Lutsen Resort Fall Preview: Smoked Goose Chowder – Lutsen, MN

Lutsen Resort Fall Preview: Smoked Goose Chowder – Lutsen, MN

Lutsen Resort

Chef Perihan as perfected a new addition to the menu that we believe will soon become a North Shore staple; introducing our Smoked Goose Chowder!

Located in the Historic Lodge at Lutsen Resort, “Strand” means shore in Swedish, highlighting one of the dining room’s best assets – the incredible view of Lake Superior and the Poplar River.

The menu consists of a strong blend of contemporary and traditional North Shore Cuisine items. Our temperature-controlled wine cellar holds 1200 bottles of international and local fine wines. We carry 20 wines from the Wine Spectator Top 100 list, including the #1 wine.


Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior is the most historic resort in the state of Minnesota. Just 90 miles north of Duluth the resort resides on one of the largest pebble beaches on the North Shore

Lutsen Resort

PO Box 9 | 5700 W. Highway 61 

Lutsen, MN 

(800) 218-8589


Looking Forward…Winter State Of Mind: The North Shore

Minnesota’s North Shore: Gunflint Trail’s Annual Biggest Blueberry Contest!

Minnesota’s North Shore: Gunflint Trail’s Annual Biggest Blueberry Contest!

Come to Cook County, on Minnesota’s North Shore, and enter the Gunflint Trail’s annual Biggest Blueberry Contest!

Blueberries, Raspberries and More

Where can you find blueberries, strawberries, chokecherries, pin cherries, raspberries, and thimbleberries growing wild? Cook County, Minnesota is your place! Berry picking is a fun afternoon adventure, and one of the best things to do with kids when you need to slow down for a while. Find, identify and pick wild berries — and just try to save a few for your favorite berry recipe.

June is the month for strawberries. Sweet, tiny, prolific – don’t miss out! Then comes July, with the middle two weeks typically being the best time to gather blueberries. In August, it’s time for chokecherries, pin cherries, raspberries and thimbleberries. When you’re here, just ask your hosts to point you in the right direction, then arm yourself with a pail and enjoy the sweet harvest.

Never eat anything you are unsure of. Always taste test one berry before you toss down a mouthful. Although berry picking is one of many great things to do with kids, NEVER let children pick berries unsupervised. They are more likely to make mistakes in identification and ingest berries they shouldn’t.


Blueberries are the forest fruit that people associate most often with canoe country, and they’re plentiful throughout the region. They like dry, well-drained, rocky soil with good sun and are often found under jack or red pine stands and in recent burns. The plants are a woody shrub, usually less than two feet tall and resemble miniature trees. Blueberries almost always grow in patches from a few individual plants to many square yards in size. If you find one plant, you’ll probably find more.


Next on the list for most folks is raspberries, which are also found throughout canoe country. They like disturbed soil and lots of sunshine. Recent burns and openings in the forest are likely places to look. Along portage trails and around the edge of campsites are good habitats, too.


Thimbleberry, also called salmonberry, is a close cousin to the raspberry. Look for the huge, maple-like leaves that are from 4-8 inches in diameter. The plants are almost always about three feet tall and very bushy. Earlier in the summer, thimbleberry has beautiful white flowers that are very similar to wild rose.


Wild strawberries are a passion for some and the best pickin’ patches are closely guarded secrets. They like well-drained soils and lots of sunshine. You’ll find them in forest openings, along portage trails and around some open campsites. The plants are very small, low to the ground and the berries like to hide beneath the leaves.

These are a few of the fruits and berries you are likely to encounter on your next trip to Cook County. There are many other berries and fruits in the forest – some edible, some not. It is always best to be sure of what you are eating and taste test even if you feel sure. Remember to be a good forest grazer and leave more than you take.



From July 22 – August 14, 2022, take any wild-picked blueberry to one of the many weigh station locations on the Gunflint Trail! The three biggest berries of the summer will receive CASH prizes and bragging rights to all of your friends. Happy picking!

Blueberries in the Gunflint Trail area tend to peak around late July or early August. Wild blueberries are easy to identify, looking much like the grocery store variety, only smaller. The plants are woody shrubs, usually less than two feet tall and resemble miniature trees. They grow best in dry, well drained, rocky soil with good sun and are often found in recent burn areas.

Blueberries will be measured by weight and must be picked fresh and not store bought. CASH prizes awarded to the 3 biggest berries. $100 to the first place winner, $50 to the second place winner, and $25 to the third place winner.

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by Artist Joanne Kollman

Gunflint Trail Minnesota Loon & Chick Giclee Archival Canvas Print Wall Art Décor for Home & Office

2021 Winners & Weights

1st Place: Chris | .41 grams weighed at Gunflint Pines Resort and Campground
2nd Place: Mark | .38 grams weighed at Chik-Wauk Nature Center
3rd Place: Chloe | .37 grams weighed at Chik-Wauk Nature Center

2022 Weigh Stations

Weigh stations will be designated by large road signs at various resorts and locations along the Gunflint Trail.

Golden Eagle Lodge

Bearskin Lodge(opens

Hungry Jack Canoe Outfitters

Nor’Wester Lodge and Outfitters

Poplar Haus

Loon Lake Lodge

Gunflint Lodge

Gunflint Pines Resort and Campground

Tuscarora Lodge and Canoe Outfitters

Voyageur Canoe Outfitters

Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center


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Gunflint Trail

Grand Marais, MN


Lake Superior Art Glass: Design Your Own Custom Ice Cream Dish – Duluth, MN



The Appalachian Trail of the Midwest: Fall Hiking & North Shore Bucket List in Cook County, MN

The Appalachian Trail of the Midwest: Fall Hiking & North Shore Bucket List in Cook County, MN

6 Awe-Filled Cook County Hikes

  1. Hike the Boundary Waters. See the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) as you’ve never seen it before via the Kekekabic, Border Route, Magnetic Rock, and other Gunflint Trail hiking trails at locations like Chik-Wauk Nature Center.
  2. Hike the wildest sections of the 277-mile Superior Hiking Trail, voted #2 in the nation by the readers of Backpacker magazine.
  3. Encounter hundred-mile views of Lake Superior and the Superior National Forest from the peaks of the ancient Sawtooth Mountain Range, like local favorite Oberg Mountain. Along the shore find trails at Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center.
  4. High Falls, the tallest waterfall in Minnesota, plunges 120 feet through a misty, thunderous gorge. Access this beautiful gem at Grand Portage State Park. The trail is paved and barrier-free.
  5. See Isle Royale, the Susie Islands and Grand Portage National Monument from the summit of Mount Rose.
  6. Summit Eagle Mountain, the highest point in Minnesota was named “Best Hiking Trail in Minnesota” by the Star Tribune in 2013.

From stroller-friendly, barrier-free strolls to epic wilderness adventures, Minnesota hiking trails in Lutsen-Tofte-Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail, and Grand Portage will help you find what you’ve been looking for.

Fall: Millions of Colorful Reasons to Visit This Fall

Cook County is the premier destination to view fall colors in Minnesota. Starting in early September, the air turns crisp and clear. Shortly after, the leaves begin to change, color painting the Superior National Forest with a palette of goldenrod, pumpkin orange and firetruck red. For a romantic getaway, escape during the midweek to avoid the fall color crowd – you’ll have the trails to yourselves.

In late fall, a different kind of show begins: the infamous gales of November. This is a chance to get cozy and watch Lake Superior unleash her wild side.

North Shore Fall Bucket List

  1. Embrace your inner leaf-peeper. Marvel at all of the color that nature offers. View the fall colors drive maps.
  2. Look for Northern Lights. Set your eyes to the skies in the evenings. You will see more stars than ever before and, if you are lucky, a glimpse of nature’s light show – aurora borealis. Learn more about the Northern Lights in Cook County.
  3. Go on a “moosefari.” For your best chance of seeing one of the elusive moose, drive the Gunflint Trail National Scenic Byway early in the morning or around dusk. Even if you don’t spy a moose, you’ll see spectacular scenery. Learn more about moose in Cook County.
  4. Paddle the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Fall days are often sunny, mild and bug-free, with cool, clear nights perfect for hot chocolate around the campfire.
  5. Hike the Superior Hiking Trail. Catch spectacular views from numerous peaks along the Sawtooth Mountain Range of Lake Superior and the Superior National Forest in full fall splendor. Learn more about hiking in Cook County.
  6. Golf at Superior National. Open into October, you can get in a few more rounds and view spectacular fall colors by hitting the links at Superior National Golf Course. Learn more about golfing in Cook County.
  7. Find your true colors and get inspired. Shop our local galleries and find artisan crafted gems. Feeling inspired? Take a class at North House Folk School or the Grand Marais Art Colony.
  8. Revel at a festival.
  9. Catch the fall bird migration. The boreal forest is at the heart of the migratory path for numerous bird species. From the peak of a mountain, witness a hawk migration or stay up late and listen for the hoot of an owl. Learn more about the birds in Cook County.
  10. Experience the late fall storm season. Starting in late-October, low-pressure systems from the Arctic swing down over Lake Superior and bump into warmer systems fed by the jet stream. These collisions can spawn ferocious gales. If you get a thrill from waves and wind, Cook County has plenty of snug harbors for storm-watching.

Ojibwe Woven Mats Continue Link between North Shore and Isle Royale – Minnesota

Ojibwe Woven Mats Continue Link between North Shore and Isle Royale – Minnesota

Courtesy of Grand Portage National Monument
Staff from Isle Royale National Park transported five hand-woven mats, called anaakanan in the Ojibwe, or Anishinaabe language, made from cedar and sweetgrass, to Minnesota’s Grand Portage National Monument.


Handwoven mat made of dyed cedar bark strips; black, red, and natural plaid check pattern with medicine eye design. The mat was possibly crafted by Tchi-ki-wis Linklater in 1930. The mat is eight feet long and four feet eight inches wide. (Photo courtesy National Park Service.)                        Jack Linklater and Tchi-ki-wis (Helen), photo courtesy Warren/Anderson Collection, Isle Royale National Park. 


Some of the mats were made in the 1920s and 1930s by Helen Robinson Linklater, Tchi-ki-wis, an Ojibwe woman originally from the Lac La Croix area. Tchi-ki-wis and her husband operated a fishery on Isle Royale between 1927 and 1933, and Tchi-ki-wis often sold mats to tourists. The Linklaters are thought to be the last Native Americans to work and live on Isle Royale.

When the park was formed in the 1940s, island cabin-owner Frank Warren donated an extensive collection of indigenous items to the National Park Service, including the anaakanan. They will now be on an indefinite loan to Grand Portage.

“We wanted all the mats together in one place, especially if we find out that Linklater made them all,” Isle Royale National Park’s chief of Interpretation and Cultural Resources Liz Valencia told WTIP. “It could be the largest collection of hand woven mats by one person in the Great Lakes, or perhaps North America.”

Grand Portage park staff and band members welcome the anaakanan to Grand Portage National Monument on Sept. 11, 2020.
(National Park Service.)

The mats were welcomed to Grand Portage by park staff and band members after a 60-mile voyage aboard the park’s 22-foot boat Wolf from the park’s summer headquarters on Mott Island. Tribal council member John Morrin provided a culturally-appropriate reception. They will join another dozen mats in Grand Portage’s collection, including others by Tchi-ki-wis, four of them also from Isle Royale’s collection.

Experts say the artfully woven mats and their history exemplify the connection between Ojibwe people, who have lived along the North Shore for centuries, and the large island 20 miles off shore.

Last year, the indigenous significance of Isle Royale was recognized by the federal government as a Traditional Cultural Property, noting that people had been living on and visiting the site since long before European immigration.

“[The collection] documents historic connections, and continued modern connections to Isle Royale,” Valencia told WTIP. “This connection is still there today and it’s very strong.”

Detail of a woven mat. (National Park Service)

The mats recently loaned to Grand Portage were made primarily from the inner bark of northern white cedar trees, with one being made from sweetgrass. They were carefully prepared for their journey from Isle Royale to Grand Portage. Park staff consulted with National Park Service experts about the best methods for transport, rolling four of the mats that were flexible enough, and transporting one flat in a cardboard case.

Woven mats served both form and function. They were used on the floors of cabins or tents, as well as when working outdoors. But they also feature traditional designs with important significance.

“Designs were really important, intricate part of those mats,” Valencia said. “They weren’t just making mats to use on the floor, they were works of art.”

More information:


MPR News Zencast: Zen Meditation and the North Shore

MPR News Zencast: Zen Meditation and the North Shore

Follow along to a guided meditation lead by Zen teacher Ben Connelly accompanied by scenes of Minnesota’s North Shore.


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