Saturday, July 26, 2014

Best trails for seeing Judge CR Magney State Park’s wonders

Devil's Kettle
Among the best ways to see the top sights at Minnesota’s Judge CR Magney State Park is via a day hike. Just four short trails will allow you to enjoy each of the park’s highlights – a pair of waterfalls, Lake Superior views, classic trout streams, and Northwoods wildlife.

Devil’s Kettle waterfall
About a mile from Lake Superior, volcanic rock splits the Brule River in a formation known as the Devil’s Kettle. One side of the divided river drops 50 feet while the other half rushes into a pothole. A 2-mile round trip segment of the Superior Hiking Trail crosses the Brule and heads alongside it to Upper Falls and then the Devil's Kettle.

Lake Superior views
Containing 2,903 cubic miles of water, the world’s largest freshwater lake stretches across the park’s eastern and southern horizon. For a grand view, from the campground parking lot take a segment of Superior Hiking Trail south along the Brule River to just above its confluence with Lake Superior. The hike is about 1-mile round trip.

Trout streams
Brook and rainbow trout are abundant in the Brule River and Gauthier Creek. You’re certain to see anglers landing one on either waterway. You can reach Gauthier Creek from the parking lot by taking a segment of the Superior Hiking Trail north to the stream for a round trip of about a 2 miles.

Northwoods wildlife
Moose, black bear, timber wolf, white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, snowshoe hare, woodchuck, red squirrel, chipmunk, warblers, chickadees, jays, nuthatches, and woodpeckers all reside in the park. To improve your chances of a sighting, go deeper into the park; that can be done via the same Superior Hiking Trail segment to Gauthier Creek except extend the walk about 2 miles (4-miles total round trip) by crossing the stream and doing the loop on its north side.

Find out about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.