Monday, June 27, 2016

Great sets of day trails await at Split Rock Lighthouse park's southern, northern ends

Split Rock Lighthouse
Located along Minnesota’s North Shore a little more than 45 miles northeast of Duluth, Split Rock state park is an outdoor recreational paradise, as well as a site of historical importance. Among Minnesota’s most visited state parks, it’s popular with hikers, campers and nature lovers of all stripes, garnering about 340,000 annual visitors.

Several major highways offer access to Split Rock. Most converge in Duluth, and from there, it’s roughly 25 miles north via Minn. Hwy. 61 to Two Harbors and then another 20 miles north to the state park.

From the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, take Interstate 35 to Duluth. When I-35 ends, the road becomes Hwy. 61. If in northern Minnesota, take either U.S. Hwy. 2 or U.S. Hwy 53 to Duluth. If in northern or eastern Wisconsin, U.S. Hwys. 45 and 51 as well as Wis. Hwy. 13 all lead to Hwy. 2, which travels west to Duluth. From western Wisconsin, U.S. Hwy. 63 as well as Wis. Hwy. 35 both head north head to Hwy. 2. Hwy. 53 runs from Interstate 94 at Eau Claire into Duluth; it’s the only combination of four-lane highways connecting most of Wisconsin to Duluth.

A set of trails you'll encounter at the park's southern end include the Silver Rock River Trail, the Gitchi-Gami-State Trail, and the Corondum Mining Trail. The first heads to a red rock gorge, the second traverses the park north-south, and last passes historic ruins.

From Canada, in Thunder Bay take Hwy. 61 south to the United States border. The road becomes Minn. Hwy. 61 once in the States and leads directly to Split Rock. This arrives at a set of trails on the park's north end. The Split Rock Lightstation Trail is a set of walkways around the famous lighthouse while the Little Two Harbors Trail heads to a pebble beach on Lake Superior.

Learn about nearby hiking trails in Day Hiking Trails of Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.