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Outdoors Posts

Today’s a great day to skate the biggest lake in the world

Photo by Jon Choi

The People’s Free Skate Rink on the ice sheet near Leif Erikson Park is still open and fabulous, but the weather’s turning the next couple days so take advantage today-tomorrow while you definitely still can. I think you’ll like what we’ve done with the place, an ice maze of islands and slollums. Don’t need skates, just come bask in the view of the city and the sky. After dark the snow turns pink in the city lights, a premier hangout for the adventurous. See you there!

Instagrammed: Super Snow Moon on Lake Superior

Return of the People’s Free Skate Rink


 

Max Moen and I did this once before in 2014. This will be open as long as weather permits maintaining it. It is on Lake Superior directly off Leif Erickson Park from the stage, about a quarter mile. It is marked with orange cones which hopefully no one will eff with. Ice is around a foot thick, you could drive a train on it. This is the premier skate course in town, a hundred feet long with many twisty paths. Even if you don’t have skates, it is a great excuse for a party. Bring bikes, kites, beach chairs, flags, capes, etc.
 

A Walk on the Lake and the Things We Saw

Lake Superior Aquaman reporting. Co-starring my buddy Meghan AKA The Meg

The Slice: Snowshoe Skiing with Milos

In its series The Slice, WDSE-TV presents short “slices of life” that capture the events and experiences that bring people together and speak to what it means to live up north.

In this edition, Milos explains the basics of snowshoe skiing and explores a winter wonderland.

Clinton’s Critters: How Great Gray Owls Hunt

Clinton Nienhaus, head naturalist for the Friends of Sax-Zim Bog and education director for Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory narrates this video about how Great Gray Owls hunt for voles in winter. Video by Sparky Stensaas.

Tried Skating to Wisconsin

Made it to 35th before impassable stacks of plate ice.

Lake Superior Aquaman Patrolling the Big Lake on Skates

The Slice: Sliding at Pinehurst Park

In its series The Slice, WDSE-TV presents short “slices of life” that capture the events and experiences that bring people together and speak to what it means to live up north.

This edition features wintertime fun in Cloquet’s Pinehurst Park.

Weird Waves Season 1: Great Lakes

Shoe company Vans brings its branded content team to Duluth, and the locals show them some of the winter surf “hot” spots.

Hiki Hut: Duluth’s little blue sauna on a trailer

Whitney & Kelby Sundquist - Photo by Lissa Maki

Whitney & Kelby Sundquist – Photo by Lissa Maki

A little blue sauna on a trailer began popping up around Duluth late last year. The Hiki Hut has licensing similar to a food truck, but instead of food it’s serving up nourishing doses of heat and steam. Owners Whitney and Kelby Sundquist aim to encourage sauna appreciation as well as cultivate community.

North Country Trail in Wisconsin: Nemadji River Valley

If you’ve ever hiked Minnesota’s Superior Hiking Trail to the Wisconsin border you know the trail ends there, but doesn’t really end there. Despite a sign on a tree that reads “Southern Terminus of SHT” and a separate post sticking out of the ground that reads “Not a trail,” there is clearly a trail there leading into Wisconsin. But it doesn’t go far.

The rest of the text on the terminus sign explains: “Spur trail from here to be built by North Country Trail to a parking lot in WI. Trail now dead-ends ahead.”

I explained all that 17 months ago in a Saturday Essay titled: “North Country Trail: Wood Tick Flats,” which was the first report on my quest to hike the North Country Trail across Wisconsin. That summer I covered exactly zero miles on the trail, which is not a great start to a 200-mile journey. If you read that first North Country Trail essay from June 2017 you know I didn’t hike on the trail that day because the grass was long and loaded with ticks. So I waited and saved the hike for a day with more favorable conditions … 17 months later.

What I lack in ambition I make up for with tenacity, right? My motto is: “Never quit. Take a nap and try again later when you feel more up to it.”

Keep Duluth Skies Dark

Some Duluth residents and business owners feel bright-white LED lights harm humans and wildlife interfere with the ability to view starry night skies. They’ve set up a website at citylightsstarrynights.com.

Grand Avenue Nordic Center trail opening soon

(Photo courtesy of Spirit Mountain)

Eric Chandler reports on his Shmotown blog that Duluth’s first cross-country trail system with snowmaking capability is expected to open in December.

Superior Hiking Trail 100-mile Solo Trip

Fall is prime hiking season around Lake Superior. Linda O’Connell of Onalaska went on a 100-mile journey from the Canadian Border to Temperance River State Park in early September and put together this 37-minute documentary.

“Beautiful views, wrong turns and good food were experienced,” she writes in the YouTube description. “I am just an average American 50-year-old woman trying to get out of my comfort zone. Life is short. Make it count.”