Thursday, March 5, 2015

Array of impressive hikes in Silver Bay area

Superior Hiking Trail campsite along Bear Lake.
Photo courtesy of  Minnesota DNR.
A waterfall more than six-stories high, dramatic vistas of Lake Superior, and forested trails await day hikers in the Silver Bay region on Minnesota’s North Shore.

Silver Bay sits about halfway between Duluth and the Canadian border. It can easily be reached via Minn. Hwy 61.

Among the many great trails in the Silver Bay area are:
g C.J. Ramstad/North Shore State Trail (Cramer segments) – Go southwest for 0.6 miles (1.2-miles round trip) to Rock Creek Cut in Finland State Forest or head northeast, partially through George H. Crosby Manitou State Park, to the creek flowing out of Kowalski Lake. Park at the lot off of County Road 7 south of the Manitou River.
g C.J. Ramstad/North Shore State Trail (Finland segments) – Head west for 2.5 miles (5-miles round trip) to the Baptism River or walk northeast for 1.7 miles (3.4-miles round trip) to Egge Creek. Parking is available off of County Road 7 just south of Airbase Road; take the connecting trail northwest to the trail running through Finland State Forest.
g Gitchi-Gami State Trail (Beaver Bay Segment) – The north end of the 14.1-mile trail begins in downtown Beaver Bay off of Minn. Hwy. 61 south/west of Slater Drive. Hike the trail as far south as you like; the creek south of Pine Bay Loop makes a good turnback point for a little more than 4-mile round trip.
g Gitchi-Gami State Trail (Silver Bay Trail Segment) – From Rukavina Arena on Outer Drive in Silver Bay, head 2.3 miles (4.6-miles round trip) south/west to West Road in Beaver Bay. Parking is available near the arena.
g High Falls Trail – The 3.2-mile round trip trail heads to a 70-foot high waterfall in Tettegouche State Park. Along the way, it passes two smaller waterfalls and a rapids on the Baptism River.
g Palisades Head Trail – Hikers can walk alongside the road leading to Palisades Head, a dramatic cliff that rises 300 feet above Lake Superior. Park in the lot off of Minn. Hwy. 61 for the 0.6 miles round trip in Tettegouche State Park.
g Shovel Point Trail – An incredible view of Lake Superior atop billion-year-old rock awaits day hikers on the 1.1-miles round trip trail in Tettegouche State Park. A fairly flat trail, it’s a wonderful autumn walk when the shoreline leaves turn an array of yellows.
g Superior Hiking Trail (Beaver Bay to Sulheim's Overlook segment) – A section of the North Shore trail runs 2.25-miles round trip past a cascades on Beaver River and a beaver pond. Pick up the trail off of County Road 4 (aka Lax Lake Road) about 0.8 miles north of Minn. Hwy. 61 in Beaver Bay.
g Superior Hiking Trail (Twin Lakes segment) – This 6-miles round trip section of the trail passes scenic Bean and Bear lakes. Park at the trail access lot off of Penn Boulevard (aka County Roads 5 and 11) north of County Road 61 and head northeast, turning back at the end of Bear Lake.
g Tettegouche Camp Trail – Day hikers can explore the upper portion of Tettegouche State Park on a 3-miles round trip trail that heads to Mic Mac Lake. Park at the trailhead off of County Road 31 just north of Nicadoo Creek. Several connecting trails can be added to increase the distance and sights seen.

Read more about day hiking Northeast Minnesota in my Headin’ to the Cabin: Day Hiking Trails of Northeast Minnesota guidebook.