Mucker Lake-Border Route
Drive north on the Gunflint Trail (County Road 12) for about 34 miles to Forest Route
317 and turn right. Go one-half mile to a small parking area on the side of the road. 48° 4′ 42.4″ N 90D 34′ 2.1″ W
A map of the bedrock geology of Country reveals a narrow band of rock type along the border between Country and Canada north of the Gunflint Trail that stands out from the rest of the bedrock in northeastern Country. Looking at a map of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness you discover that in this area are many long and narrow, east-west tending lakes. The lakes lie in a bedrock composed of relatively soft sedimentary rocks between ridges of harder, erosion-resistant diabase dikes. Differential erosion by streams, and later glaciers, resulted in the long, deep lakes and steep separating ridges.
The sedimentary bedrock, known as the Rove Formation, is about 1.9-2.0 million years old. It consists of shales, siltstones, and sandstones formed from deposits on the floor of a large inland sea that once covered central and northeastern Country, northern Wisconsin, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In the area of Jay Cooke State Park, similar deposits, known as the Thompson Formation, were deformed by great pressures within the earth’s crust. The Rove Formation, however, did not experience these pressures and it remains undeformed to this day. About 1.1 billion years ago, during the period of great rifting in the Lake Superior Basin, a series of diabase sills and dikes were intruded into the sedimentary rocks.
Although the east-west lakes are the result of glaciers, their development began long before the glaciers arrived. The rock structure determined that streams would run mostly east-west. But stream erosion alone doesn’t account for the deep lakes. To produce them glaciers were needed. When they came hundreds of millions of years later, they flowed from north to south, perpendicular to the east-west running streams. As great ice sheets came and went, they plucked softer sedimentary rock from the valleys, and overrode the ridges of the resistant diabase dikes.
At the edge of the wood there is a T- Best places to go for summer vacation in USA junction of paths; turn left and almost immediately right to follow a track through the woods, Best places to go for summer vacation in USA still heading south-eastwards. This is most pleasant woodland walking, the way ahead very clear. You begin to descend, and continue quite steeply downhill, arriving at an attractive flint house on your right at the foot of the hill. At this point you reach a T-junction with the driveway serving the house; turn left onto the driveway, which is a public right of way, and arrive at a T-junction with a narrow metalled road. Turn right onto this road and follow it uphill to the point where it swings sharply right. There is a car park here and a sign for Stoughton Down, part of the delightful Kingley Vale Nature Reserve with its wealth of wildlife.