Duluth, MN Part 2, June 16, 2017

On Friday we decided to drive from Duluth on what is called the North Shore Scenic Drive on Rt 61 along the shoreline of Lake Superior.  It was a beautiful day to enjoy the drive and the gorgeous scenery.IMG_20170616_120840

The Drive is 150 miles long from Duluth to Thunder Bay, Ontario with views of Lake Superior, glacier carved Sawtooth Mountains and Superior National Forest.  Along the way we suddenly spotted Bigfoot!!20170618_121048

We decided to only drive 55 miles and work our way back while stopping at points of interest.  Our first stop was at Tettegouche State Park where we took a short hike to an overlook with views of Lake Superior.20170618_12140820170618_124208

We had a picnic lunch at Palisade Head, an overlook 200 feet above Lake Superior.  We drank in the amazing views while enjoying lunch.IMG_20170616_123410IMG_20170616_123656

After lunch we found a geocache and Bill found a new friend!IMG_20170616_130011

IMG_20170616_132106Next we passed through the tiny towns of Silver Bay and Beaver Bay before stopping at Split Rock Lighthouse. The lighthouse, said to be the most visited spot on the North Shore, sits atop a sheer cliff 150 feet above Lake Superior and is one of the best preserved and most visited lighthouses in the country.  Split Rock Lighthouse was put into service in 1910.  It was built by the federal government because of a disastrous 1905 storm that sank or damaged 29 ships on Lake Superior.  This lighthouse was completely built from the lakeside because there were no roads at that time.  20170616_143221IMG_20170616_134424IMG_20170616_133838IMG_20170616_134226


This is the light mechanism

In 1969 the lighthouse was decommissioned and deeded to the state of Minnesota.  It is a National Historic Landmark.  For a fee you can tour the lighthouse, a fog signal building, an oil house, three keepers’ houses, and storage barns.  The lighthouse and buildings appear as they did in the 1920’s.

Split Rock is also a 2,057 acre Minnesota state park but the lighthouse is maintained by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Then we drove to Gooseberry Falls State Park so we could hike to Gooseberry Falls.  It was an easy hike to the two beautiful falls.IMG_20170616_15110320170616_151055IMG_20170616_151957

On the way home we stopped at the Two Harbors Lighthouse which is now a bed and breakfast and the only operating lighthouse in Minnesota.  Built in 1892, it is on the National Register of Historic Places.IMG_20170616_104947

It was a really great day with three state parks, two lighthouses, a beautiful overlook and some amazing scenery.

IMG_20170617_115916Saturday, our last day in Duluth, we drove across the bridge to Wisconsin.  We wanted to visit Pattison State Park thirteen miles south of Superior, Wisconsin.  The park is the location of Big Manitou Falls, which at 165 feet is the highest falls in Wisconsin and the fourth largest waterfall east of the Rockies.  It is said to be the same height as Niagara Falls, just a lot skinnier.

We had to walk in a tunnel under the road and then it was an easy hike to the viewpoints.  The water flows from the Black River and gets its dark color from decaying leaves and roots of vegetation.20170617_115205IMG_20170617_115227IMG_20170617_115621

Here is a video below we made of the falls.

After viewing the falls we found a geocache hidden in a tree.20170617_121638

This state park was very pretty with 80+ handcrafted stone and log buildings and structures built in the 1930’s by the CCC.  We really enjoyed this park, as well as the three Minnesota state parks we visited the day before, all possible because of the hard work of the young men of the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps).

We enjoyed our six days in Duluth.  There were lots of things left to do.  Until next time!

Lake Superior facts:

  • Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the country, bigger than all the other Great Lakes combined. It is 350 miles long, 160 miles wide and has a surface area of 31,700 square miles
  • It contains 10% of the world’s fresh water with a volume of 440 trillion cubic feet
  • Average depth is 439 feet, with its deepest depth at 1,333 feet
  • Average water temperature is 42 degrees
  • There has been over 350 shipwrecks with more than 1,000 souls lost
  • Last time Lake Superior completely froze over was 1997, it was 90% frozen in 2013

Next stop:. Grand Marais, MN

One thought on “Duluth, MN Part 2, June 16, 2017

  1. karnold249

    What gorgeous pictures of that area. We decided not to go up there this summer and do it some other time. Also really enjoyed the sound of the waterfall on the video–thanks!

    My uncle John was in the CCC and may have very well worked there.\

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