2018 Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race Results

Gunflint Mail Run

2018 Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race Results 

Alaskan and Minnesotan lead 12-dog race, two women lead 8-dog race


Cook County, Minn. –  Jan. 7, 2018 – The Gunflint Mail Run kicked off the start of the dog-sled racing season in Cook County yesterday. The original event, which is a 12-dog, 100-mile race included two runs, approximately 50 miles each, over a two-day stretch, and an eight-dog shorter and faster race (65 miles).


The race started and finished at Trail Center Lodge, 7611 Gunflint Trail, on Poplar Lake, Grand Marais, Minn.  (Trail Center Lodge is approximately 30 miles up the Gunflint Trail).  See www.GunflintMailRun.com and https://www.facebook.com/GunflintMailRun/ for more details.


Here are the winners of the 2018 Gunflint Mail Run:

12-dog teams:

2018 Gunflint Mail Run Dog Sled Race 12-dog team winners

2018 Gunflint Mail Run Dog Sled Race 12-dog team winners!
Top five 12-dog race finishers from right to left are:
1st place Ryan Redington, Skagway, Alaska
2nd place Nathan Schroeder, Coon Rapids, Minn.
3rd place Matt Schmidt, Grand Marais, Minn.
4th place Denis Tremblay, Saint Michael des Saints, Quebec
5th place Ward Wallin, Two Harbors, Minn.




8-dog teams:

2018 Gunflint Mail Run Dog Sled Race 8-dog team winners

2018 Gunflint Mail Run Dog Sled Race 8-dog team winners.
Top five 8-dog race finishers from left to right are:
1st place Joanna Oberg, Ignace, Ontario
2nd place Martha Schouweiler, Irma, Wis.
3rd place Frank Moe, Hovland, Minn.
4th place Michael Bestgen, St. Cloud, Minn.
5th place Rita Whehseler, Tofte, Minn.


Video from the 2018 Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race:

2018 Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race. VIDEO “Ryan Redington and his sled dog team enjoying the race.”

Video courtesy of Andy DeLisi at Big Bear Lodge.

2018 Gunflint Mail Run Race Start – VIDEO “12-dog race winner Ryan Redington’s (#7) starts the race Saturday morning. Ryan is racing in the Alaskan Iditarod this year.”

Video courtesy of Jack Stone of Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply in Grand Marais.


Next up: John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Jan. 29


Dog sled racing fans can also look forward to the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon on Sunday, Jan. 28 – Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2018.  This is the longest dog sled race in the lower 48 states and is a qualifier for the famed “Iditarod” in Alaska.  Over 60 world-class mushers are expected at this year’s race, vying for cash prizes totaling $20,000.  The races will traverse the Sawtooth Mountains in Cook County, going as far north as Gunflint Lake near the Canadian border. For a spectators’ map, visit https://beargrease.com/driving-directions/


The Beargrease marathon will start just outside of Two Harbors, then head to Trail Center on the Gunflint Trail and back, while the shorter, mid-distance race goes one-way on the route. The marathon typically takes three days to complete. Close to 500 volunteers from around the country come together each winter to support the event. For more race details, visit beargrease.com.


About Visit Cook County 

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.



Katie Krantz Visit Cook County MN ph# (218) 387-2788 email: katie@visitcookcounty.com

KQDS Fox 21 Duluth’s Brittney Merlot LIVE on Christmas Morning

2 Hour COLD Morning Show LIVE on Christmas morning with KQDS Fox21’s meteorologist Brittney Merlot. In addition to LIVE on air broadcasts with Lutsen Mountains staff and guests, Visit Cook County’s Kjersti Vick was on site to talk about how to stay warm this winter and what else is coming up.


Snowshoeing with Kjersti Vick of Visit Cook County MN.

Talking Hygge with Kjersti Vick of Visit Cook County MN.

LIVE with meteorologist Brittney Merlot at Lutsen Mountains on Christmas morning.

New Years Eve planning and how to dress for cold weather with Lutsen Mountains’ Jim Vick.

Behind the scene with the groomers at Lutsen Mountains. 

Heading out with Ski Patrol to learn about how they keep the mountain safe.

Christmas Gift Exchange with KQDS’s Brett Scott and Brittney Merlot

KQDS Fox 21 Duluth by Brittney Merlot

Visit KBJR Duluth Website

End of the Gunflint home to some of the darkest night skies on Earth

Aired on KBJR 6 on August 17, 2017

End of the Gunflint home to some of the darkest night skies on earth


A special spot up Northern Minnesota’s Gunflint Trail has night skies that rank among the darkest on Earth.

The End of Trail Campground, at the end of the Gunflint in Cook County, has skies that rank a one on the Bortle Scale.

“It’s as dark as the darkest places in the world,” said photographer Bryan Hansel.

The Bortle scale was created by an astronomer, John Bortle, in 2001. It ranks the darkness of locations on a scale of one to nine; nine being inner city skies, one being the darkest.

“So, if you turned off the lights everywhere in the world, they would have a Bortle one,” said Hansel, “In the lower 48 [states] there’s very few of them and… this is the only one in Minnesota.”

The dark skies draw in students to Hansel’s night sky photography workshop. He’s been teaching them in Cook County for five or six years, and says they fill up fast, often with a waiting list.

“The darker it [the sky] is in photography, the more stars you get in your picture,” said Hansel, “So, if you have less light pollution you simply see a lot more stars, airglow, different sky phenomenons.”

Hansel advertises the dark location on his workshop website. He says people from all over the world come to Minnesota to take the class.

“A guy from Tanzania came in once. I’ve had people fly in from India, so we get people from around the world coming up here,” Hansel said.

Hansel attributes the popularity of night sky photography to advances in equipment that allow less expensive cameras to take better pictures at night.

“The equipment is so good now, that someone with an average level camera can come away with great night sky pictures. Where as ten years ago, that wasn’t the case, so just because the equipment is capable of doing that now, people want to get out and shoot the night sky.”
There’s no official entity that ranks locations according to the Bortle scale. Rather each number on the scale corresponds with a set of guidelines which define that ranking based on what you can see in the sky at that level of darkness. The end of the Gunflint meets all the requirements for a Bortle one.

You can find the Bortle Scale rankings here.

KBJR Duluth by Jennifer Austin