The Secret Garden
Halfway up the Gunflint Trail
July 8, 2006
Little Ollie Lake is a small appendage on the eastern end of Poplar Lake. On Little Ollie's eastern end is a small channel, the start of Poplar Creek. This channel feeds an even smaller channel, so shallow that one needs to get out of the canoe and guide it under a canopy of overhanging branches, crouched on all fours, so as to emerge in a charming, secret, water garden.
Entering at dusk it is perfectly calm, even the flies have given up for the day (but not the mosquitoes!) Only about 20 by 100 yards in size, the gently curving pool ends in a natural dam of fallen trees. A riot of flowers- Queen Anne's Lace, Wild Iris, Water Lilies and other, more humble blooms surround you while little minnows race about your craft. You linger, time stands still as you steep in the natural beauty. The fading colors prompt you to return the way you came, leaving this bower and its secrets to be cloaked by nightfall.