Enjoy winter while
it's still here
Yesterday while working at Larsmont Cottages, I started to do something that I was very excited to do. I went into my activities office, surveyed the damage from the previous seasons' activities, and started to find, organize, and clean things. As I was digging through everything, I found more and more parts and pieces I need to use in our summer programs. I have to be honest with you. I started to get pretty excited about the cool stuff that we have planned for the summer. For a moment, I wished we could move on from winter.
Today was almost forty degrees, and Jade and I spent as much time as we could outside. For Jade, my dog, it's all about quantity, not quality. There is something to be said for just spending time outdoors. It doesn't matter what you do, just that you are outside doing it. When the weather is as cooperative as it was today, that time is delightful. We all know that this single, warm day was a gift this time of year and that we are into the part of the winter season that is unpredictable and can be quite angry at times. We are not quite finished with winter up here. I almost hate to say it, but we have quite a ways to go. This is not a bad thing by any stretch. As a resident of Duluth and the North Shore, I enjoy what winter brings us. If you live here or spend a lot of time here, if you don't go out and do stuff in the winter, you will miss out on one of the best outdoor experiences you can have in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Not only that, if you don't go outside in the winter, you will more than likely end up missing all of your friends who will be out doing stuff. You don't want to be that person that doesn't do anything in the winter.
I have tried to give you ideas for places to go and things to do throughout these blogs for when you get here. All of the skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and sightseeing opportunities out there will be with us in winter form for a while. This winter has not been a record-setter by any means. It hasn't snowed a whole lot, and the cold was severe for a few weeks. I hope I don't jinx anything by saying that. Although, if you are a hiker this has been the winter for you. The Superior Hiking Trail, state park trails, and municipal trails have all been easily passable. Unless of course that you are the first one on trail after a snowfall. For the most part, by the time you get to a trailhead, someone has likely been there before you and generously forged a trail for you.
Now that the weather is getting warmer and sunny days are getting longer, it's been an amazing experience on the North shore. Enhanced as always when the trail runs along a river bluff or elevates up onto a higher peak. I was recently at the Split Rock River Loop with Jade, John our videographer, and his kids, which turned out to be a fantastic hike on a really nice day. The sun was out, not much of a breeze, and the trail was in great shape. These conditions make for a great experience on the shore. I highly recommend the Split Rock River Loop for another hiking adventure that you can fit into any day. Hiking and snowshoeing gives me the most intimate experiences on a winter trail. I love hiking because it can be something done on a whim with little planning. If you see a wayside with trail makers, you can stop and check it out. There is still plenty of time to get out and experience the wonder that is a winter hike. Just make sure you have ice cleats and if you are heading out after snowfall, have snowshoes at the ready, and if you don't need them, just strap them to your backpack in which you have everything you need to get through the day.
So, get out for a hike at Split Rock or any one of the dozens of trails that are waiting for you here on the North Shore. Need some advice? Just ask. I'll be more than happy to go on and on about all of the winter opportunities. We have a way to go this winter, and our North Shore takes on a whole new life this time of year. The spring will come soon enough, and then we will look forward to getting on the water but now embrace the winter because it isn't over quite yet. As for the kayaks?
I'll see you out on the winter trail.
As an avid outdoorsman Mark has explored the North Shore from Duluth to Grand Portage. And he's ready to spill the beans on the region's best hikes, vistas, and adventures. Stay tuned to his blog for trail reports, new activities, and more.
Mark runs the activities program at Larsmont Cottages which is open to all guests of Odyssey Resorts.