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Outdoors Posts

Duluth portion of Munger Trail to close for construction

Munger TrailA 5-mile stretch of the Willard Munger State Trail between Grand Avenue and Becks Road in western Duluth will be closed for an extensive construction project from mid-April through August, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The project will stabilize parts of the treadway damaged during the Historic Solstice Flood Disaster of 2012 and bring that section of the trail up to current standards that call for a wider surface and shoulders. Because heavy equipment will be operating in the area, the section of the trail will be closed to all traffic throughout the project.

The Munger Trail is a collection of three trail segments accommodating multiple uses, including bicycling, walking, horseback riding and snowmobiling. The 70-mile Hinckley–Duluth segment is completely paved — other than the damaged areas — and passes through three state forests and Jay Cooke State Park.

Below are images from spring 2017 showing damaged sections of the trail in Duluth.

Munger Trail 2017

Willard Munger State Trail 2017

Duluth Skate

Daredevil downhilling in a video from Andrew Kilness, shot in Duluth’s Lester Park, giving new meaning to multi-use trails.

Things that will Remain the Same, Vol. 1

More video of glorious Lake Superior plate ice stacking itself on the shore and lurching like an upset stomach. This time Troy Rogers is the person behind the camera. Brace yourself for 48 minutes of nature at its finest.

Public input sought on Duluth Traverse mini-master plan

Duluth-Traverse-Trail

The city of Duluth is compiling comments for the draft Duluth Traverse Trail Management and Mini-Master Plan and is seeking input on expanded mountain bike trail offerings with a goal of 100 miles of trails, bike skills park construction sites and improved/expanded neighborhood trail access and facilities such as expanded parking, showers and signage.

Lake Superior Plate Ice Stacking Video, 2017 Edition

Dawn LaPointe of Radiant Spirit Gallery shot this video in Duluth on March 4.

“This winter has produced minimal ice cover on Lake Superior, so ice stacking events have been few and far between,” she writes in the YouTube description. “We were grateful to have witnessed this anticipated phenomenon come to life from our front row seats at Brighton Beach. … I never tire of these ice stacking events, and each one I have witnessed has had its own unique characteristics.”

Lady Aurora at Boulder Lake

Boulder-Lake-2017-Lady-Aurora-Rich-Hoeg

Lady Aurora danced at midnight last night, Rich Hoeg reports on his 365 Days of Birds blog. Hoeg was shooting from frozen Boulder Lake, about 20 miles north of Duluth.

“The Northern Lights display last night was not a ‘classic’ rays shooting skyward,” Hoeg wrote. “Instead bands of color turned on and off, sometimes blinking to appear only for a few seconds, followed by the lights flashing on in a totally different part of the sky. Totally cool … just different.”

What’s in the box? A gift I’ll never open

John Hatcher - Saturday EssaySomeday, hopefully years from now, someone will face the task of going through all the “stuff” in my office and will find a box.
It is postmarked April 2, 2010. It has an address label on the side:

From: John Hatcher
To: Sam Cook

Here’s my request: Don’t open it.

Here’s why.

If you simply have to know what’s in it, I can just tell you that part: It’s one of those sporty Nalgene water bottles. I can’t honestly remember what color or what style, but I do know it has a University of Minnesota Duluth logo on it. What the box contains isn’t why I’ve kept it unopened for nearly seven years now.

The water bottle was a gift, not to me but from me. The intended recipient was Sam Cook, longtime (that’s polite for old) journalist and columnist for the Duluth News Tribune. It was a way of thanking him for coming to my journalism class.

Escape

TettegoucheKeegan Burckhard directed this video as a part of his senior exhibition as a digital art and photography student at the University of Minnesota Duluth. It was projected in the Tweed Museum of Art Feb. 14-19.

Big Jig Ice Fishing Contest 2017

Does anyone know why it’s not going on this year? I can’t find any info.

Duluth is a Giant Ice Rink: Rose Garden Sunset Edition

I shot this a few weeks ago at the height of Duluth’s urban guerilla ice-skating craze.

Footage from the Surface of Ganymede

Lake Superior Aquaman in the News

Underwater Footage of Ice Stacking

Sixteen Years on the Superior Hiking Trail: The Double Finish

Paul Lundgren Saturday EssayWriting about hiking the full 300+ miles of the Superior Hiking Trail hasn’t quite taken as long as hiking it, but it’s gone on long enough. At sixteen years and thirteen chapters, the story now concludes.

I had just a dozen miles left to go in 2015, which were divided into four slightly quirky hikes.

The first was a 1.8-mile section from Triangle Trail to Oak Trail near Jay Cooke State Park. Some of it I had probably already covered a few years earlier, I just wasn’t quite certain. So I embarked on a “van-bike-hike” adventure to make sure any possible gap there was covered. This involved driving to the Jay Cooke Visitor Center, unloading a bike, cycling the Munger Trail to bypass parts of the SHT I’d already done, ditching my bike at the Greely/Triangle trail intersection, completing the short hike, and cycling back.

You’ll have to trust me when I say that was fun. The description makes it sound like I was running a complicated errand. The thing is, being obsessive and task-oriented can be a method for forcing one’s self into situations that can be a bit more out of the ordinary. So, compared to hiking the trail behind my house for the 17,000th time, the van-bike-hike was a memorable event.

Two months later I took on what was the newest and southernmost segment of the SHT at the time, the 5.9-mile stretch from Wild River Road to Jay Cooke State Park. This also involved covering some ground I had hiked in the past, because parts of the trail are old segments of long-existing paths in the park, such as Bear Chase Trail. (No bears were chased.)

Underwater Ice-scapes

Footage from the icy shallows of January.