2023 Gunflint Trail Canoe Races result in exciting upset
Gunflint Lake Property Owners Association

2023 Gunflint Trail Canoe Races result in exciting upset

Press release and images provided by the Gunflint Lake Property Owners Association.

The predicted rain never came, but several hundred friends, neighbors and guests on the Gunflint Trail were there July 19 for the 2023 Gunflint Trail Canoe Races. They came to Gunflint Lodge to support their favorite racers and the Gunflint Trail Fire Department. For the 44th time, this annual event raised substantial funds from raffles, t-shirts, caps, and food sales.

The funds raised will be used to support the volunteer EMTs, EMRs, fire trucks, ambulances and three Fire Halls along the Gunflint Trail.

“We always appreciate the hard work and contributions of the many volunteers and visitors who help us improve the fire department and rescue squad every year,” noted Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jim Morrison.

The 18 different canoe races for multiple ages and abilities provided the action the crowd came for, and they cheered on their favorites. After an exciting re-play of the women’s Gunnel Pumping race, a combination team of racers with Tuscarora and Hungry Jack Outfitters took the coveted Trail Cup.

Menogyn was second and Voyageurs Canoe Outfitters, last year’s champs, came in third. In the food tent, a variety of burgers, brats and all the trimmings, supplied by the Gunflint Lodge culinary team, were grilled, and served by volunteers from all the lakes on the Trail. Another sell-out was the snappy souvenir Canoe Races t-shirt, while many visitors walked away with dashing Gunflint Trail Fire Department caps.

The two raffles ticket tumblers were well stuffed when the winners were drawn by an earnest youngster. The winner of the Kestrel-120 By Current Design Kayak was Sandy Ramy of The Pines Resort on Gunflint Lake. She was totally surprised and thrilled to win when it arrived at The Pines’ beach.

The winner of the cozy queen-size “Northern Connections” quilt made by the Gunflint Trail Stitchers, was Kevin Gustafson, a guest at Heston’s Border Lodge, also on Gunflint Lake. The quilt front depicted our Northwoods icons and neighbors while the back was themed “Contrary Husband and Ornery Wife!” Cozy indeed.

An active steering committee, The Friends of The Gunflint Trail Fire Department, organized the 2023 Gunflint Trail Canoe Races. WTIP-North Shore Radio, broadcasting live from the Races, and Visit Cook County helped make the event a resounding success again this year.

As this year’s overall chairman, Craig Kirchhoff, president of Gunflint Lake Property Owners Assn., concluded, “the Canoe Races are an all-Trail effort and chance for the entire community to be together for a good cause. We had dozens of volunteers helping in so many ways. Our goal is to make life in the wilderness a great experience for residents and visitors alike.”