Hidden Northern Minnesota gems
My fiancé surprised me with a quick getaway trip up north to Tettegouche State Park last month. Let me tell you, it was not short of perfect! Camping up north in Minnesota is one of my favorite pastimes. There are so many hiking trails and nature’s little-hidden gems that I love to explore. After so many questions on my Instagram and Facebook of what sites we hit up on the weekend, I decided to devote a post to list a few of my all-time favorites.
This natural wonder is so secluded and magical. It’s often not talked about, which is a sore disappointment. It’s an easy hike on the Lake Superior Trail and offers one of the most glorious waterfall views I’ve ever seen. It rivals the view of La Soplaera waterfall I saw in Puerto Rico. I’ve visited the waterfall at different times of the day. It’s beautiful right before sunset and in the bright afternoon sun. Regardless of the time of day, you’ll have the little slice of paradise all to yourself. Better than the waterfalls at Gooseberry Falls State Park and the High Falls at Tettegouche, honestly. An added bonus, no one knows about them so you’ll have the whole place to yourself!
One of my favorite hikes in Split Rock State Park is the Day Hill Hike. It’s a 3-4 mile hike that weaves through the lush, green hills of Minnesota. Hikers venture through the cart-in campground and along the coast of Lake Superior and densely forested areas. It’s a bit of an incline, so make sure to pack lots of water and take your time. The view from the top is immaculate. There’s a large, stone fireplace that was built for a man’s lover. The fireplace was going to be the centerpiece of their humble abode, after her death, he abandoned the project. The fireplace still stands there. If you venture a dozen yards to the right of the fireplace, that’s where you’ll find the most coveted view. Bask in this view for hours, after all, you deserve it after all that heart-pumping cardio you did.
If you’re looking for a secluded, romantic place to watch the sun rise over Lake Superior, check out Tettegouche Beach, located right behind the visitors center. The hike is less than 0.5 mile and is unpopulated in the wee hours of the morning. There are large boulders that you can camp out on and watch the sun peek over the horizon. Note, the sun will actually be hidden behind the northern coastline, but you can still see the metamorphosis of the skyline turn from twilight purple to blaze orange.
In Split Rock State Park, all the rage is about the lighthouse. Rightfully so, because it is beautiful. But, venture down the path to old mining establishment that is abandoned. It’s a unique hike in northern Minnesota that isn’t all vistas and trees. The structures are overgrown with green moss and have a certain eerie air to them.
If you haven’t heard about the Lake Superior Trail, get ready to be amazed. The trail is a 300- plus mile long hiking trail that follows the coastline from Canada down into Minnesota. The trail weaves in and out of Minnesota forests, through river valleys, around lakes and hugs the Lake Superior shoreline. Along the trail, many natural gems can be seen, including Caribou Falls, mentioned above. The trail also goes through many of Minnesota’s northern state parks, if you’re feeling adventurous, or just an off-roading junkie, hike part of the trail to see the untouched parts of Minnesota. These trails are often less populated and more authentic to the Minnesota experience.
For more information about the trail visit the Superior Hiking Trail website.