ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Things To Do On Minnesota's North Shore

Updated on April 16, 2013
Source

The North Shore

The North Shore of Lake Superior is the summer playground for the Twin Cities. Well-to-do (and even some not-so well-to-do families keep cabins by the lake shore for annual escapes from the Great Plains heat).

For the rest of us, flying into Minneapolis and renting a car for the drive north is worth it for spectacular views of the lake shore, numerous waterfalls, and a great combination of tourist facilities and quiet atmosphere.

What is there to do, however? The answer is plenty...enough to fill a week or two and leave you wanting more.

Source

Waterfalls!

The geology of the north shore lends itself to waterfalls. Of these, the most popular is Gooseberry Falls - it's close to the road, wheelchair accessible, and has a wide, safe pool at the bottom that people often jump into on hot days.

The problem with Gooseberry Falls is that it is so popular that you will dodge other tourists trying to get a good shot of the falls.

There are several other good waterfalls, although none of them are as easy to get to and all require some hiking over rough terrain. Cascade Falls is 120 feet through a deep gorge, although the river drops a full 900 feet in its last three miles. If you are a serious hiker, it's worth going up along the Cascade River's valley.

Spectacular in a different way - and bizarre - is the Devil's Kettle on the Brule River. Half of the river falls down a waterfall and flows to the lake. The other half...disappears into a hole in the ground that is reputed to be bottomless. Nobody has yet managed to establish where the water comes out, even by use of dye, ping pong balls and other objects. No object thrown into the Devil's Kettle has ever emerged...

The tallest of the waterfalls is High Falls, right up at the Canadian border. In total, there are fifteen named waterfalls on the north shore.

Visit Grand Marais

Grand Marais is the largest town on the North Shore - which is a low bar. It's not very grand (population of 1,351 at the 2010 census) or very marais (Marais means sea - and this is a lake). But it's an attractive little harbor village with interesting dining and several art galleries. Being so small, it's perfectly walkable.

If you happen to be there for July 4th they let off fireworks from rafts in the harbor. The World's Best Donuts actually might be, whilst the pricy Crooked Spoon Cafe offers a romantic atmosphere, good food and good service.

Try Something New

Waterfalls. Hiking. Boating on the lake. It's all appealing, but what if you want to do something different?

Say hello to the North House Folk School. Ever fancied trying your hand at carriage driving? They can hook you up with a local stable. They also offer courses of lengths ranging from a few hours to a week in all kinds of things you might never have thought to try - making birch canoes? Baking artisan bread? How about making soap? If you're not very crafty, they also have storytellers and organize nature walks.

If you're crazy enough to go up in the winter, you can find places to rent skis (cross country) or snow shoes. There are even several places that will take you out on a dog sled and let you try your hand at mushing. Or you can go skijoring...and even camp overnight in the middle of winter.

The North Shore is a great place to find something you have never tried before.

Hike, Hike, Hike

The truly fit - or insane - walk the full length of the 275 mile Superior Hiking Trail.


The rest of us? There are lots of hiking trails on the North Shore, ranging from the 7 mile climb of Eagle Mountain, the highest point in the area, to the easy walk out to the Grand Marais Lighthouse and Artists' Point (don't do this walk without a camera. You will regret it). Basically, no matter what your level of fitness, you can find a hiking trail.

Take a good set of boots - most of these trails are "rough" trails (unpaved) and some of them can be difficult. Oh, and wear long pants, spray the bottom of your pants and top of your boots with DEET-based repellent and check yourself for ticks - deer ticks are, sadly, rampant in this are.

Find a good list of trails with directions and difficulty levels here.

A few more things to do

Here are a few more suggestions:

1. Stop in Duluth on your way up or back and visit the maritime museum, then spend time ship spotting. If you get lucky you might even see one of the 1,000 foot long "lakers", which carry bulk cargo. You can also tour an old freighter.

2. Visit Split Rock Lighthouse and learn just how dangerous Lake Superior can be in winter (price warning on this one).

3. Get some maple syrup - it's made locally, delicious, and likely costs less than in your local supermarket.

4. Go fishing. There's plenty of fish in the lake.

5. On a windy day, go to (but not too close to) the edge of the lake and appreciate the power of the water.

6. Try canoeing or kayaking.

7. Take a sailing trip from Grand Marais - the 50 foot schooner Hjordis heads out from their harbor regularly. Just don't get becalmed in a fog. (Yeah, guess who that happened to).

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      It has been a long time since I've been up to the north shore. I left Minnesota about 30 years ago. we now live in Wisconsin and are more likely to go to Lake Michigan, but we did enjoy trips to Duluth.Interesting hub. sharing.

    • nybride710 profile image

      Lisa Kroulik 

      5 years ago from Minnesota

      We went to Gooseberry Falls in the summer and winter for different experiences.

    • jenniferrpovey profile imageAUTHOR

      jenniferrpovey 

      5 years ago

      I plan on going up there next in the middle of winter to try cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog mushing...and take lots and lots of pictures of snow and ice.

    • nybride710 profile image

      Lisa Kroulik 

      5 years ago from Minnesota

      Ooh! This hub is right up my alley. I live in Minnesota and have been to all of the places you describe. I love visiting and writing about my home state, as much as I complain about the weather. The North Shore is a magical place and you just can't go wrong taking a vacation there.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)