Black Bears On the Gunflint Trail

May 24, 2019

Written By: Joseph Friedrichs

Many people who visit the Gunflint Trail hope to spot some of the unique local wildlife when they arrive. Rightfully so, as our location here in northeastern Minnesota is home to all manner of wildlife, including lynx, moose, wolves and many other four-legged critters.

Here at Gunflint Lodge, one of our favorite animals roaming the local forests is the black bear. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), there are roughly 12,000-15,000 black bears across the state. They range in size and even color, with some bears having lighter colored fur and others sporting a sharp black hue for their coat. And they’re no strangers in our woods, as many of the bears in Minnesota reside right here in our spectacular boreal forests.

With Memorial Day Weekend and the summer season fast approaching, many of our resident black bears are now exploring the forests and shorelines of our abundant lakes and rivers in the area. The DNR reminds us that black bears usually try to avoid people, but sometimes they do come into conflict with humans at campsites or public campgrounds. Indeed, we’ve even had black bears sighted on our property on the shores of Gunflint Lake.

With a few safety reminders, most conflicts involving bears can be easily avoided on the Gunflint Trail. These include making noise when hiking down our many nearby hiking trails, not leaving food or garbage outside your cabin or tent and respecting a bear’s space if you are lucky enough to spot on during your visit to the Gunflint.

We consider our local wildlife a treasure on the Gunflint Trail. Not everyone gets to see a moose. Not everyone has the opportunity to hear wolves howling, or to look at the night skies and view the Northern Lights. Likewise, not everyone gets to see a bear when they come for a canoe trip or overnight night stay at Gunflint Lodge. But many do, and even the potential for this to happen is part of the magic that makes our home so amazing.

So with Memorial Day Weekend and the splendor of summer soon upon us, we look forward to talking some wildlife sightings with you soon at Gunflint Lodge!