A great walk, one worth each and every step. There are the huge cedars and yellow birch, a beautiful maple-birch dominated forest (will be spectacular in the fall), the Manitou River, Beaver Valley and all its lilies, Indian pipes, morning glories, lady slippers, and grape vines, as well as magnetic and layered igneous rocks, potholes, vesicle cylinders, and a spectacular red debris flow–a “wow” day for sure.
This hike begins in the parking lot at George H. Crosby Manitou State Park. The park is named, in part, for the man who is best known for developing the iron ore deposits on the Mesabi and Cuyuna Iron Ranges. The other part of the name, Manitou, which is Ojibwe for Great Spirit, is the name of the river that cuts through the park. The Great Spirit is the center of everything, and the river is certainly the center of this park. The park now includes over 8,500 acres of gorgeous woodlands, and in much of it there are old-growth hardwoods and cedars. The ages of some trees within the park have been determined; yellow birch are as much as 400 years old, cedars up to 300, and maples over 200! On the hike today we will see many of these truly ancient wonders.
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