them maneuver through difficult terrain like marshes and deep snow.

If you’re looking to spot moose on the North Shore, there are a couple of things you should know. First, in the summertime moose like to hang out on hot days in wetlands areas to stay cool. They can often be found in boggy lowlands because plenty of food is available and the terrain allows them to stay cool. They tend to eat a variety of plants and prefer twigs (willow, dogwood, etc).

Environments they thrive in are often in regrowth forests that have been damaged by fire, beavers or logging. These areas tend to provide the most edible vegetation for moose, and since they eat more than 50-pounds a day, it’s important that they have access to a lot of it!

Like any animal, Moose seek to fulfill their sodium requirements. In the summer months much of their intake comes from aquatic plants. However, during the winter, as odd as it may sound, moose tend to navigate towards roads to lick the excess salt left by plow trucks – so searching for moose along the highway tends to be more successful during the winter months.

It is important to spend most of your time searching during around dawn and dusk if you’re looking for moose. It is during these times that they tend to travel to open areas to eat and drink. You’ll often find bull moose alone and moose cows with calves. Moose typically only become aggressive during the fall rut and if calves are around. However, as with all animals, it is important to stay a respectful distance away any time of the year.

Moose habitat on the North Shore begins around Tettegouche State Park, but the further north and inland (away from Lake Superior) you go, the better your odds. There are a number of roads along the North Shore that will take you through prime Moose habitat. We recommend the routes below.

Moose Routes

A) Highway 1: This road travels from Highway 61 (between Silver Bay and Little Marais) inland toward Ely. Many great side-roads will also take drivers through excellent moose habitat.

B) Cramer Road (County Road 7): This gravel road winds through beautiful boreal forest and swampy areas where moose may gather.

C) Caribou Trail/County Road 4: Follow this road that begins on the east end of Lutsen and heads inland for 17.3 miles until reaching The Grade. Make the route an in an out, or turn onto The Grade if you would like to continue your adventure.

D) The Grade: You can hop on The Grade by taking the Sawbill Trail in Tofte, the Caribou Trail (County Road 4) near Lutsen or the Gunflint Trail (County Road 12) to County Road 7 from Grand Marais. The Grade will take drivers through the low-lying, boggy areas that moose favor.

E) Gunflint Trail National Scenic Byway (County Road 12) This 57-mile long paved road that begins in Grand Marais and heads inland is the highway we recommend above others. Most of the roads that branch off from the Gunflint Trail (like the Lima Grade which is approximately 21 miles from Grand Marais) are also great to travel during your search.

If you’re interested in getting out of your car, a moose viewing trail is accessible on the left-hand side of the road about 24 miles from Grand Marais. The trail is a multi-purpose loop trail that leads to a hidden pond with a viewing platform.

F) The Arrowhead Trail This road begins along Highway 61 northeast of Grand Marais and Covill. It leads north and west for approximately 13 miles and travels through great moose habitat.

 


 

Cascade Vacation Rentals offers the largest selection of vacation rental homes, cabins, hotels and cottages on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Our rentals cover a large area from Duluth to Grand Portage and inland up the Caribou Trail, Gunflint Trail and throughout Cook County. View rentals by location (DuluthTwo HarborsSchroederTofteLutsenGrand MaraisGunflint Trail) or category type (pet-friendlylarge homes, inland lake homes, etc) at www.cascadevacationrentals.com.

 


 

Check back often for updates on where to go and the top things to do on your next North Shore visit.

Posted on January 24th, 2017 in Uncategorized |


Fat Biking: New to the North Shore

Fat biking is hot! And, it’s only getting hotter – especially on the North Shore!

If you’re not familiar, a fat bike is a bike with over sized tires (usually around 3.8 inches wide or wider) and rims. In addition, the bikes are ridden with less pressure than the average off-road bike. This allows riding on unstable routes, including snow, sand and mud. Though the sport has been around for well over a decade, it is only the the last few years that the sport has become extremely popular, especially among off-road cyclists.

The North Shore has seen a large increase in visitors who are fat biking as well. Earlier this month, on January 7, the inaugural Norpine Fat Bike Classic was held. Over 150 riders embraced the cold and to ride the 16 and 24-mile race courses. Next year’s event is scheduled for January 6.

In addition, about three miles of new, groomed trails have been opened up to the public on the Superior National Golf Course at Lutsen. With spectacular view of Lake Superior and the surrounding Sawtooth Mountains, many local and visiting fat bikers have been excited about the new trails.

 


Day or season passes for the groomed trails at Superior National at Lutsen are available at:


Cascade Vacation Rentals offers the largest selection of vacation rental homes, cabins, hotels and cottages on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Our rentals cover a large area from Duluth to Grand Portage and inland up the Caribou Trail, Gunflint Trail and throughout Cook County. View rentals by location (DuluthTwo HarborsSchroederTofteLutsenGrand MaraisGunflint Trail) or category type (pet-friendlylarge homes, inland lake homes, etc) at www.cascadevacationrentals.com.


Check back often for updates on where to go and the top things to do on your next North Shore visit.

Posted on January 17th, 2017 in Uncategorized |


How Global Warming is Affecting Lake Superior

Although it’s fairly hard to notice the effects global warming is having on Lake Superior, there is no doubt that the Lake is changing. With data being crunched into computers, its becoming obvious that Lake Superior is responding to the global climate shift just as any other body of water is on earth.

 

One effect that has been recorded is Lake Superior’s surface water temperature that has warmed twice as much as the air above it since 1980. In fact, every decade we are seeing a increase in about 2 degrees Fahrenheit in surface water temperature, while the regional air temperature has increased only one degree. Also, the ice cover on the Lake is diminishing at a rate of about 0.5% per year. Over the last century, the lake has seen a drop from 23% to 12% the amount of ice covering the Lake.

 

One of the biggest concerns regarding the Lake and its rising temperatures is how long the summer stratification season is becoming.  Spring turnover has become earlier by about half a day per year, leading to earlier stratification, and in return, making fall mixing later. People may not even notice the effects global warming is taking on the Lake, but some they could notice are more frequent and intense storms, warmer annual temperatures, drier summers and warmer winters, and many more.

 


 

Cascade Vacation Rentals offers the largest selection of vacation rental homes, cabins, hotels and cottages on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Our rentals cover a large area from Duluth to Grand Portage and inland up the Caribou Trail, Gunflint Trail and throughout Cook County. View rentals by location (DuluthTwo HarborsSchroederTofteLutsenGrand MaraisGunflint Trail) or category type (pet-friendlylarge homes, inland lake homes, etc) at www.cascadevacationrentals.com.

 


 

Check back often for updates on where to go and the top things to do on your next North Shore visit.

Posted on January 10th, 2017 in Uncategorized |


Strange Behavior: North Shore Deer

If you’ve been to the North Shore during both the winter and summer months, you may have noticed something strange about the local deer: You tend to see many of them along Highway 61 during the winter months but not during the summer months. Do you know why?

 

With the cold temperatures and snowfall accumulating along the North Shore, deer are starting to navigate their way to specific spots to keep warm. Although it may come as a surprise, because of its size, Lake Superior influences the local weather acting as an air conditioner in the summer and a radiator of warmth during the winter. Because of this, deer are attracted to the shore and are seen in great numbers there during the winter months!

 

The other place deer can most likely be found during these cold winter months is somewhat bizarre. Because they are so easily frightened, most think that deer congregating near the busy highway wouldn’t happen, but in fact it’s one of their favorite spots. This is because they love to lick the salt, which has been left behind from the plows, off the highway.

 

Now we don’t recommend spectating deer along the highway, unless you are spectating from inside a vehicle. Keep your distance and make as little noise as possible. Also, bring binoculars and dress warm as you will likely have to wait to see one!

 


 

Cascade Vacation Rentals offers the largest selection of vacation rental homes, cabins, hotels and cottages on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Our rentals cover a large area from Duluth to Grand Portage and inland up the Caribou Trail, Gunflint Trail and throughout Cook County. View rentals by location (DuluthTwo HarborsSchroederTofteLutsenGrand MaraisGunflint Trail) or category type (pet-friendlylarge homes, inland lake homes, etc) at www.cascadevacationrentals.com.

 


 

Check back often for updates on where to go and the top things to do on your next North Shore visit.

Posted on December 30th, 2016 in Uncategorized |


Caribou on the North Shore

Some time ago, Caribou were roaming the North Shore, but were soon driven out by a combination of factors. Over-hunting, logging, and the appearance of the white-tailed deer all took part in the disappearance of Caribou in Minnesota, leaving behind only pictures and stories of those who had once seen them. These deer prefer mature pine forests to roam in, and once logging began in northern Minnesota, it quickly drove them out.

 

When the timber located in northern Minnesota was removed by loggers, young trees appeared, providing an ideal habitat for white-tailed deer. Why would this be a problem for Caribou? Well, white-tailed deer are carriers of a parasitic ringworm, which is found in the deer’s’ brain. Although harmless to them, the parasite is deadly to caribou and moose. Over time, the population of caribou diminished and white-tailed deer took over the land.

 

Another factor of their disappearance was over-hunting, as caribou were once a major source of meat and hides for the Indians and European settlers. No caribou were seen in Minnesota after 1935 until a few were spotted north of Grand Marais, most likely migrating from Canada. Wildlife experts predict that caribou will most likely never establish themselves in Minnesota again.

 


Cascade Vacation Rentals offers the largest selection of vacation rental homes, cabins, hotels and cottages on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Our rentals cover a large area from Duluth to Grand Portage and inland up the Caribou Trail, Gunflint Trail and throughout Cook County. View rentals by location (DuluthTwo HarborsSchroederTofteLutsenGrand MaraisGunflint Trail) or category type (pet-friendlylarge homes, inland lake homes, etc) at www.cascadevacationrentals.com.

 


 

Check back often for updates on where to go and the top things to do on your next North Shore visit.

Posted on December 27th, 2016 in Uncategorized |