Big Bog State Recreation Area

DAY 1: February 12, 2016

We traveled about 4.5 hours up to Waskish Minnesota for our second snowshoe trip up North. Big Bog is located on Upper Red Lake, the biggest lake in Minnesota with 444 square miles. Upon arrival, the weather was a bit cold, high of 0° and it got down to -15°. Our camper cabin, unit C3, greeted us with a warm, heated, welcome. These camper cabins are equipped with electricity, heat, beds, and a table. However, we can not cook inside. So, we layered up and started a big fire to cook our food. Now the only down fall of our location: the main road is very close so we could hear cars drive by.  After dinner, we decided to have some hot chocolate and played some clue. We picked up the board game in one of the small towns that we encountered in our way up. Then off to bed after 3 rounds of clue.

DAY 2: February 13, 2016

Woke up early and did some journaling. I made some coffee and I started planning for our next adventure. Love having some time to myself in the mornings. Around 11:30a.m. or so, it was time to make another fire for our brunch. We need fuel for our hike today! One of the park rangers gave us a map upon arriving and we decided that we wanted to do the Boardwalk (there wasn't many hiking trails on the map) which we had to drive about 9 miles to get to it. On the map, it says that the boardwalk is about a mile long, meaning that it will only be a 2 mile hike today. 2 miles long that left us sore! The snow was deep, giving us a hard workout. It was absolutely beautiful out. Sunny and blue skies. It was 12° but with the windchill it was -4°. 

There was a snowshoe group activity that the park was hosting today. When we arrived, a park ranger was struggling to put on her snowshoes and older gentleman (park ranger's father later we found out) was sitting on a log and maintaining the fire to keep warm. They were excited to see us. They don't get a lot of snowshoers. So we decided to go to our planned trail and they went a different trail. After we finished, they had hot cocoa waiting for us and they shared some history about the lake and the town. Then we headed back into town for some dinner and headed back to our camper cabin.   

DAY 3: February 14, 2016

Since there wasn't to many hiking trails, we decided to sleep in today. Got up, looked outside, and snow. Just kept on coming! It was a warmer day today. We still layered up and decided to do a small hike. Upper Red Lake was such a breathe taking scene. There was a buoy marker that we made our destination to hike on to the lake. The farther we hiked in, the more we could see fish houses. It was snowing real good! It was a little bit scary seeing nothing but white, but it was such a great experience! We walked out to the lake just enough to see our tracks back to land. North pole expedition! After exploring the lake we went around the hiking trail.

 

After hiking around the lake area, we decided to head back into the park to climb the fire tower. During open hours of the park, visitors can climb up the fire tower to see across the bog. We started the climb of the stairs and I could not continue. I had a little bit of a nervous breakdown! Ok, ok, I got scared of how high it was! So I decided to climb back down while Joe headed up a little bit more. However I got distracted for a little bit and quickly took some cool photos from where I was! Scared of heights? Perhaps so! 

Day 4: February 15, 2016 

Heading back home! Though it was not as much of milage of hiking, we did have an amazing time. This park is beautiful and perhaps we might visit it again in the summer time. We only wished that the main road wasn't close for us to hear cars drive by and also wished that there were more hiking trails. All of the camper cabins where occupied which is awesome to see! Most were fisherman (ice fishing is huge up here!). We saw a lot of fish house trailers and tons of snowmobiles. I'm glad that minnesotans are loving the winters! Did some exploring behind our camper cabin the day before. Overall, an amazing weekend!

 

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks
— John Muir