What’s Going on in the North Woods
- Around The Base
- The Fishing Corner
- The Scouter’s Scene
- More Great Information
This newsletter is designed to help keep you current on the issues of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Quetico Provincial Park, to give you information on Williams and Hall Outfitters, and to share some of our knowledge and love of the outdoors and the wilderness around us. We hope you enjoy these articles and share them with your friends.
Around The Base
This month, we thought we would tell you a little about our town – Ely, MN.
All of our visitors each summer pass through the town of Ely (pronounced E – lee). In fact they will pass through it twice, coming and going. Luckily, it has not become a Myrtle Beach or Jackson, Wyoming, but it is a touristy town and deserves a pat on the back from one of her canoe outfitters.
Ely is the crown jewel of Minnesota’s Iron Range. The resource rich Iron Range stretches from Duluth on the East to Grand Rapids on the West. In its heyday, the “Range” split itself between the iron ore and timber businesses. There was no such thing as a tourism industry. Fishing was something that was done with your grandson on a Saturday. The little town of Winton, had 6 working sawmills just by itself. The Ely-Winton area was one of the most bustling areas of the state. The miners were of mid- European background and the loggers were Scandinavian, mostly Finlanders. This mix, as one can imagine, led to a very lively and diverse social intercourse.
From this wild and baudy beginning emerged present day Ely, complete with one of the country’s premier outdoor destinations. While the iron and timber industries still exist, tourism is now a big part of the mix. You will now find a wide mix of tourist stores where sundry and hardware stores once stood.
Many of Williams and Hall guests will come off the water on the last day of their Boundary Waters canoe trips and head for a fun night in town before they bed down in our lodge. Ely is less than a half hour away. So this is very doable. Perhaps dinner will be at a fast food emporium or a more refined eatery, there is something for everyone. You will also find many souvenir and t-shirt shops along Sheridan Street.
In the summer, Tuesday nights are special. We call it Tuesday night live and there are 4 or 5 different venues that host free open air concerts for resident and visitor alike. This is preceded by a local farmer’s market as well. The 4th of July Parade is one of the biggies of the summer in Ely. It is followed up two weeks later by the coup de gras of the Ely summer season. The Blueberry Arts Festival, is always held on the third weekend in July. It goes from Friday through Sunday and is accompanied by many fun activities. Lots of our guests try to catch it coming or going on their trips.
The summer wraps up with the Harvest Moon Festival in September, a miniature version of the Blueberry Festival. At any rate, be sure to allow for a little walking around time in Ely when you come for your canoe trip. Also if you have any time available, the North American Bear Center, International Wolf Center, Dorothy Molter Museum, and Sudan Underground Mine State Park are close at hand and worth the time.
The Fishing Corner
Dave Sebesta is our resident fishing guru. He lives year round on Moose Lake and knows Boundary Waters fishing like few others. Dave usually writes the Fishing Corner but he on a fishing trip right now. So we thought you might just like to look at some pictures of big fish caught in the BWCA and Quetico. Enjoy!
The Scouter’s Scene
A recent article noted what to look for in choosing a great Boy Scout Troop. The list was somewhat long and complete. A few of the key items on the list were:
- The troop has a minimum of 25 nights of camping.
- Leaders are proficient in outdoor skills
Scouters can use high adventure trips to help achieve both of these goals. A five day high adventure paddling trip to the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area is a great way for your troop to get in several camping days and nights. And, there is no better way for a scout leader to hone his or her outdoor skills than be in the wilderness on a camping trip.
There is still time to work with Williams and Hall to create a 2016 high adventure and to help make your troop a great one.
It’s Time to Secure Your 2016 Permits for Boundary Waters and Quetico
Quetico Park permits are available no sooner than 5 months, to the day, ahead of the actual start date and Boundary Waters permits are available for application now. All BWCA permits became available first come, first serve in late January.
Remember…We are happy to secure your Canoe Country permits at no extra charge!
Spring Has Arrived in BWCA Canoe Country!
We look forward to helping you plan your 2016 Boundary Waters Paddling Adventure!
From your friends at Williams and Hall,
Charlene, Blayne, Dave and Kevin
Williams and Hall Outfitters and Canoe Adventures