Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sugarloaf: Despite the shutdown, your own North Shore state park

Margie Menzies, amazing summer naturalist at Sugarloaf Cove
Minnesota State Parks are closed this week. And probably next week, too. If you're on the North Shore and you need your state park fix, head for Sugarloaf Cove. You'll find a hiking trail, quiet Lake Superior beaches, interpretive programs, and one super summer naturalist at the heart of it all. 

Sugarloaf Cove is a state scientific and natural area; it's managed by a private nonprofit organization, so it's still open despite the state government shutdown.

Here are four reasons why you need to go to Sugarloaf Cove now:
  1. It's open! You don't have to park along Highway 61 and climb over the barricades to reach Sugarloaf, just enter the parking lot at mile marker 73.3 west of Schroeder. 
  2. It has a great one-mile interpretive trail. Learn about historic log rafting, ancient geology. and current ecological restoration, then hang out on a quiet cobblestone beach.
  3. Margie Menzies. Margie is the summer naturalist on site, and brings decades of natural history and education experience. She can answer nearly any question you might have about the North Shore, from boulders and basalt to black-throated blue warblers. Check out the Sugarloaf website for her regularly scheduled interpretive programs.
  4. New path! Follow the new trail straight from the parking lot to the "nature center." It leads right into the woods and across a fancy new bridge.
New bridge at Sugarloaf
We'll get Gooseberry, Tettegouche and Cascade back soon enough. For now, check out the wonders of Sugarloaf Cove.

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