Ice went out from Poplar Lake sometime between late evening of May 17 and the morning of the 18. This marks the second latest ice out since we began keeping records in 1990. May 22, 1996 still stands as the latest ice out date we have on record. Of course the earliest the ice went out was last year when it left Poplar on March 28. See Ice Out record below-
|Ice out on Poplar Lake Record for 1990 until Present
Yesterday afternoon with temperature hovering in the 60s and a slight breeze the ice finally went out on Little Ollie Lake. However the ice still has a firm lock on mid size lakes in the mid-trail area, such as Poplar. Don't expect these lakes to be ice free for days.
April First and this is not an April fools joke. The skiing is great!
March 31 Snow still holding: 15 inches on the ground. Skiers out on the Banadad today said the trail was in great shape. While the temperature got up into the mid 40s yesterday we received a bit of snow last night, more snow is expected tonight and the temperature is predicted to not get above the mid twenties through most of this week. Expect great skiing for at least another week.
Catch the ski in from the Banadad Ski Trail to the Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B as seen by Helmet-cam. It a nice down hill run-
Ted Young, Gunflint Trail- With the continued decline of Minnesota's moose population, Tom Landwehr, commissioner of the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) finally came to his senses and stopped the moose hunt.
Landwehr in explaining his decision to stop the hunt stated that, "It reaffirms the conservation community's need to better understand why this species of the north is disappearing from our state.”
Results of the annual aerial survey, conducted in January and released Wednesday, indicated that 2,760 moose are left in Minnesota, down from 4,230 in 2012. In 2006, the population in the northeastern corner of the state peaked at 8,840, but by then moose had already largely disappeared from the northwest corner of Minnesota, where they had long been part of the landscape.
Landwehr was quick to point out that hunting of moose had nothing to do with the decline since hunters only took fifty moose last year and they were mostly bulls.
Endless studies are underway to determine what is causing this decline of the moose herd. The DNR claims that as long as the bull to cow moose ratio remain at certain lever the hunting will not affect the long term sustainability of our moose herd. This might be true but to me this makes no sense to justify continuing the moose hunt. Last year fifty moose were killed during the hunt. But this did not change the fact that every moose that was shot was one less moose that we and our guests will see and enjoy.
I have been a hunter and I certainly have no problem with hunting as long as it is sustainable. Since the DNR admits they have no idea why the moose herd is declining so rapidly discontinuing the hunting of moose now at least will not be a contributing factor in this decline.
Article in Mens Health Magazine , "Best Nordic Skiing in the U.S., the Lodge -to Lodge Way." Boundary Country Trekking's Gunflint Nordic Lodge to Lodge program listed as one of the five best.
This new dog sled race, Gichigami Express, took off on January 6 from Grand Portage heading for Hungry Jack Lodge. The next day musher started at Windigo Lodge ran to Gunflint Lake then on to Poplar Lake. At east end of Poplar they ran down the Little Ollie Road en-route to Devil Track Lake. On the final day the teams returned to Grand Portage.
Guests at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B viewed the teams as they travel down the Little Ollie Road.
It should be noted that the Little Ollie Road was used not only by musher in the Express Race, but by teams in the John Beargrease and in the 1980's the Gunflint Mail Runs mushers. The Mail Run was the predecessor to the Beargrease race
Each year, over the course of many years Anne Rykken, Minnehaha Academy's Nordic ski coach and Banadad Trail Association Board of Director, in the fall has brought members of her ski team to help maintain the trail. Then in March she brings members of the team on a Banadad ski trip. The trip includes spending a couple of nights at the Croft Yurt along the way. Now Anne has the co-authored a new book - Teaching Cross-County Skiing. The book should be a must read for anyone that teaches cross country skiing to youth. A review of the book can be fount on Amazon . It is also reviewed in the December 2012 Cross Country Ski Magazine. Way to go Anne!
Yesterday the area around Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B had another four inches of snow. This was on top of the eight inches that fell the day before Thanksgiving. The temperature has dropped. This morning the thermometer registers 7 degrees. The smaller lakes- Little Ollie, Swamp are now frozen. The larger lake should follow suit soon and freeze over. Winter has arrived on the Gunflint Trail.