Hello, this is Jon Benson, Recreation Specialist for the Tofte and Gunflint Ranger Districts, with the Halloween edition of the Superior National Forest Update. Here is what’s going on that may affect travel and recreation on the Tofte and Gunflint Districts of the Forest over this first weekend of November.
Halloween night, you might expect some zombies, ghosts, and goblins out on the roads. Drive safely; some of those ghouls are likely to dart out into the roadway without looking. Remember that no motorized use is permitted in the Boundary Waters even during a zombie apocalypse. We would also like to encourage people to be safe on the roads and plan your transportation options before you go to Halloween parties. Many costumes may make you appear to be silly, but that is not excuse for acting silly when it comes to drinking and driving. And speaking of parties, it is likely that people may be planning to recreate on the National Forest this weekend, here are a few tips to help keep you safe while protecting area natural resources:
- Be careful with fires. If you are planning to have a fire, make sure that you remove all fuels surrounding the fire site and make sure the fire is dead out and cool to the touch before leaving the site.
- Please clean up after yourselves. If you plan to hang out on the National Forest, please leave the area better then you found it.
If any of the parents that are listening could help spread these two messages to your kids, you can help make this Halloween a fun and safe experience.
In addition to the trick or treating traffic, you can expect logging traffic in the same areas as last week. On the Gunflint District: the Bally Creek Road, Devil Track Road, Ball Club Road, Shoe Lake Road, Greenwood Road, Pine Mountain Road, The Grade, Gunflint Trail, Swamp Lake Road, Cascade River Road, Cook County 7 and Cook County 45 are all being used for hauling. The Tofte District is currently less busy, with truck traffic on the Mark Lake Road, Caribou Trail, and Cook County 3. Rifle season for deer hunting starts on November 8th, so you may see hunters prepping for the season out on the roads. Before you get carried away with the hammer and screw gun, remember that all deer stands on the National Forest must be temporary and removed at the end of the season.
Fire crews are burning brush piles in gravel pits at several locations through the Forest. The Caribou, Airport, and Pike Lake pit will, weather depending, be burned this week, and possibly others as well. There are a few other locations at timber sales that may also have slash burned over the next week.
November is our cloudiest and windiest month, and with possible rain and snow, hypothermia is a real concern. People dress for winter when snow is on the ground, but they may be less likely to think of cold when it still looks like fall. If you are with someone who gets truly hypothermic, remember that their body is beyond the point of being able to reheat itself. More layers at that point don’t really help, you need to do something to heat them from the outside - get to a heated vehicle, or bundle with them inside a coat or blanket and use your heat to warm them. Prevention is best however. When you head out, make sure your group is prepared for falling temperatures and the possibility of getting wet. That way you can best enjoy this time of year between bug dope and snow shovels.
Have a good Halloween, and until next week, this has been Jon Benson with the National Forest Update.