19 Jun Adventures on Minnesota’s North Shore
by Levi Cole from United States
Minnesota, two Harbors Lighthouse by Levi Cole
Minnesota’s North Shore is 150 miles of adventure waiting to happen. Along those 150 miles are spectacular views of the ever-present Lake Superior, pine-filled forests, and towns steeped in history. My wife and I planned a trip to the North Shore to celebrate our anniversary and it was our second time visiting. We planned our stay in Two Harbors at the wonderfully unique Northern Rail Traincar Inn, where each room is an actual train car.
A must see here is the Two Harbors Lighthouse and Breakwater. It is a feast for you eyes, ears, and body to walk down the breakwater while listening to the waves of Lake Superior smash against the concrete divide. The gusts of wind were enough to chill you to the bone but it was all worth it to gaze out over Lake Superior’s seemingly endless stretch of water and the sun setting onto the horizon. This is the beauty of the North Shore; Lake Superior. This mightiest of lakes has enough fresh water to flood all of North and South America in one foot of water.
Minnesota, green leaf at Silver Creek cliff by Levi Cole
On our first day of exploring, we made an impromptu stop along the Gitchi Gami Trail. We decided to stop along the Silver Creek Cliff portion of the trail, which actually was the main thoroughfare along Highway 61. In 1994 a large tunnel was built to allow more automobile traffic. This portion of the trail has a tranquility about it, as you are afforded the ability to listen the waves sloshing up against the cliff. You also get a bird’s eye view of the grandeur of the lake. We walked along the trail and marveled at the steep cliff walls and wildflowers nestled within boulders, living peacefully in harmony.
Minnesota, welcoming the sunrise by Levi Cole
I personally find lighthouses to be fascinating; there is something about the fact that they truly are a beacon in darkest of nights. The Split Rock Lighthouse is located in the town of Two Harbors, MN. This is an iconic symbol of Minnesota’s North Shore heritage and a great spot to take pictures. The lighthouse sits perilously close to the edge of a cliff and from a distance it looks as if it’s guarding the coast. If you follow the trail starting from the lighthouse along the edge of the cliff, you will make your way to a set of stairs that plummets 130 feet down to the beach. This wooden stairway was built in place of a tramway that was used to bring supplies up to the lighthouse. At the bottom of the stairs you are presented with one of the best views of the lighthouse.
Minnesota, Split Rock Lighthouse by Levi Cole
Continuing our trip north, we made our way to Palisade Head. The views from here are utterly breathtaking! Standing at the top of the cliff you really do feel as if you are on the top of the world. This is also a great vantage point to view the northern curve of North Shore in the distance.
Minnesota, woman of the falls by Levi Cole
Being from Minneapolis I don’t get to appreciate the stars that much because they are always over-powered by city lights. However, on my trip to the North Shore I had no such problem. The stars glistened, gleamed, and danced in the night sky in a way that I had never seen before; a display of lights that could easily be seen with the naked eye. In my attempt to capture these celestial bodies I discovered the Northern Lights. With their telltale eerie glow hiding just behind the trees. If you are into photography or just a traveller make sure that you experience the North Shore’s night sky..
Minnesota, northern lights and stars by Levi Cole
The last stop on our trip was the port city of Duluth, MN. Duluth is a great city with many restaurants, shops, and places to explore. Any trip to Duluth has to include a visit to Canal Park. While at Canal Park you are in close proximity to the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge, The North Pier Lighthouse, and The Lake Superior Marine Museum and Maritime Visitor Center.
Minnesota, Duluth Lighthouse by Levi Cole
Minnesota’s North Shore has something for everyone, whether you are an avid photographer, a well-traveled explorer, or someone looking for the perfect vacation spot!