Monday, May 2, 2016

Voyageurs National Park: Beaver Pond Overlook Trail

Today Noelle, Sierra and I decided that we needed to take advantage of some beautiful spring weather and explore our new northern Minnesota home a bit. We opted to head down to the Kabetogama Lake area of Voyageurs National Park to do some exploring. Our first stop was the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center. It's closed this time of the year, but with keys to the building I was able to open it up and show Noelle and Sierra around a bit. We also explored the grounds surrounding the visitor center. There are a few historic buildings near the visitor center including an old ranger station that is now used as a residence,
historic house
an oil house, warehouse, boathouse, stone retaining wall and boat basin
Looking over Kabetogama Lake
on stairs
constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

There is also a beaver lodge built into the bank of the lake just outside the visitor center.
bank beaver lodge
We saw a lot of turtles swimming around in the lake near the beaver lodge.
turtle on log
From the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center we headed south to Ash River. We ate a picnic lunch at a table
eating lunch at Ash River 2
behind the visitor center there; the old Meadwood Lodge. We were joined for lunch by a red squirrel who seemed to be eating the bark off of a birch tree.
red quirrel in tree
There is a great view of Kabetogama Lake from the picnic area
at Ash River
and a nice sand beach to throw rocks from.
splash
I found lots of crayfish parts scattered along the beach,
crayfish
probably from birds catching them and dropping them on rocks to get to the meat inside.

After leaving our picnic site, we headed back towards Highway 53. Along the way we stopped at the Beaver Pond Overlook Trail to do a short hike.
Beaver Pond Overlook trail
Like advertised, the trail leads to an overlook of a beaver pond,
Noelle and Sierra at overlook
beaver pond
complete with a few beaver lodges. After admiring the view for a few minutes we retraced our steps back to the parking lot.
walking back

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