Big Bog State Recreation Area

Waskish Travel Blog

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canoers at Big Bog

I got to Big Bog Recreation Area around 6:30.  I took the 2-mile round-trip bog walk along a raised, metal boardwalk.  It was very nice with several educational signs along the trail.  I saw all sorts of neat bog plants, including the meat eating pitcher plants.  Yup, you heard that right.  The pitcher plants hold rainwater, like a pitcher, and trap insects when they stop in for a visit.  They are attracted by the colorful plant and become trapped inside by a slippery slope and downward pointing bristles.  The bugs drown and become digested by bacteria in the plant.  Cool! 

 

Bogs are sensitive areas that take thousands of years to form and only one footstep off the trail to destroy.

entrance to boardwalk
  They form in areas of shallow groundwater that is acidic and nutrient poor.  Few plants have adapted and can thrive in this environment.  Sphagnum moss and peat form an insulating layer and keep the temperature stable and cool only a few inches below the surface.   There are tamaracks and black spruce trees and grasses.  You do not want to wander into a bog because it is easy to step off a fairly solid piece of ground into a water filled hole.  If the moss layer closes the hole above your head you might have a hard time clawing your way out of a watery grave.  They are beautiful places but they must be respected.

 

I was hoping to see a moose, but I did not.  After the bog walk, I stopped by the picnic area to view the sunset and search for the geocache.  It was dark on the trail and extremely buggy.

boardwalk through tamarack and spruce
  The air was thick with mosquitoes.  I had sprayed, but they didn’t seem to notice.  I was swatting bugs and wiping them out of my eyes and had enough.  I beat a hasty retreat. 

 

I decided to camp in the campground across the street, still part of the park.  It was right on the highway, but the traffic was pretty quiet during the night.  Once again, I set up my tent in the dark.  I didn’t feel like trying to start a fire, so instead I took a nice, warm shower.  I had talked to the neighbors earlier and was invited to share their campfire so I did.  It can get lonely by your self at a campfire.  They even offered to share their supper with me, but I had eaten earlier.  We talked late into the night.  It was a family with a teenage daughter.  They were very friendly and we shared stories of camping and traveling in Minnesota. 

 

In the morning, I woke up to the sound of boat motors.  There is a river that runs behind the campsites and you can park your boat at your site and then follow the river into Red Lake.  So a few early fishing families started up their motor about 6:30 am.  I dozed awhile longer then got up and packed up.  I found the geocache in the morning while the mosquitoes were still sleeping ;)

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canoers at Big Bog
canoers at Big Bog
entrance to boardwalk
entrance to boardwalk
boardwalk through tamarack and spr…
boardwalk through tamarack and sp…
close up of needles
close up of needles
wild cranberries
wild cranberries
end of the boardwalk
end of the boardwalk
water in pitcher plants
water in pitcher plants
they dug a drainage ditch, but it …
they dug a drainage ditch, but it…
sunset over the river
sunset over the river
sunset over Red Lake
sunset over Red Lake
sun dropping behind the clouds
sun dropping behind the clouds
sunset by picnic area
sunset by picnic area
boat up campsites
boat up campsites
morning at the picnic area
morning at the picnic area
Waskish
photo by: alyssa_ob