Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Just a Day in the Park Week 7: Northward Ho!

Just a Day in the Park
Just a Day in the Park with Traveler Luke Gorski

Luke Gorski's journey has led him into KAXE/KBXE's neck of the woods this week, and he visited some of the gems of the Minnesota State Parks system. The parks visited by Luke this week include Itasca, Buffalo River, Lake Bemidji, Old Mill, and Lake Bronson.

If you've been to Itasca to visit the headwaters this time of year, you'll be able to commiserate with Luke's experience. "I tried to go to the headwaters," Luke said. "But there were too many people for me, so I did skip the headwaters. However geography nerds will know that the headwaters is only constructed where it is because that was the best place to develop a tourist attraction."

Did our intrepid explorer get off the trail to find the the true source? "There's technically Elk Lake and Mississippi Spring deep in the forest, but you'd have to be a crazy person to go out there. I didn't do enough research to do that."

Luke did climb the fire tower at Itasca, and like many of us, had a powerful experience at the top of the tower. "It was like looking out into a sea of trees."

The other gem that Luke visited during his trek this week is Lake Bemidji, and visited the bog walk at a very special time of year. "I saw quite a few ladyslippers on the side of the bog walk. The bog walk is pretty awesome."

Next on Luke's itinerary is Hayes Lake, Zipple Bay on Lake of the Woods, Franz Jevney on Rainy River, Savannah Portage, Hill Annex Mine, Schoolcraft, Scenic, and then McCarthy Beach. Luke continues to be in our neck of the woods, so wave if you see him.

Overall, Luke is looking forward to these inland parks and the north shore parks that will conclude his journey. But how do the Minnesota State Parks compare to the Iowa and South Dakota State Parks he's visited in the past? "Minnesota State Parks definitely have the best systemin the three states, especially for day hikers. A camper might have a different opinion. Minnesota has strong trail systems at all of the parks. and the highest concentration of large parks."

A view from high atop the Itasca fire tower
A view from high atop the Itasca fire tower
The Bog Walk at Lake Bemidji State Park
The Bog Walk at Lake Bemidji State Park

Heidi Holtan is KAXE's Director of Content and Public Affairs where she manages producers and is the local host of Morning Edition from NPR. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North.
As a mail carrier in rural Grand Rapids, Minn., for 35 years, John Latimer put his own stamp on a career that delivered more than letters. Indeed, while driving the hundred-mile round-trip daily route, he passed the time by observing and recording seasonal changes in nature, learning everything he could about the area’s weather, plants and animals, and becoming the go-to guy who could answer customers’ questions about what they were seeing in the environment.