One of the most interesting stops to make on the Gunflint Trail is the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center.
Located on a bay of Saganaga Lake about 55 miles from Grand Marais, this museum tells the story of the people of the Gunflint Trail.
It may seem like a long drive but the road winds through the boreal forest. You have a good chance to see moose, deer, wolves and other animals of the area.
The museum building has been converted from the old stone main lodge of Chik-Wauk Resort which was built over the winter of 1933-34 after an earlier building burned down.
Now on the National Register of Historic Buildings, the windows, doors, ceilings are all original. The interior consists of sections devoted to the nature environment, the native Americans, the voyagers, the miners, the loggers and the resorters.
Their stories are told through an abundance of historical pictures and current videos.The Gunflint Lodge has been run by the Kerfoot family since 1927.
The museum is now in the process of adding a nature center that will provide space for activities on the natural environment surrounding the museum.
There will be panels devoted to water, weather, mammals, birds, plants, and insects. In addition to looking at the panels, there will also be hands on activities for both kids and adults.
The idea is to teach everyone how much you can learn about this area by looking at it with a few easily obtained skills.
This new section at Chik-Wauk will be opening on Memorial Day Weekend of 2016.
One of the most interesting parts of Chik-Wauk is the extensive hiking trails surrounding the museum. The trails are designed for every ability level from kids to adults to handicapped. The idea is to just get people out into the woods.
The trails give you a chance to view individual plants or two miles down from a cliff.
Wildflowers bloom when they are in season and wild berries give snacks along the way as they ripen.
Be sure to plan any visit to Chik-Wauk with enough time to take a walk in the woods.
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