Sugaloaf North Shore Stewardship Association

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Daily Nature Programs

This summer, naturalist Margie, will be offering programs every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. O Fridays, Margie is available for private group tours. Drop by and learn something new every day!



Bird Banding: 7 am - noon (stop in any time):
Take a much closer look at songbirds! We will be banding birds and monitoring the populations of songbirds that nest and travel through Sugarloaf Cove and adding to the growing research on North Shore birds. Stop in to learn more about the banding process and its importance in understanding the lifespan, movement, and productivity of songbirds. Weather permitting.



NEW! Private North Shore tours.

Call to find out how you can hire our naturalist to guide you on a private tour anywhere along the North Shore. Rates vary relative to time and distance from Sugarloaf.



Guest speakers: 10 am

North Shore Geology 2 pm
Sugarloaf Cove is an incredible place to explore geology. Step back in geologic time and learn about the formation of the Sawtooth Mountains and Lake Superior. Learn to recognize common rocks found in the area and the story of their formation. What does a Lake Superior agate look like? What about Thompsonite? It’s all here under your feet!



Naturally Superior 1 pm
The North Shore of Minnesota is a persistent call to tourists and residents alike, and is home to a rich variety of essential ecological components. Join us at Sugarloaf for a summer series exploring critical components of the natural community that create this beloved place. Sessions will meet for approximately 2 hours over the course of the summer on Sunday afternoons from 1-3 pm. Each class will offer resources, background information and a field exploration of a particular topic. Funded in part by the Cook County Community Fund, an affiliate of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.


July 20 - North Shore Forest Communities

Aug 3 - Life in the Big Lake

August 10 - Inland Stream and Lake Ecology

Aug 17 - Colorful, Poisonous, and Tasty North Shore Berries


Aug. 24 - Migration Central




Sugarloaf Cove by Chris Sandberg

2014 Calendar of Events

July I August

Daily Nature Programs

The Evolution of North Shore Streams

Saturday, July 26, 10 am

Speaker: Dr. Karen Gran, UMD

North Shore rivers reflect their geologic history, starting with a mid-continent rift over a billion years ago, up to the time of the glaciers.  This talk will cover the geologic and glacial history of the western Lake Superior area, with a focus on how this history affects rivers today.  Emphasis will be on the Cross River, near Schroeder, which has a unique legacy of log drives down the river.  We will take a virtual tour of the Cross River, using high-resolution lidar topographic data and photos from a field walk to look at how this history affects the river today.  FREE


North Shore Geology Exploration

Saturday, July 26, 9 am - 4:30 pm
Sunday, July 27, 9 am - 2:00 pm

Are you an agate or Thomsonite hunter? Do you look for interesting rocks on every beach? Do you wonder about all those rock faces you see as you drive by on highway 61? If you answered yes to any of those questions, this two day adventure may be just for you! Sugarloaf Cove is home to what most geologists would say is the best place on the North Shore to explore basaltic lava flows and all their features. We will begin our geologic adventures with a good look at these world famous lava flows, and learn the basics of recognizing the different rock types of the North Shore. Then we will expand beyond Sugarloaf to recognize features seen at other fascinating locations along the Shore.

We will plan to carpool among participants to a variety of locations along the North Shore, so be prepared to help drive or contribute towards gas for someone else driving. Rocks don’t mind being wet, so we will brave whatever Mother Nature dishes out for weather! There’s lots to see and explore on this geologic adventure. By the time you leave, you will have a much better idea of how Lake Superior came to be and you will be able to recognize all sorts of features along highway 61. A trip up the North shore will never be the same again, because you will know some of the stories in the stones.

Course size limited to 20.There is a fee of $80 which includes materials and supplies. Register below. 


Passenger Pigeons - What happened?

with Lizzie Condon

Saturday, August 2, 10 am
Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center

Come learn how one species, the Passenger Pigeon, went from billions to none in a heartbreaking extinction story. Were there really that many Passenger Pigeons? How did the most abundant bird species in the world go extinct right in front of our eyes? And, most importantly, how can we use the story of the Passenger Pigeon to prevent future extinctions?  Lizzie Condon will relate this story to her own research on birds and habitat loss, as well as other conservation conundrums.

 Lizzie has been involved with Project Passenger Pigeon ( since its inception and has coauthored an article on Passenger Pigeons in BirdWatching Magazine. FREE.


Annual Membership Meeting and Ice Cream Social

Plus learn how you can help monitor North Shore streams

Saturday, August 9, 1 pm
Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center

Join us for an afternoon of friends and fun. We'll have a short meeting, serve up ice cream sundaes and then join Andrea Crouse, aquatic ecologist from UMD- Natural Resources Research Institute, as she talks about the health of North Shore streams and what you can do to monitor, maintain or improve their quality. She will start with a short presentation about the impacts of weather events and human activities on water quality. Then we'll head outdoors and practice water quality monitoring techniques (weather permitting). The information and hands-on training will allow participants to assess and monitor the water quality in streams or lakes near them, as well as offering ideas and resources for homeowners and land managers who want to minimize negative impacts on nearby water resources. FREE.


Lake Superior Astronomy

with Bob King

Saturday, August 16, 10 am
Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center

There's more than just the beautiful stars and moon to gaze at over Lake Superior. Join Bob as he amazes you with facts about the stars above and other interesting phenomena seen in the sky over Lake Superior. FREE.


Nature Writing Workshop: Stories from Sugarloaf Cove


Saturday, August 23, 10 am - 1 pm
Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center

Nature is a creative force. When you are at Sugarloaf Cove your creative energy goes up. Form a creative partnership between writing and nature during a three-hour workshop on Saturday, August 23.

Intended for those who are inspired by a strong sense of this special place, you will explore wilderness – both inside and out. Write creatively in whatever genre you choose: haiku, short story, memoir, natural history, poetry, narrative nonfiction, science fiction.  

The workshop facilitator is Jill Swenson from Ithaca, NY, a book development editor and literary manager. With a Ph.D. from The University of Chicago and 20 years of teaching, editing and coaching writers, Jill has a current work-in-progress set in northern Minnesota and spent a decade living off-the-grid in the Finger Lakes of upstate New York. $35 per person. $30 for members. 

Thanks to a generous donor, we have two scholarships available for students age 15-25. Please contact sugarloaf via email or by phoning 218-525-0001 for more information.

Class fee


Tales They Tell - Plants at Sugarloaf with Chel Anderson

Saturday, August 30, 10 am
Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center

Join botanist and plant ecologist Chel Anderson on a walk to learn what plants reveal about the environmental history of the North Shore and Sugarloaf Cove. As a biological foundation of our world, plants offer  interesting and instructive insights into the past, present and future of our place in the community of life. FREE.


Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association
6008 London Road
Duluth MN 55804

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Sugarloaf Cove
9096 Hwy 61
Schroeder, MN 55613
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