The Chik-Wauk Nature Center covers 50 acres surrounding a bay of Saganaga Lake. The nature center boasts picnic areas, overlooks, and several interpretive hiking trails, including an ADA trail. The trails provide insight into the history and ecology of the Gunflint Trail, including a first-hand glimpse of wildfire regeneration from the Ham Lake Wildfire, which burned through a portion of Chik-Wauk’s property in May 2007.
The Chik-Wauk Nature Center is pleased to offer five exceptional hiking trails ranging in difficulty:
- Amikwiish Way is an ADA trail which follows the old cabin road from when Chik-Wauk operated as a resort. Along the way, you’ll see a beaver house, several cabin sites, and regrowth from the Ham Lake Wildfire. The trail offers scenic overlooks and ends at a picnic site.
- Rubaboo Road wind around the south bay. Watch for waterfowl, including the stately great blue heron.
- Tamarack Alley meanders through a lowland. Edged with tamarack (or larch) trees, this trail provides wonderful wetland plant viewing.
Moderate to Difficult:
- Moccasin Lane makes a westerly loop through the area where cabins formerly stood and where wildflowers now abound. In early June, keep your eyes peeled for the pink stemless moccasin flower. A wildflower guidebook for the Moccasin Lane Trail is available in the museum gift shop and will help you identify what’s blooming along the path, regardless of the season.
- Big Sag Trail heads north along a granite ridge where hikers are rewarded with a vista of the Saganaga Lake Channel. The trail was burned over in the Ham Lake Fire, but expect to find green undergrowth and pine seedlings interwoven with the burnt tree trunks. Many of the tree seedlings you’ll spy are the work of Gunflint Green-Up volunteers who planted thousands of tree seedlings in 2008 and 2009 to help speed the area’s fire regeneration.
- Blueberry Hill Trail takes off from Big Sag Trail and heads northeast to a 1636' high granite knob with spectacular views of Saganaga and Seagull Lakes and the surrounding forest.
While the trails are appropriate for all age groups, please note that the trails’ terrain often varies, from rocky to sandy, from dry to wet. Sturdy footwear is recommended.