Two North Shore landmarks lie 15-20 miles past
Two Harbors. The Gooseberry River cascades over two
30-foot waterfalls at Gooseberry Falls State Park. The
park offers naturalist programs, an interpretive center
and beautiful hiking trails, in addition to its scenic falls.
A bit farther up the shore is Split Rock Lighthouse, built
in 1910 atop a 130-foot cliff. The lighthouse is one of the
most visited historic sites in the state, with tours of the
light tower and keeper’s home, exhibits and a film.
The scenic Gitchi-Gami State Trail runs through
this area. This paved bike path will eventually run from
Two Harbors to Grand Marais; several short segments
have been completed. The Silver Bay safe harbor and
marina has an observation deck, boat slips, launch ramps
and a pier for use by divers exploring a nearby shipwreck.
The 60-mile Superior National Forest Scenic Byway
heads inland from Silver Bay and links the North Shore
with the Iron Range.
To the northeast of Silver Bay is the turn-off to
Palisade Head, a 350-foot-tall, ruddy colored cliff soaring
above Lake Superior. At the top is an overlook with a
panoramic view. In nearby Tettegouche State Park, a 1. 5
mile hike through the forest leads to the waterfall where
the Baptism River jumps in a 70-foot drop. The park’s
rocky Shovel Point has scenic views of Lake Superior and
the shoreline. Further up the shore at Temperance River
State Park, there is a series of rocky gorges and waterfalls
just a short hike from the wayside parking area; a six-mile hiking trail in the park leads up to Carlton Peak for
a panoramic view of Superior and the forest.
From Tofte, the Sawbill Trail is a road leading
through the Superior National Forest to the edge of the
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Canoe
outfitters serve visitors to the Boundary Waters. The
back roads around Tofte are popular fall color routes, as
is the shoreline itself. The North Shore Commercial
Fishing Museum in Tofte is housed in a replica of a twin
fish house built by three Scandinavian fishermen a
hundred years ago. The displays tell of the lives of these
early settlers and their fishing enterprises.
Lutsen offers a wide variety of year-round recreation.
At Lutsen Mountains Park, a tram glides above the hillside
to the top of Moose Mountain. Hikers can get what they
need to hit the trail at the hilltop hiking center. The Alpine
Slide is an exhilarating, half-mile sled-ride downhill.
Nearby Superior National is a championship-quality golf
course in a spectacular setting.
But these hills first grabbed attention for winter
recreation. Lutsen Mountains is the largest and highest
downhill ski area in the Midwest. There is also a lengthy
network of cross-country ski trails in the Lusten-Tofte
area. Skiers and hikers enjoy the trails in the Cascade
River State Park, where a waterfall plunges through a
rocky gorge amid a forest of birch and spruce.
The village of Grand Marais and its natural harbor
are nestled along the shore of Lake Superior. Noted as a
community of artists, the town features numerous art
galleries, artists’ workshops, a folk art school and a
community theater, the Grand Marais Playhouse. Gift
shops, cafes, and harbor views encourage visitors to linger.
Kayaking, mountain biking, hiking and charter fishing are
all popular activities here. The Gunflint Trail starts in
High Falls of the Baptism River, in Tettegouche State Park