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Northern Wilds May 2018

And your favorite waterfall is…

If you enjoy exploring the North Shore’s many waterfalls, you’re in luck. Mother Nature decided to delay spring for a few weeks this year, leaving the waterfalls frozen in winter’s icy grip. As this issue goes to press, Mother Nature has turned up spring to full volume. The snow is melting. Waterfalls are beginning to roar. May should offer outstanding waterfall viewing.

Where should you begin? Let us suggest the High Falls of the Pigeon River in Grand Portage State Park. Situated on the boundary between the U.S. and Canada, at 120 feet, High Falls is considered the highest waterfall in Minnesota. It is also among the most loved. In a recent Waterfall Face-Off online contest sponsored by Visit Cook County, High Falls emerged as the clear winner from a field of 16 waterfalls. But we’ll let you in on a little secret: every waterfall in the contest is well-worth visiting this spring. Just go to to download a waterfall map you can use to plan your adventure.

While the water is running in the rivers, it’s a toss-up if the lakes will be open in time for the Minnesota general fishing opener on May 12. A later than average ice-out is assured; just how late is the question. Late winter accounts of ice nearly four feet thick means that even with warm temperatures, ice-out may be slow in coming. To prime the pump for anglers, we’ve included some fishing stories in this issue. Ali Juten introduces us to a form of fishing that is popular elsewhere, but new to the Northern Wilds: bowfishing for carp and suckers. Joe Shead of Two Harbors, in his first piece for Northern Wilds, describes some of his opening day mishaps, which were funny, provided you weren’t in the boat with him. Gord Ellis explains how to catch northern pike in the spring; a time when you can have some of the best action (and best eating) of the year. Ellis was recently inducted in the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. We have a report on that, too.

Local history is popular with our readers. Two stories in this issue are related to new books coming out this spring. We interviewed Northern Wilds contributor Kathy Toivonen and her co-author Kim Manduca about their ambitious project to chronicle the historic communities associated with the railways of Northwestern Ontario. Elle Andra-Warner looks at the story of Northeastern Minnesota’s seven iron men: the Merritt brothers who discovered the Mesabi Iron Range. She talks with Grant Merritt, the grandson of brother Alfred, about his new book, which tells of his family’s history as well as his own efforts to protect Minnesota’s environment.

As always, our contributors seek out what is new and different. Chuck Viren explains how ultralight gear can take pounds out of your backpack. Maren Webb checks out new restaurants on the Gunflint Trail and in Thunder Bay. Javier Serna sips some new brews in Superior. Kelsey Roseth reports on a new movie that was filmed on the North Shore. Kim Casey writes about a new co-op serving the community of Dorion. Think of this issue as a spring bouquet of stories and photos. We hope you have as much fun reading this issue as we did putting it together for you.Shawn Perich and Amber Pratt

Past Issues


Northern Wilds April 2018


Northern Wilds March 2018


Northern Wilds February 2018



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