What’s Winter Doing on the Gunflint Trail?

The Gunflint Trail hasn’t been exempt from the unseasonably warm weather that’s swept across the Midwest the past couple weeks. This weekend, temperatures soared to the 50s on the upper Gunflint Trail and that leaves us in a strange limbo season: not quite winter, but definitely not quite spring either. Until we hear winter’s final death knell, we’re planning to wring as much winter recreation as we can out of this fleeting season. We’ll just be wearing sunscreen and sunglasses a little more often than we’ve been in the last couple months.

Winter campers are still heading out into the Boundary Waters. One group this past weekend landed 17 lake trout on Tuscarora Lake and also caught a brook trout as they passed through Missing Link Lake.


We fished Seagull Lake on Friday and while we weren’t quite as successful as the Tuscarora group, we did manage to get a couple lake trout on the ice.


The snow layer has melted off the lakes’ surfaces, which makes travel across the lakes very easy. It’s nice not to hassle with snowshoes, although you’ll want those if you’re traveling through the woods since the snow is a little punchy off of packed trails. (If you’re a cross country skier, Bearskin Lodge is reporting “surprisingly good” ski conditions.) We’re planning to take advantage of the smooth sailing this week to get some ice fishing in on the western end of Seagull Lake. A couple evening cookouts on Missing Link are on the docket too.


No doubt it will be an earlier ice out than we’ve had the last couple springs, but we believe the lakes will be safe to traverse at least until lake trout season closes on March 31st. The cool down (and grey skies) predicted for this week should help maintain the ice, so barring a string of 70 degree days, we will not be beating 2012’s record ice out dates this year.

We drilled a hole in Round Lake yesterday (Sunday, March 13) and found 21 inches of ice. There’s about 4 inches of slush on top, with about 17 inches of ice underneath.


Until the ice is off the lakes, we wish you Bon Hiver!