Thursday, September 6, 2012

Grand Portage State Park: September 1, 2012

After our harrowing experience at Judge C.R. Magney State Park, and our glute-conditioning hike up to Mount Rose, it was convenient that the next State Park on the list would have a completely handicap-accessible Hiking Club Trail.  I felt as if my legs were going to fall off.  If Joe needed to push me around the trail in a wheelbarrow, the option was there.

Grand Portage State Park is literally a stones throw from the border.  We actually drove right by the park entrance at first and wound up having to make a U-turn at the "LAST TURNAROUND BEFORE BORDER" right in front of the customs station.  We hoped that we did not look suspicious.

Aw yeah.  Railings and boardwalks.  Just what the doctor ordered.

Grand Portage State Park is co-managed by the DNR (Department of Natural Resources here in Minnesota) and the Grand Portage Ojibwe community.  It is the only U.S. State Park that is jointly managed by the US government and a Native American band, and the only park in MN that is not owned by the state.  We didn't have a lot of time to look around - we were making a run for the border, after all - but what we saw was pretty impressive.  Beautiful visitor center...and, of course, those pleasant walkways.

What would a Minnesota State Park be without a waterfall?

United States on the left, Canada on the right

The Pigeon River is the natural border between the United States and Canada in these parts.  The Pigeon River Falls are pretty high - 70 feet - but they're not entirely within the state of Minnesota.  The "highest waterfall in Minnesota" award goes to the aptly named High Falls in Tettegouche, which we found on the trip in which we COULDN'T find the Hiking Club Trail.

Call out the guard!!!!

What's this???  There's a guy in the river just downstream from the waterfall.  Is he trying to illegally cross the border?  What's he going to do when he gets to Canada (or the US, I guess)?  He's got nothing but a pair of shorts.  Whoever he was or whatever his plans were, we wished him well.

Memory Lane, USA

After our one mile Hiking Club hike, we felt prepared to exit the USA and enter Canada.  We had hiked 2.5 difficult miles at Judge C.R. Magney State Park, one steep mile at Mount Rose, and now a nice cooldown mile at Grand Portage.  That's enough for one day.

Total miles hiked today: (this park) 1
Total miles hiked (in 2012): 115.2

Total ticks today: Joe - 0; Thunderdog - n/a; Elly - 0
Total ticks (in 2012): 48

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