March 6, 2014
Hiking on the North Shore of Lake Superior
Our guests love to hike! From a short walk to see Gooseberry River’s waterfalls to a nine-mile-hike along the ridge above Grand Superior to combing our 1500-feet of cobblestone beaches and massive stone outcroppings, we have hundreds of miles of hiking trails and the most famous is the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT).
A top-ten trail in the nation, the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) almost runs through our backyard. The trail begins in Duluth and meanders through the ridge lines and woodlands along Lake Superior’s coast, ending at the Canadian border. While the entire trail is over 200 miles, many sections are 3-7 miles in length and easily accessible.
Grand Superior’s Suggested Superior Hiking Trail Hikes
A quick drive across Highway 61 and north on the West Castle Danger Road brings you to the SHT trailhead. A quick, steep half-mile hike to the west takes you to the Crow Creek valley overlook while a half-mile hike to the east brings you to Wolf Rock, which has 360° panoramic views. Looking for a big hike? Continue west 8.5 miles along a ridge, down into woodlands and along the Gooseberry River, ending at the Fifth Falls in the State Park. An alternative is to drive up to Gooseberry Falls State Park, then hike up the river and pick up the SHT, choosing how long you want to explore.
Some Other Favorite Nearby Hikes
Gooseberry Falls State Park has wonderful trails! Start with the 1-mile paved, accessible trail to the Middle and Lower Falls, then continue on up the river to the Upper and Fifth Falls. Or choose a meander down the River View Trail and along Superior’s shores. Combine a couple trails for our favorite hike: walk in to the Lower Falls, take the trail south and cross the river, where you head north back up past the Middle Falls, under Highway 61 to the Upper Falls, then pick up the SHT to the Fifth Falls, where you re-cross the river and take the park trails back to the Visitor Center. Cap it off with a picnic lunch on Agate Beach near the river mouth.
The Split Rock River Loop is a perfect for the mildly adventuresome. It is 4.4 miles, follows the river up one side showcasing cascades and waterfalls, over a bridge and down the other, ending at the Wayside, which is across from a gravel Lake Superior beach. The wayside is about 8 miles from Grand Superior on Highway 61.
Two miles further is Split Rock Lighthouse State Park offering short hikes around the lighthouse, medium hikes down to the shore and longer hikes throughout the park.
Looking for a leisurely stroll? We recommend the Two Harbors Sonju Trail, a paved mile walk from Burlington Bay along Superior’s shores to the Two Harbors waterfront including the lighthouse, train museum and Edna G tugboat. Pick up the Sonju Trail off Highway 61 about 8 miles south of Grand Superior.
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