Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2010-11

The past two nights Noelle and I had the opportunity to attend the Banff Mountain Film Festival's Duluth stop over at the Marshall School. After last year's slate of films we were excited, and while this years' were not as good as last, they were still pretty impressive. Our favorite of the films that we watched was, surprisingly, a film on fly fishing on a remote Russian peninsula. The most disappointing film of the two nights was the caving film. Watching a movie about a few guys doing a recreational caving trip just isn't really all that exciting. If the film festival comes to your neighborhood, be sure to check it out.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


First real snowfall of the season today. Parker and I celebrated by going for a walk in the St. Scholastica woods.

Woke up to the sight of a big buck in the next-door neighbors' yard.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Copper Falls State Park and Potato River Falls

Tyler Fork Cascades
It was a beautiful day in the Northland today, so naturally Noelle, Parker and I had to get outside to enjoy it.While we didn't make it over to Wisconsin yesterday, we did today and enjoyed our visit to the wonderful Copper Falls State Park. When we got to the trail-head for the start of our hike we unfortunately noticed signs informing us that dogs are not allowed on the trails of our intended hike. As a result we headed to a different part of the park to hike to Red Granite Falls.
Red Granite Falls
The hike was pleasant and the falls, more like large rapids, were quite interesting. After relaxing at the falls for a few minutes we headed back to the car.
 It was a round trip hike of 2.5 miles.

Brownstone Falls

Copper Falls
From there we drove back to the original trail-head. Parker had gotten some exercise and with cool temperatures we felt safe leaving him in the car, parked in the shade with the windows cracked open. The hike along the gorge of the Bad River and Tyler Fork was amazing. So far this is my favorite spot in Wisconsin. There is a deep gorge with lots of cascades and several waterfalls. We stopped at many different overlooks and checked out the many different views before completing our 1.8. mile loop on the Doughboys Trail. When we returned to the car Parker was happy to see us. 

From Copper Falls State park we headed north up state highway 169 to the Potato River and a small county park located at some falls there. Parker got to go on the short hikes to the falls overlooks. Our first hike was a long descent to the bottom of the Lower Falls.
Potato Falls
Then we had a tough hike up to the rim of the gorge where we hiked over to the Upper Falls.
Upper Potato Falls

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Kingsbury Creek Trail and "DWP" Trails

Today Noelle and I had originally planned to head east into Wisconsin to do some hiking at Copper Falls State Park and nearby Potato Falls County Park. Unfortunately, we got a late start this morning and so we changed our plans. Instead of heading into Wisconsin we opted to stay closer to home. With the start of Minnesota deer season we decided a hike within Duluth city limits would be our safest bet and so we headed to the Kingsbury Creek trail-head to hike a portion of the "DWP Trail" from near the zoo eastward.

When we got to the trail, we were quickly distracted by the sound of cascading water on Kingsbury Creek and decided to followed the Kinsbury Creek Trail which was blazed with red metal disks. We first followed a spur of the trail which led around the perimeter of the chain link fence surrounding the Lake Superior Zoo. This spur trail dead ended at Grand Avenue and we were forced to retrace our steps back to the "DWP Trail".

From here we followed the main Kingsbury Creek Trail as the creek itself cascaded down to Lake Superior and formed small waterfalls.

Eventually we arrived at a junction with a snowmobile trail and the Superior Hiking Trail. Our trail veered of the SHT and soon headed into some young woods with small trees and a lot of grass.

The trail here began to get fainter and fainter and soon disappeared completely. I knew the Superior Hiking Trail lay uphill and so we bushwacked a short distance to the SHT which led us back to Kingsbury Creek and a rather impressive series of cascades complete with a few icicles left over from yesterday's cold.

We followed the combined SHT/Kinsbury Creek Trail downstream on the opposite side of the creek to the DWP rail bed.

Since we still had plenty of daylight left we decided to follow the "DWP Trail" east, which had been our original plan. The trail here was vastly less interesting than the sections we had hiked to the west, but I think that it could make a good section of the Lakewalk extension which is planned to head west from Canal Park.