We visited this Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary one day in August of 1998. You drive along a long dirt/gravel road to where there are some observation decks.
These bears really are wild and there have been attacks in the past, but generally, they seemed well-behaved. They feed them and I guess that's how they know to gather there during parts of the year. It is kind of intimidating getting from your car to the deck and back as they are just wandering around and there are a few volunteers walking around with big walking sticks to try to keep them away from the visitors.
You can find a few more photos on my travelogue which includes this same info.
The settlers of this state most often built their rural churches on the highest hilltop in the region. I'm not sure if it was an attempt to get closer to God or whether the Norskes not being all that good with directions, simply set their church on the highest hill so it would always be in sight and easy to find.
This photo is of the Vasa Lutheran Church in Vasa, Minnesota.
Minnesota has always had wolfpacks patrolling its northern forests. A few decades ago the wolves were all but wiped out from the lower 48 states. Minnesota was the lone exception with its sparsely populated northern forests. Minnesota does not have free range livestock, so there was not the same type of wolf bounty hunting as plagued the western states.
Of course, wolves have now been reintroduced in many states and the Minnesota wolves are also doing better. However, to this day, there are many who see the wolf as a threat. Do you know that there are no confirmed reports of wolves attacking people in Minnesota.
One day I will get a clear photo of a wolf and post it here.
Visit www.wolf.org to learn about wolves and explore the possibility of a wolf centered eco-vacation.
After spending a year at the University of New Brunswick, in Fredericton, I returned to BC with some classmates. We drove across the country in a Volkswagon van. After following along Lake Superior on the USA-side, we passed into Wisconsin and then Minnesota.
'Dinkytown', an area of SE Minneapolis adjacent to the University of Minnesota along University Avenue, is a bustling community of mostly students and academic types. There are good used bookstores, pleasant little restaurants and bars, and an excellent small movie theater that often shows arty films you won't find anywhere else in town. There's also a laundromat, so if your clothes are filthy from too long on the road, it's a convenient place to get them back in shape. Although it's just minutes by bus from downtown, few tourists ever find the area.
If you're from one of those smog filled, crime infested, traffic jammed cities then you will love Duluth! Duluth offers great outdoors,parks,lakes, great scenery and chemical free fresh clean air!!
There are also some of the best sceneic routes in the US in that area! So make sure you have a car!
Where should I stay?
NANIBOUJOU LODGE20 Naniboujou Trail, Grand Marais.
GUNFLINT LODGE143 S. Gunflint Lake Rd., Grand Marais.
FINNISH HERITAGE HOMESTEAD4776 Waisanen Rd., Embarrass
Also make sure you visit the world known The Mayo clinic down in Rochester where every visitor recieves a free souvenir 'intestine' transplant!
I think most people miss Northern Minnesota. Usually the draw would be Minneapolis/St. Paul, or the Mall of America. But if you want to see what Minnesota is really all about, go where the city people flock to for their vacations---NORTH! The smallest towns find themselves with populations doubled and tripled in the summer with boaters, fishers, campers. And in the winter nearly the same happens with ice fishers and snowmobilers.
If you like getting out away from the city, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) is a great place to go canoeing and camping... one of my favorites.
Also, northern MN has loads of great camping and fishing... this is the land of 10,000 lakes! I like the Grand Rapids area, take the drive north from there on Hwy 38... make sure you stop in Bigfork for pizza at the Pizza Palace and tell Kenny I said Hi!
Everyone needs to go to the Minnesota State Fair at least once in their life! Lots to see and lots to eat (most of it deep fried and on a stick). I grew up in Minnesota and try to make it back for the Fair at least every few years. It runs the last two weeks in August, ending on Labor Day.
Don't miss it!
Ever heard of Soudan, MN? No? I'm not surprised. It's pretty small...But it does have the Soudan Underground Mine State Park there.
A century slips by when you visit this park. Visitors wear hard hats and journey down 2,400 feet via a 'cage.' On the 27th level, the transportation shifts to a rail car for a ride back into the mine as you listen to the stories of the mining days. Above ground visitors can explore the dry house, drill shop, crusher house and engine house and hike the trails in the park through a northern hardwood conifer forest, past the famous Soudan Iron Formation.
Mine Tour: The tour goes through an underground world. Visitors don hard hats and enter a 'cage' for the descent into the mine. The 1 1/2-hour mine tour will take you half a mile down into the earth. Once underground you will be treated to a 3/4 mile train ride to the last and deepest area mined. The mine is 50F degrees year-around. Remember to bring a warm jacket or sweater and sturdy shoes. Public tours run from Memorial Day through the fall. There is a charge for adults and children for the underground tour.
Take U.S. Highway 169 to Soudan and follow the signs. src='http://banners.wunderground.com/banner/default/US/MN/Soudan.gif'
MINNESOTA IS HOME TO SEVERAL OUTDOOR MUSIC FESTIVALS.
FOR THE CHRISTIAN MUSIC LOVER THE SONSHINE FEST IN WILLMAR IS GREAT. IT'S A HOOT TO SEE TEENS WITH EVERY HAIR COLOR AND BODY PIERCING GATHERED TO PRAISE AND PRAY. DETROIT LAKES HOSTS THE SPIRITFEST WHICH IS ANOTHER AWESOME CHRISTIAN FEST. ALSO IN DETRIOT LAKES IS WE FEST FOR ALL YOU COUNTRY MUSIC FANS.AND IF YOU'VE GOT THE BLUES HIT DULUTH FOR THE BAYFRONT BLUES FESTIVAL.
A LOCAL TOLD ME THAT THE WEATHER THAT DAY WAS THE BEST ITS BEEN IN THREE WEEKS...SUNNY AND MILD.
AFTER TAKING AN INORDINATE AMOUNT OF TIME SEARCHING FOR SUPPLIES IN GRAND MARAIS, I FINALLY MADE IT TO THE TRAILHEAD AND STARTED THE HIKE AT 12:30. THE TRAIL LEADS THROUGH FOREST, THEN SWAMP (THOUGH THE SWAMP IS BILLED AS A CANOE WILDERNESS), THEN PART WAY AROUND A LAKE, BEFORE ASCENDING TO A BIG WHITE PLAQUE THAT MARKS THE HIGH POINT.
MISQUITOES WERE THICK! I USED DEEPWOODS OFF, WHICH WORKED HIKING IN, BUT FALTERED ON THE HIKE OUT. I ENDED UP RUNNING THE LAST QUARTER MILE OR SO TO ESCAPE THE HORSE FLY SIZED CRITTERS! ^^^^^^^NEXT STOP: NORTH DAKOTA!
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is close to things like Mall of America. It is a refuge in the heart of an urban area. That is the unique thing about it. You don't feel like you are any where near a big city when you are there. It is located in Bloomington at 3815 E. 80th street across from the Airport Hilton Hotel. (We walked to the hotel for breakfast and hot coffee to warm up after a morning of bird watching.) The visitor center can give you maps of the entire refuge because it is quite large. There are a number of great exhibits inside the visitor center that are fun and educational. The exhibit in this photograph is about muskrats and how they build their homes from cattails.
This is not a zoo or a museum. It is a big outdoors and sporting goods store called Cabela's. Cabelas is in Owatonna near I-35 highway. It is beautiful inside. I am going to add some photos I took in the store to a travelogue because I thought it was so nice.
Driving North into Minnesota on I-35 we stopped at the rest stop there. I don't usually visit rest stops but this one had some nice bird feeders right out side. Besides that we needed to pull over for a break.