Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Photo Album of Knife River Rest Area Trail

Day hikers can amble across billion-year-old rock along a river’s edge at the Knife River Rest Area on Minnesota’s famous North Shore.

To reach the Knife River Rest Area Trail, take Minn. Hwy 61 north from Duluth. After milepost 18, exit to the left and double back to a parking area. The trail runs about 250-feet round trip.

The trailhead begins with a staircase at the lot’s southern end (below).

Once at the cliff’s bottom, a well-worn trail runs through a pleasant forest (below).

The small Knife River flows out of the hills east into Lake Superior. The water is brown because of the high iron content (below).

The rock forming the river’s edge is billion-year-old basalt formed when lava bubbled out of the ground and cooled. It has a slight reddish tinge because iron is oxidizing out of the rock. Recently chipped rocks still maintain the black coloring of basalt (below).

Roaring floods often round and smooth out the rocks.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.