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Superior National Forest Update: October 3

USDA_SNF_Update_Cable_20141003.mp34.25 MB

Hello.  This is Suzanne Cable, Assistant District Ranger for Recreation and Wilderness, with the Superior National Forest Update, providing you with information on conditions affecting travel and recreation on the Tofte and Gunflint Districts of the Forest.  For the week of October 3rd, here’s what’s going on around the Forest.
It is October, with the emphasis being on the adapting to autumn weather conditions.  Temperatures are going down into the thirties at night, and we’ve been having some wet weather.  This kind of damp cold can lead to hypothermia.  Often people who know how to dress well for twenty below may forget to add layers and raingear when it doesn’t seem quite so cold.  Hunters that are quietly waiting for game are particularly prone to getting chilled, so please do your best to dress warmly, and don’t ignore signs of hypothermia just to stay a “little while longer” at your stand, or check out “just one more spot” for a grouse.  The first signs of hypothermia to be alert for include shivering, dizziness, fatigue and confusion.
While you’re out driving in the Forest, you could encounter logging trucks and timber operations on the Gunflint District around Bally Creek, Devil Track, Ball Club, Shoe Lake, Greenwood, Pine Mountain, The Grade, Gunflint Trail, Swamp Lake Road, Cascade River Road and Cook County 7 and 45.  On the Tofte end, visitors can expect hauling on Cook County 3 near Vyre Lake, on the Grade, and 4 Mile Grade.  Almost everywhere, you might encounter other visitors looking at the fall foliage.  If you’re the one doing the leaf looking, please make sure to be aware of other drivers and pull off the road in safe locations to let others pass.  Slow driving is especially important this time of year.  Rains have led to some soft roads in places and there is a lot of washboarding over a great deal of the road system.
We’d also like to remind people that fall is the time that many small birds flock along roadsides during their migration.  Unfortunately, when spooked by a car, they fly across the road at grill level.  Save your grill and the birds by slowing down on the back roads.
October means that the Tofte and Gunflint Ranger Stations will no longer be open on weekends.  We’re still here Monday through Friday, 8:00 - 4:30.  Also starting in October, you no longer need an overnight reserved permit for trips into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  You still need to fill out a free self-issued permit available at most entry points or at our offices.  Those permits help us keep track of visitation and are an important part of managing the Boundary Waters.
If you’re planning a camping trip outside of the Boundary Waters, be aware that our fee campgrounds will have the water shut off and garbage pick-up halted starting October 15th.  You can still camp at the campgrounds, but you will have to supply your own water and carry out your trash.  It is also the month that docks start to be removed from lakes for the winter, so get out soon for your last couple of fall fishing trips.
I hope you enjoy what could be the peak of the fall colors this week, and until next week, this has been Suzanne Cable with the Superior National Forest Update.