10/12/18 – After 4″ of wet sloppy snow a week ago today, we’ve had a good amount of rain and a few dusting of snow leading to higher than normal water levels for this late in the season. To add to the fall fun, temperatures have been quite chilly as of late. Lows in the 20’s and highs in the 30’s mean proper clothing to keep you warm and dry is a must.
With consistent freezing temps, especially overnight, we had to quickly scramble to turn off our outdoor water yesterday (including the shower house and laundry) to avoid broken pipes. The campground water remains on, but the Forest Service is scheduled to turn it off sometime today. If you plan to stay in the campground yet this fall, be sure to bring your own water or have a plan to treat/filter it from the lake. On the plus side, there is no charge for camping after the water is turned off. If you reserved a site ahead of time you can request a refund by logging back onto your recreation.gov account or calling 877-444-6777. Stay warm! -Jessica
The 4″ of snow we received last week quickly melted throughout the day, but the most recent dustings have been able to hold strong in shaded areas.
When the clouds finally broke yesterday I was able to get outside for an afternoon grouse hunt. I didn’t see any grouse, but the tamaracks and sunshine made the hike more than worth it.
10/6/18 – Sawbill customers Rose and Jordan recently became engaged to be married while paddling in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. They shared the following tid bit with us along with the photo.
“We started dating 6 1/2 years ago. Our first trip to the BWCA was in Spring 2012. We have been going to different areas in the BWCA yearly ever since. The BWCA gave us space and time to get to know each other and discover how well we work together as a team. Jordan proposed on Cherokee Lake on an island campsite. We will continue coming back to the BWCA every year! “
Congratulations and we wish you many more Wilderness trips together.
10/1/18- One of the more popular hiking attractions on this part of the shore is Carlton Peak. It’s a crew favorite and should definitely be on your list. The trail is best accessed 2 miles up from Tofte on the Sawbill Trail at the Britton peak trailhead. It’s a short 1.5 mile hike to the summit with 550 feet vertical elevation gain. The summit itself sits 924 feet above the lake and offers a commanding view of the shore from north to south.
Stop on by and let us know where your adventures are taking you!
9/29/18- The BWCA saw its first snow of the fall last night and into this morning. We were greeted with 29 degree temperatures and a light dusting on the leaves. The day has turned bright and sunny, melting the remnants of last nights storm. With the newly welcomed snow I thought it would be a good time to remind folks of the importance of wearing appropriate layers and life vests as the weather and water cools. Canoeing in the shoulder seasons can be rewarding with the spectacular colors and lack of traffic but there is also increased risk. Keep your life vest on at all times while on the water and wear layers that will insulate when wet like wool and synthetic blends.
9/27/2018- The north shore has more to offer than just recreation opportunities and outstanding natural beauty. There are also a multitude of neat shops, restaurants and community events to occupy ones times. Recently the Sawbill crew went down to the Birch grove school in Tofte for a woodfired pizza night.
Trevor Huggins of Good Hearth Breads’ stayed open a bit later than usual to welcome the crew after closing up for the night around the store. He runs a permanent wood fired oven at the Birch Grove school in Tofte once a week from June through the end of September. The crust, sauce and cheese is provided. All you have to do is bring your own toppings and a suggested donation of 5 dollars per 11 inch pizza. It’s a fun family oriented atmosphere.
This is one of many treasures you can find along the shore. Make sure you check out the community events calendar before your visit!
9/23/18- There has been an increase in moose sightings around the Sawbill area over the past few days. Anywhere from the local lakes to the trail itself, they’ve been making appearances. Fall and the cooler temps are a signal for them to begin their rutting cycle. Rutting moose tend to be more active, covering larger areas than normal looking for a mate. It’s an especially good time to observe younger bulls as they try to carve out a more permanent home area for themselves. While out in the woods this time of year it’s prudent to be aware of your surroundings. Rutting moose show less fear towards humans and have a tendency to defend their territory. It’s especially important to keep your distance and be aware of your surroundings. Safe encounters can add that much extra excitement to your boundary waters or superior national forest experience.
9/21/2018- Exciting news from the Sawbill trail! Owners Clare and Dan Shirley have welcomed another addition to their family. Sigurd Theodore Shirley was born in the very early hours of Sunday September 16th. He’s a happy, healthy little lunker at 20.5 inches and just over 9 pounds.
9/17/18- It’s hard to believe we are already over halfway through September. Lingering summer like temperatures are giving way to cooler days and canoe trippers are pleased. Weekend entry permits still may need a reservation but the weekdays are opening up.
This is the time of year we get a ton of calls from folks looking for leaf color updates. Luckily, crew member Claire and I were able to sneak away from Sawbill duties for a color scouting mission. We drove along the Honeymoon Trail which is the last road on the right before the pavement turns to gravel on the Sawbill trail. The color was phenomenal on the higher ridges and just starting along the trail itself.
In case you’re having a bad day, here is a picture of Huckleberry.
9/14/18- Despite the deceptively summer-like temperatures, the changes in the leaves around the canoe yard are getting more apparent by the day. The underbrush is yellowing and the white pine are dropping needles. It won’t be long until we see full blown fall colors on the trail.
If you’re planning a leafing trip around Minnesota, a good reference is the Minnesota department of Natural resources fall color finder. It’s an interactive map on their website that shows the progress of leaf color throughout the state, among other resources. It will be updated every Wednesday until the end of October.
In other notable Sawbill news, the fishing is starting to pick up. Walleye are being caught fairly regularly in daylight hours and the smallmouth haven’t quite headed out to deeper water yet. Fall fishing can be incredibly productive as fish try to pack on the pounds before winter sets in. The fishing heats up as the water cools down.
9/11/18- If you were lucky enough to stumble down to the Sawbill dock last night at about 3 a.m. you could’ve seen a legendary northwoods show. The clouds disappeared and the northern lights came out. With the naked eye we couldn’t discern much color, however, the pulsating and spiking was fairly active for a little while.
The boundary waters is a great place to be if you’re planning on doing some aurora viewing. The lack of light pollution is key.