Monday, September 21, 2015

Hike to Wolf Rock offers Lake Superior view

Topo map of Wolf Rock segment. Click for larger map.
Day hikers can enjoy impressive views of Lake Superior on the Wolf Rock segment of the Superior Hiking Trail.

The segment runs 1-mile round trip. It generally is considered one of the Superior Hiking Trail’s most visually dramatic sections.

To reach the trailhead, from Two Harbors, Minn., head north on Minn. Hwy. 61 for about 10 miles. Turn left/northwest onto Lake County Hwy. 106/W. Castle Danger Road (The highway becomes Silver Creek Township Road along the way.). In 2.3 miles is the Castle Danger Trailhead parking lot for the Superior Hiking Trail on the right/north. Take the trail heading east from the lot.

The terrain with its pines, rocky outcroppings and steepness gives you a Rocky Mountain feel. In fact, “steep” might be a kind word, as the trail gains more than 200 feet elevation in a mere half-mile.

The effort is worth it. At the top, you’re rewarded with a fantastic view of the surrounding countryside, blue Lake Superior to the east and south (which is some 600 feet below), Crow Creek to the south and west.

The summit is made of diabase, an erosion-resistant stone that has survived more than a billion years. It formed when lava flowed into fractured rock and is similar in makeup to basalt.

The summit is so named because the trail builders heard wolf howls while camping near it.
If you have a little more energy, you can continue north along the ridgeline. Going another 0.6 miles (one-way) heads through a cedar grove to a spur trail that in a mere 215 yards offers an incredible overlook of Crow Creek below.

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