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Superior National Forest Update - May 10, 2019

Superior National Forest Update
Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update – May 9, 2019.
 
Hi, this is Renee Frahm, Visitor Information Specialist on the Superior National Forest.  After a pretty depressing May snowfall, it looks like things are finally starting to turn away from winter and toward summer.

Trails and roads are still in somewhat lousy, but typical, spring condition, much as they have been for the last several weeks.  Expect soft shoulders along most of the roads, as well as soft spots in the road and possible washouts on the less frequently traveled roads.  There is still a big drift of snow across the Four Mile Grade, so while there is access from both ends, you can’t get through on that road.  Wet soil can also loosen trees, so there are occasional deadfalls across the road, even without high winds.  More frequently on the road though are deer.  Deer love the green grass along the roadsides, and seem to be very abundant this spring.  Friends counted 50 deer by the road when driving from Grand Marais to Silver Bay one night last week.  In the Forest, you may also find moose on the road.  Moose are smart animals, and given the choice between walking on a nice clear road or through brush and old snow in the woods they’ll usually choose the road.  We’ve heard a lot of reports of moose this spring, so keep your eyes peeled for moose, deer, or any other animals on the roadway.

Spring migration of birds is in full force right now.  International Migratory Bird Day is this Saturday, May 11th.  You can celebrate by feeding these hungry migrants.  Be sure to clean your feeders frequently this time of year.  Wet bird seed can go bad and transmit diseases to birds, so keep it dry and empty the wet seed out of your feeders frequently.  Hummingbirds are very close to us now as well.  They usually appear up here around Mother’s Day, which is this Sunday.  I don’t see a lot of flowers blooming, so they are really going to need your help by filling and maintaining your hummingbird feeders.  Be sure to clean these as well and keep them stocked with fresh sugar water.  And, to avoid feeding the bears, take all your feeders in at night and store them in a safe place.

Many of our lakes are open, and we’ve put the docks in at almost all of the Forest Service boat landings.  Some of the lakes are still iced over, but the rest are out in the water.  By the time you hear this broadcast, maybe the other lakes will be open too.  Saturday is fishing opener, so we are hoping for liquid water at all our favorite fishing spots.

Campground water systems though are pretty sensitive to freezing.  We still don’t have the water on at our fee campgrounds, so for now, they are still free campgrounds.  Be aware though that also means they have not been plowed out, and some are still not accessible by car.  You would also be wise to pack along your own toilet paper, just in case.  Garbage is not being picked up either, so you’ll have to follow the ‘pack it in, pack it out’ rule and bring your garbage out of the campground to an appropriate disposal site.

One sign of spring is that hundreds of seedling trees have been delivered to our tree coolers in Tofte, Grand Marais, and Isabella.  Over the next several weeks, contract crews will be planting these trees and creating the forest of the future.  It is always fun on tree delivery day to realize that the brown bag of white pine seedlings you are unloading might become a grove of giant white pines to picnic under, or the site of a bald eagle nest, or in a hundred years or so, it may become the rafters of someone’s home.

May 18th is the date of the running of the Superior Spring Trail Race, which uses the Superior Hiking Trail as their course.  Runners will be leaving from Caribou Highlands Lodge at 7 am that day, and you can expect to encounter runners on the Hiking Trail in that area throughout the day.  For more information and maps, visit the Superior Spring Trail Race’s website.

It looks like we are in for some nice weather, so whether you are running in the woods, listening to spring peepers, or doing some early season camping, it’s going to be a good week to get out and enjoy the Forest.  Maybe you’ll even take your Mom fishing on Saturday or on a picnic on Sunday.  Good luck fishing and I hope you have a Happy Mother’s Day. 

Until next time, this is Renee Frahm with the National Forest Update.
 

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