I admit that Lake Superior has always come to mind before the St. Louis River when I think of bodies of water around Duluth. Yet, the St. Louis River and Lake Superior are closely connected in so many ways. For example, the river is the largest U.S. tributary to the lake.
We learned this fact and many more at the annual St. Louis River Canoe and Kayak Tour and Picnic sponsored by the St. Louis River Alliance, a nonprofit organization tasked to protect, restore and enhance the St. Louis River.
What a great bunch of dedicated people!
Nearly 40 canoes and kayaks, as well as a lone standup paddleboarder with her dog (a black standard poodle by the name of Shade), paddled from the Clyde Ave. boat launch to Indian Point Campground and back.
Along the way, our flotilla stopped and huddled together to hear experts talk about the history, geology, habitat, wildlife, and current projects along the river.
For instance, near the mouth of Knowlton Creek a new water intake and outlet for Spirit Mountain is being installed so city water will no longer be used to make snow.
We also learned about the plan to dredge the mouth of Kingsbury Creek in order to return it to its natural shallow water wildlife habitat after years of erosion and sedimentation.
It delighted Daley to learn that during this past winter, they accidentally found out how thick (or thin) the ice was when they started dredging the small bay east of Tallas Island and the excavator broke through the ice and had to be “rescued” by three bulldozers.
The tour was very educational and allowed our kids to learn about the diverse and evolving river environment in its natural setting.
Daley, when asked what he liked best about the event, answered, “The lunch was goooooooood.”
After the paddle, they served wild rice cranberry brats and veggie burgers, the best homemade baked beans I have ever had, cut up fruits and veggies, and cookies.
Food always seems to be memorable for kids.
Mark your calendars for next August as the tour takes place every year. If you don’t have a canoe, they have a few extra you can use. For more info, check out the St. Louis River Alliance website.
How do you enjoy the St. Louis River? Share your experiences in the comment box below. Thanks!