Superior Hiking Trail: 5 Great Hikes
glimpse of Minnesota's State Flower, the Ladyslipper.
A visit Minnesota's North Shore wouldn’t be complete without a hike on the Superior Hiking Trail, a go-to destination year round. Sections of the trail offer varying levels of difficulty for beginning through experienced hikers. Numerous parking lots at trailheads throughout the trail allow you to pick a favorite destination for a day hike, or try a longer backpacking excursion.
Here are five treks to try:
- Britton Peak to Carlton Peak: This trek offers some of the best vistas on the trail. The climb to both peaks is steep, but getting there is well worth the trek. At Britton Peak, see spectacular inland views that are especially notable in the fall. The overlook ledge is a bit steep here, but hike down to Carleton Peak if you’d like a place to relax a bit and enjoy the view. Carleton Peak’s flat rock surface and breathtaking vistas of the Lake and inland forests are unmatched. Bring a snack and enjoy the views for awhile.
To Get There: If you’re driving in, take Co Hwy 2/Sawbill Trail at Tofte. Parking is available near Britton Peak. For a longer trek (more than three miles) you can hike to Carleton Peak through Temperance River State Park.
- Oberg Mountain Loop: This 1.8 mile loop trail is covered in maple trees that offer brilliant red and orange leaves in the fall. In total, the loop has eight different overlook spots, providing an 360 degree view of the North Shore, plus Carlton Peak in the distance. The loop’s overlooks are developed for added safety, and one stop has a picnic table to enjoy a longer stay.
To Get There: From Highway 61 turn at Forest Road 336. Parking is about two miles. The trail is north of Tofte and south of the Lutsen Ski Area.
- Cascade River Trail: Dropping 900 feet in its final three miles to Lake Superior, the Cascade River Waterfalls offers views of the rushing river and beautiful waterfalls. Hike along the east and west sides of the river. Through it’s a challenging hike, totaling 7.8 miles if you hike both sides of the river, the hike is an excellent adventure. Cascade River is also a great trout fishing location.
To Get There: The beginning of the trailhead is at milemarker 99.9 along Highway 61. Parking is allowed at the Wayside, but if you need overnight parking, you’ll need to park in the Cascade River State Park, which requires a State Park sticker.
- Fantasia Overlook: At just 1.4 miles one way, the hike from Highway 1 to the Fantasia Overlook is a short hike with great views of Lake Superior and Wolf Lake, a picturesque lake formed in a deep depression. The section of the trail is located just north of Tettegouche State Park. The trail includes some ascents, descents and switchbacks, but offers excellent overlooks that make it worth the trek.
To Get There: Take Highway 61 to milemarker 59. Turn left on Highway 1, and the trail parking lot will be less than a mile away.
- Mt Trudee: This trek offers another one of the trail’s spectacular vistas. With pine-lined trails on the way up, the trail then turns to maple and mixed maple and birch on the descent, offering brilliant red, yellow and orange in the fall.
To Get There: Trailhead parking lots are at Penn Blvd in Silver Bay, or Highway 1, requiring an additional hike from parking to the peak. The trail is 4.8 miles one way from Tettegouche State Park.
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