Volume 8 Minnesota

The Superior Hiking Trail


(click on pictures to see a larger size)

2005-08-001.jpg (33163 bytes) On 6/22 we  moved  to the municipal campground at  Two Harbors, MN.  It's located right on Lake Superior.  We could watch the ore ships going up and down the lake and coming into the harbor for loading.  The water temperature averages only 40 degrees year round so it acts as a natural air conditioner when the wind comes from that direction.  Fog forms over the water as you can see in the picture taken from the beach looking toward the campground.  Jerry Groebe has joined us and will be hiking with Adele and Judy.  Jerry has hiked with Judy on the Florida Trail and on the International Appalachian Trail in Canada.  He now lives in Michigan. 2005-08-025.jpg (39673 bytes)

Judy tried the water and can verify that it's cold .
2005-08-002.jpg (31445 bytes) 2005-08-003.jpg (27345 bytes) John, Jerry and I would regularly go to the harbor and watch the ore boats dock and load to make sure they were doing it correctly.

2005-08-015.jpg (58442 bytes) 2005-08-020.jpg (49242 bytes) The town of Two Harbors  was built in 1883 when the railroad was built to move iron ore from the mines 60 miles west to the harbor where it is loaded on ore boats to be sent to steel mills in Cleveland. There is a nice museum in town where the original steam engine is on display. 

2005-08-030.jpg (68161 bytes) The Superior Hiking Trail is a 205-mile long distance footpath that follows the rocky ridgeline above Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota. It begins just north of Two Harbors, MN, and ends just before the Canadian border.  This is the group on the first day on the trail.

As the hikers got further up the trail, we moved up the coast to Schroeder, MN.  We stayed at Lambs Resort

The Cross River enters the lake here.  The earliest claim to fame is how the river got it's name.
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2005-08-010.jpg (67881 bytes) The north shore of Lake Superior has rivers that drain the mountains range to the west.  The result is numerous waterfalls like this one a Gooseberry Falls State Park.  While hiking back from the falls we came upon this ranger with her "poop" stand.  She was explaining how to interpret wild animal poop (also called scat).  You can tell what animal it came from and what it had eaten.
2005-08-070.jpg (63845 bytes) 2005-08-075.jpg (41661 bytes) The trail mostly travels along the ridgeline above the lake.The scenery is spectacular.  If you look closely on the lake there's a canoe that had to have been carried through the woods to get there.

The girls weren't interested so the guys took a tour of a taconite processing plant in Silver Bay, MN.  You can also take a web tour at  but you won't be able to ride the yellow limo like us.

Jerry and I also drove to Duluth to tour the Great Lakes Floating Maritime Museum. We didn't get a bus to ride and had to walk the tour of the S.S. William A. Irwin and the U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Sundew. Click on the logo to visit their website.

2005-08-085.jpg (43670 bytes) 2005-08-090.jpg (68718 bytes) The hikers have a variety of scenery. They have ridge walks with great views, many beautiful waterfalls and boardwalks over beaver ponds. 

2005-08-080.jpg (48682 bytes) They had wonderful facilities along the trail.  This is a typical restroom, sort of an outhouse without a house.  They have been looking for moose, but have only seen evidence that they are around.


2005-08-040.jpg (33475 bytes)2005-08-045.jpg (51481 bytes)On 7/5 we moved to Grand Marais, MN.  It's about 40 miles south of Canada and is a nice little tourist town.  They had an art festival the first weekend we were here.

It was originally a fishing village and still has some good places to get fresh and smoked fish.


2005-08-060.jpg (57458 bytes)We drove north on one of the no-hiking rest days to see the sights at Grand Portage.  The 130' high falls at the left are at the State Park on the Pigeon River.  This is the border.  Canada is on the right side of the picture and the U.S. is on the left. 
2005-08-055.jpg (27007 bytes) 2005-08-050.jpg (44963 bytes)There is also a Grand Portage National Historic Site.  It's the location of a trading post that was here from 1779-1802.  Once a year all the furs from the northwest would be brought here by canoe to be traded for goods.  The furs would then be carried by large (40') canoes on to Montreal.  In 1802 the site was moved to Canada because of the U.S. taxes.  Sort of like outsourcing today!!

Jerry left for home before the 4th of July.  The girls are working on finishing this trail by 7/23 when Adele and John must leave.  Judy and I are planning to go to Ely, MN to start biking a rail-trail.  More on this in the next chapter.

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