North Shore MN recommendations

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NWICY

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Fiance was really on board with this and we ended up booking a stay at Lutsen. I'm not sure we'll be able to make Apostle's happen this trip (we have a friend moving up there next year so we'll try to head up then) but we're excited to check out the north shore. The struggle now is do we bring our gravel bikes or fat bikes... We're going to try and find some forest service roads to ride I think. Maybe I should check out the top speed of wolves/beers/moose before we get too lost :)
I would think either set of bikes would be fine IMO. I wonder how well some of those map apps will stay on up there though, cell service use to be pretty spotty up there many yrs ago. Might not hurt to carry a paper map with you just in case. Have a great trip!
 

cycub51

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Just got back from the Ashland area. We went to a few different parks to see waterfalls and they were beautiful! Copper falls was my favorite park and the hike to red granite falls was my favorite part. We also did a boat tour of the apostle islands which was cool. Didn’t eat at any restaurants.
 
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madguy30

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Just got back from the Ashland area. We went to a few different parks to see waterfalls and they were beautiful! Copper falls was my favorite park and the hike to red granite falls was my favorite part. We also did a boat tour of the apostle islands which was cool. Didn’t eat at any restaurants.
Did you do the doughboy trail?

I kind of like how Ashland is just kind of a town doing its thing that just happens to be on Lake Superior.
 

Tri4Cy

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I would think either set of bikes would be fine IMO. I wonder how well some of those map apps will stay on up there though, cell service use to be pretty spotty up there many yrs ago. Might not hurt to carry a paper map with you just in case. Have a great trip!
I do a bit of "off-grid" activities and have off-line GPS devices etc so I HOPE we'll be okay. I'll likely pick up a paper map too for a third layer of protection. I can't wait to get up there! I've never been to the North Shore area. I do get up to Northern MN for fishing every year but that's North Central at a buddies cabin and we're usually too drunk to remember too much.
 
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Sighclone Fan

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Oberg Mountain near Lutsen is a great hike. Wonderful views of Superior and the lakes to the west.

Palisade Head offers wonderful views.

You could hike around Tettegouche State Park and/or hike along a section of the SHT.

I think Split Rock Lighthouse Park is a bit overrated (as you have to pay to get in and see it upclose) but I think it's still worth seeing from afar along the southern shore.

Stop in Duluth for food/drink. Fitgers is a good spot.
 
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Entropy

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Oct 27, 2008
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Fiance was really on board with this and we ended up booking a stay at Lutsen. I'm not sure we'll be able to make Apostle's happen this trip (we have a friend moving up there next year so we'll try to head up then) but we're excited to check out the north shore. The struggle now is do we bring our gravel bikes or fat bikes... We're going to try and find some forest service roads to ride I think. Maybe I should check out the top speed of wolves/beers/moose before we get too lost :)
I worked on a few of the trails in that area about a decade ago (specifically the single track).
Here's a map to some of the loops:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5422246.pdf

Link to some more options.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/superior/recreation/bicycling/?recid=36905&actid=24
 
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cycub51

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Did you do the doughboy trail?

I kind of like how Ashland is just kind of a town doing its thing that just happens to be on Lake Superior.
We did the doughboy trail first then stopped for lunch. The kids wanted to swim at the little lake there so a few of us hiked to the red granite falls. Awesome park
 
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kcbob79clone

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Betty's Pies is overrated according to the locals. The pies are no longer made in house. We went to The Rustic Inn for pies. We had the Carmel Apple Pecan pie. It was very good. And made daily on site.
Agree that Betty's overrated lately, years ago was terrific. Drive a few miles north to the Pie Place in Grand Marais which is much better.
 

madguy30

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Nov 15, 2011
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We did the doughboy trail first then stopped for lunch. The kids wanted to swim at the little lake there so a few of us hiked to the red granite falls. Awesome park
Never seen Red Granite Falls...maybe I'll check it out. Lots of stuff across the state line east of there too.

The north woods rules.
 

EIClone

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Nov 21, 2011
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Fiance was really on board with this and we ended up booking a stay at Lutsen. I'm not sure we'll be able to make Apostle's happen this trip (we have a friend moving up there next year so we'll try to head up then) but we're excited to check out the north shore. The struggle now is do we bring our gravel bikes or fat bikes... We're going to try and find some forest service roads to ride I think. Maybe I should check out the top speed of wolves/beers/moose before we get too lost :)

North Shore Winery is just down the road from there. Pretty good wine, but a little pricey.
 

EIClone

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Nov 21, 2011
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My wife and I went the 1st week of June this year. Alot wasn't open yet. Split Rock light house was closed, as well as most campgrounds. Restaurants just opened for outdoor seating only. Reservations recommended at busy times. But it was nice. We stayed at Grand Superior lodge and Lutsen Resort. We were the only ones in our building one night at Lutsen.

Check out Wild Country Maple Syrup and Caribou Cream Maple Syrup.
https://www.wildcountrymaple.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CaribouCream/
Wild Country Maple Syrup feels like its in the middle of no-where in the North Woods.

Start early at the State parks, especially Gooseberry Falls State Park.

The town of Grand Portage was closed to non-residents at the time we were there. So was the border to Canada.

If you are visiting the MN State Parks, I recommend buying the pass online before you go. We bought the year pass so we would't have to buy one each day. They do check and write tickets if you don't have a pass.

https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/permit.html

We drove the Gun Flint trail and hiked to Magnetic Rock.
https://www.theoutbound.com/minnesota/hiking/hike-to-the-magnetic-rock

This site is also pretty good for info.
https://northshorevisitor.com/
 
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cyman05

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Dec 7, 2010
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Trip report:

1. So I must’ve convinced a few of you to go as well since I probably saw clone gear from about 10 people compared to just one hawk hat and not too much golden gopher apparel.
2. We used the AllTrails app to plan the hikes and it was great. Bought a year subscription and downloading the maps to use with gps but no cell service was very nice. Tried to keep the hikes to generally 2 miles or less but had a couple hikes that pushed 4 miles. Kids did awesome. Bought a truckload of snacks beforehand to use as motivation and it worked. Great thing about the North Shore hikes were many amazing ones were short with awesome waterfalls/rivers.
3. Time in the apostle islands was nice. Kayaked with the kiddos to Roman’s point sea caves...highly recommend if you’re out that way.
4. A lot of the restaurants had restrictions so didn’t eat out as much as I thought but loved Angry Trout in Grand Marais and Do North Pizza in Two Harbors. Not too impressed with Grandmas in Duluth. Worlds Best Donuts in Grand Marais was good but overhyped.
5. Beach time is always a hit with the kids.

Here are the hikes we did in case it helps anyone else in the future.
-Myers Beach Sea Cave Trail in the apostle islands was very cool to see the sea caves from above.
-swinging bridge and waterfall at Jay Cooke near Duluth...skipped the hiking after starting on the trail which seemed like a good choice since people coming back said it wasn’t worth it. The bridge area near the parking lot was the attraction.
-Gooseberry Falls: Got there at 8:15am on a Thursday and glad we did. Almost nobody there at that time, but insanely busy when we got back to the main area near 11. Go early!
-Split rock lighthouse was partially open. Best lighthouse we saw on the trip. Didn’t get to hike there.
-Temperence River, cascade falls, and high falls at Tettegouche were crazy beautiful. These were my personal top 3 favorites. Although we didn’t have the majestic mountains around us I felt like we were in Rocky Mountain NP.
-Palisade head was an amazing view. Again we went early to avoid the crowds and glad we did.
-Also did Caribou falls, Kadunce River, Devil’s Kettle, and High Falls at Grand Portage near Canada. Loved the tranquil rivers.

Thanks for the tip about buying the state park pass in advance. Also brought water shoes for the kids to play in the streams which they loved.

Had another handful of hikes on my list we just didn’t get to but it was great in that so many of the hikes had an easy payoff early on or ones you didn’t have to go too far for. Thanks again for all the advice beforehand. The trip exceeded expectations.