OLE LAKE-NORTH STAR RUN
Ole Lake Trail. For a short distance, the trail follows an old logging road passing through dense stands of young trees before entering the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) and returning to the older, more impressive forests of old pines.
At Ole Lake you will want to rest under the large pines on a bluff 2030 feet above the water. With a wide view of the lake and its border of bogs and forest, nature seems to be on display. Belted Kingfishers sound their rattling cries as they fly up and down the shoreline protecting their fishing territories or carrying food to hungry nestlings. The alarming calls of Blue Jays rise from the trees and echo across the water. Red squirrels voice their disapproval of intruders from the safety of high branches. All the while, the wind writes graceful calligraphy on the waters below, and gently whispers through the branches overhead.
From Ole Lake the route heads north, crossing the top of an old beaver dam at the northeast end of the lake and passing along ridges grown up with jack pine, oak, and maple. Rock cairns mark the way across bare outcroppings of lichen covered granite. An overlook near the end of the Ole Lake Trail provides distant views of Silica Lake and Coxey Pond from the edge of a large granite outcropping that ends in a shear cliff. Just beyond the overlook, the trail heads east, and briefly exits the BWCAW before turning onto the North Star Run, a 2 mile trail through more majestic pines, that leads back to the Sentinels and the trailhead.
This hike presents in reality what most people imagine northeastern Country’s forests must have looked like long ago. For mile after mile, the route lies through towering red and white pines, and along dry rocky ridges where gnarled oaks and weather-beaten jack pines predominate. Considering the age of the white pines, up to 300 hundred years in some cases, it’s hard to imagine that in geological terms they are only recent immigrants to Country.
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