When we last posted here, the Banadad Trail Association had just hosted the annual trail clearing day and membership meeting. Several volunteers had clipped and sawed their way through miles of alder brush and fallen trees, readying the trail for the winter. More trail-clearing folks followed in the next couple of weeks, and we all had a good feeling about the upcoming ski season.
How quickly that changed! The much-anticipated snow finally came, but not as the fluffly, fat flakes that we prefer. Instead, it fell heavy and wet, cloaking every twig and tree in a thick coat. Mother Nature mixed in a bit of freezing drizzle, and then added more of that same kind of snow. Someone likened it to wet cement. That was an apt description, for when it solidly froze, just like dried cement, it weighted those trees until they were bowing down to the ground. For many miles, the trail was completely impassable. As beautiful as it was, it created miles of havoc, and a boatload of new clearing to be done.
For the last several weeks, many people, both volunteer and paid, have been working hard to clear the trail so that it is usable this winter. The good news is that at this point, the Lace Lake Trail (4K) and the Tall Pines Trail (1.7K) are both opened and groomed. The snow depth is 18″. Snow still covers the trees, making for a uniquely beautiful trail. Come out and ski it!
The eastern end of the Banadad is once again nearly cleared, with about another day or two of work remaining. As soon as we get fresh snow, this section will be groomed and tracked. The trail will extend to the mid-trail junction, near the yurt. A loop will be possible, utilizing the Moose Trail. While not what we would have hoped for back in October when we were working, at least we have something here to ski. The distance for this section is 15.5K.
Unfortunately, it is not expected that the western end of the Banadad will be open this season. Much work remains on the remaining 12K. As time and funding permit, we will chip away at it, and we welcome your help if you so desire. To that end, a sign has been posted in the parking lot, and two saws are hanging for anyone who wants to snowshoe in on the trail and cut a few things away.
We are so grateful to everyone who has stepped in to assist in the herculean effort to re-open the trail. Mother Nature tossed us some lemons, but we didn’t let that stop us. Join us on the Banadad, the Lace Lake Trail and the Tall Pines Trail, and see how pretty this season has turned out to be.
Barbara Young quoted in StarTribune January 9, 2016.
Happy New Year! 2016 looks exciting and welcoming! This past holiday season was the best we’ve had in many years. The temperatures were great, the snow was plentiful, the ski trails were packed and tracked, sleds were sliding, snowmen were being made, quite the happy winter start!
For Christmas my son bought me a Chinese Checker board, favorite game of mine! I found my marbles so I’m ready to go! Stop by if you want to play a game. Remember we’re a pet friendly destination and I love puppies so feel free to share. This little guy (still unnamed) was only 10 weeks old and looked like a stuffed animal! He was adorable. We offered the names of Sasquatch and Yeti – but they were leaning towards Cesar or similar.
Gunflint Lake froze over late this year!!! The west end out front of us only froze over on the 30th of December. The East end finally froze over the morning of the 4th. With the colder temps the past week we are building ice quickly just in time for the Trout Opener this weekend.
This past year we started posting our future availability by means of google calendars in our blog section. While we still do not have online booking capability and I have to update them manually it can give you a good guide as to what might be available for our cabins, camping cabins or our Lakehome. I have also started relying on the google calendars to make updating our snow report and Ski Trail report easier and more up to date. You can always feel free to call us directly for up to date information 218-388-4454.
Summer reservations are starting to book as people seem to be planning further ahead – don’t wait too long to give us a call and start planning your escape up north!
One word describes how I felt as I watched the helicopters soar over Lutsen Mountain – Thrilled! This investment from leadership at Lutsen Mountains only reinforces the energetic growth felt throughout Cook County. In July, I completed my second year working for Visit Cook County. When I started, I thought I knew a lot about this wonderful corner of northeastern Minnesota. I have now come to realize the depth of the partnerships we share in making life here enjoyable and energized. I am delighted.AN INCREDIBLE SUMMER!
As our summer season closes, I want to highlight a few spring, summer and fall highpoints. We are all aware that Cook County offers some of the biggest and best of the midwest: tallest peak, highest waterfall, most groomed cross country ski trails, largest ski resort in the Midwest, most BWCAW entry points – you get the picture. This list is endless, and keeps on growing. Another “best” came across my desk today – Hwy. 61 from Duluth to the Canadian border was included in Mashable’s “7 Scenic Fall Foliage Drives.” And perhaps the most reputable, the title of “Coolest Small Town in America,” awarded in February to Grand Marais. We would love to hear from other business owners regarding the summer experience of 2015. We know World’s Best Donuts sold more donuts than they have since opening in the summer of 1974! We look forward to hearing many more great sucess stories as we enter the last part of 2015.MEASURING SUCCESS
Safe to say – our efforts in marketing and media relations have paid off. I, along with the Visit Cook County team, serve our tourism related economy tirelessly. Thanks to our partnership with Giant Voices and LINPR we have built a successful marketing and PR strategy that is showing results. These partnerships allow us to build upon great outreach opportunities like sharing a booth with WTIP at the MN State Fair (a complete blast) followed by a live media appearance with KARE 11.
The one true measurement of tourism success for Visit Cook County is our lodging tax. This is always a moving target as we have lodging properties that pay monthly, quarterly and annually. We measure our monthly decreases and gains based on prior year figures which actually allow us to be pretty close on the measurement. And of course, we work extra hard to bring people here in our shoulder seasons of April and November. The County collects the lodging tax and prepares all the reporting. You can see all the figures if you look here: http://www.cookcountychamber.org/charts.php?id=15
That said, Visit Cook County’s fiscal year began May 1. If you calculate the success in the first three months of our fiscal year, the statistics are astounding. A quick snapshot of May-July shows growth in Lutsen/Tofte/Schroeder up 15.9% and Grand Marais is up 15.8%. And on an even bigger scale, lodging sales in 2014 totaled $33Million dollars. In a county that records $150million in sales, we need to tip our hats to the lodging property owners – not only as economic tourism drivers but also as employers.
We hope you have saved the date to celebrate with Visit Cook County and the Cook County Chamber on November 3rd at Lutsen Resort. You can look forward to more information about the event in the coming weeks, but until then, make sure you’ve saved the date!
The Trapper’s Daughter & The…..
The day we have all been waiting for is finally here!!!
It is my great pleasure today, on April 25th 2015, to present to you for the first time,
Wow, isn’t she a beauty??
After their long sail along the Lake Superior coast, the Trapper’s Daughter, Bear & Raccoon are finally able to relax on the shore near a big campfire. With beautiful bright embers floating toward the starlit sky, this print … read more
Day 5! Day 5! Day 5!
Today is the last day of our countdown before we reveal the NEW Trapper’s Daughter print for 2015!!
We kick off today’s countdown with a truly incredible print from 2013,
“The Trapper’s Daughter Crosses the Height of the Land as Winter Fades From the Woods & Waters.”
“The Trapper’s Daughter and the Spring Moose” came into the gallery like a hurricane. We could hardly keep this image on the walls and in the bins after … read more
Day 4 of Our Trapper’s Daughter Adventure!
Day 4 of our Trapper’s Daughter adventure beings with the winner of our 2014 Summer Solstice Trapper’s Daughter Bracket Competition….
In 2010, Rick Allen decided to try something new. With 26 different wood blocks, and 26 individual passes through the press, Rick and his famous helper Janelle, the Warrior Printress, worked their tails off on this one!!!
But wait…. there’s MORE!
The Kenspeckles decided to add a beautiful moon to the Long … read more
Day 3 of our Trapper’s Daughter Voyage!
We commence day 3 of our Trapper’s Daughter voyage with the eighth image in Rick Allen’s series….
Back in 2009, you could hear all of our jaws collectively drop, “KER PLUNK,” as we viewed “The Trapper’s Daughter Takes the Otter Slide” for the first time. What a beauty! Rick Allen really went to town with this gem.
One of my favorite parts about Rick’s prints is that so often they spark a wonderful, rich memory. … read more
“The Trapper’s Daughter & the Second Day”
We kick off day two of our Trapper’s Daughter countdown with Rick Allen’s 4th image in this enchanted series. Released in 2006, this beauty is a gallery staff favorite:
Our first glimpse of the Trapper’s Daughter out of the winter, we see her strong, axe wielding arms and bare feet. A vision of strength and courage, she crosses the lake atop two loons. When looking at the clouds, I can’t help … read more
The Trapper’s Daughter & the Unwritten Story
This year’s Gallery Hop Earth Day Celebration at Siiviis in Duluth will be unlike any other event before! Why, do you ask? Well my friends, because this year’s celebration is truly a dream come true. On April 25th, the ladies of Siiviis, along with the Kenspeckles of the Kenspeckle Letterpress present to you:
A THIRTEEN year retrospective featuring all 17 of the Trapper’s Daugher breathtaking appearances in print, including this year’s truly amazing addition to … read more