North of the Twin Cities

The Northshore of Lake Superior. (Tommy and Sue of New Jersey, this is for you!) This is our special our anniversary spot. Hiking trails, waterfalls, rocks and cascades that put Hawaii to shame compared its beauty. All along Highway 61, we park our car at the pull-offs and spend the weekend hiking. Many of the waterfalls are a short distance from the road. However, if you travel back just a little farther, you can be in wonderful seclusion upstream in your own little world. Cascade Waterfall is my personal favorite.

Other sites: Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock Lighthouse, dinner at the Lutsen Ski Resort, Shopping in Grand Marais. Everyone says to eat a pizza at Sven and Ollie’s or have a donut at the donut shop in town but I didn’t find them all that spectacular. However, continue the journey north to Naniboujou Lodge. The dining is pricy, but outstanding for a special occasion. Check out http://naniboujou.com to see how fancy it is with the colorful ceiling and the largest stone hearth fireplace around. This is a quiet, reflective place with no television or media on serene grounds. If you journey to the border, stop in at the Grand Portage National Monument. For a scenic drive, check out the Chisholm trail. We even watched a cow moose and her twin calves for over an hour once as she grazed along the roadside on the trail.

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area. I grew up taking trips to this vast wilderness area. We entered on Echo Trail, loaded our canoe with our packs and away we went camping and fishing for a week. Along the way, we portaged around rapids and waterfalls like the fur traders used to do (carrying our packs and canoes on our backs) then continue crossing into the lake of our desire. No motors and very few people compared to other trails we have gone on since. Moose, bear, deer, fish. Thunderstorms, colorful sunsets, stars. Nature. You and God’s creation. If you do not have equipment for this, several outfitters help you out to rent what you need. Some people car camp on the outskirts and do day trips inward. I can say tons more legistically, but I’ll continue on. Just google BWCA for starters.

Other areas of interest in the north: International Wolf Center, Soudan Underground Mine in Tower, view the Hull Rust Mahoning Mine (one of the largest open pit iron mines in the world) out of Hibbing, and the Forest History Center.

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