Ultimate Lake Superior Road Trip 2

Day 2: The North Shore

On the second leg of this journey, we are heading up the north shore of Lake Superior. By taking 61 north, you’ll overlook the breathtaking panorama that is the north shore and take in the best views Lake Superior has to offer.

Two Harbors

Our first stop along this journey was the quaint little town called Two Harbors. The town boasts many activities including: hiking, biking, fishing, golf, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, sailing and shopping. If you’re in a historical mood, the town also has a number of museums including a lighthouse that is also a B&B and the Depot Museum. The Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (a.k.a. 3M) was founded in Two Harbors and has a museum as well.

The Depot Museum gives you a look into the three big industries for Minnesota which included timber, commercial fishing and the railroads impact on iron mining. Plus they house their museum in a 110 year old brick building that was once the headquarters for the Duluth and Iron Range Railroad.

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A train engine at the Depot Museum in Two Harbors, MN.

If you decide to stay in Two Harbors for a night or two, the Lighthouse B&B will give you a unique experience you won’t find at a large chain hotel. There are only four rooms available so make your reservations as early as you can. For accommodations and rates click here.

Lighthouse B&B, Two Harbors, MN

Gooseberry State Park

Continuing north on highway 61, you’re next stop is Gooseberry State Park to hike and view some amazing waterfalls. The park houses 5 waterfalls, the Gooseberry River and the Gooseberry Gorge. It also has a beach covered in agate, very beautiful! The park offers camping, 20 miles of hiking (including one mile of hiking that is wheelchair accessible) and biking trails. Gooseberry is a great stop for a family picnic!

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Falls at Gooseberry Falls State Park, MN


Split Rock Lighthouse

After a long, beautiful hike and picnic lunch at Gooseberry, travel a few short miles further north along highway 61 until you come upon the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Although the main attraction of this park is indeed the lighthouse, it also offers hiking, cart-in camping sites, kayak camping sites, hiking camping sites, scenic overlooks and fishing just to name a few.

Lighthouse employees baking pies in the Keepers Home.


The park offers guided tours of the lighthouse and it’s grounds for a fee, or you have the option to take a self tour. We opted for the self tour and after checking out the lighthouse, we toured the keepers home. They had employees dressed in period clothing baking apple pies in an oven original to the building. It smelled amazing! Prior to that, they had made caramel rolls and were handing them out to guests. This was our sons favorite part!

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Split Rock Lighthouse, MN

Split Rock Lighthouse was by far, our favorite part of our North Shore adventure. The lighthouse sits atop a rugged cliff overlooking Lake Superior. If you take the trail down to the rocky shoreline, you’re able to view the lighthouse in all its grandeur. You can definitely capture some great photos from that viewpoint, but don’t forget to stop and take it all in. Listen to the waves hitting the shoreline, it’s a relaxing way to end your North Shore day.

In our next post, we’ll be heading along the south shore of Lake Superior.

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