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Blog2020-07-27T17:31:17+00:00

Cascade Vacation Rentals Blog

Highway 61 Detour Bi-Passes Grand Marais

Starting on Monday, August 3, travelers to the North Shore found themselves on a new Highway 61 detour starting just outside of Cascade River State Park. This detour leads drivers along County Road 7, inland from Lake Superior, until County Road 7 meets back up with Highway 61 on the other side of Grand Marias. Unfortunately, this detour creates a bi-pass around the city of Grand Marais, including our amazing downtown businesses. You can see the plan on the MDOT Project Website. But, worry not! While the Highway 61 detour diverts traffic away from the downtown area, access to downtown [...]

August 4th, 2020|Categories: Updates|Tags: |

State of Minnesota Enacts Face Covering Mandate

On Wednesday, July 22 Governor Tim Walz announced a state-wide mask mandate that took effect on Saturday, July 25. Here we will address when and where you will need to wear a mask per the state mandate and how that pertains to your trip to the North Shore. Below is a summary of how this mandate may affect your trip to the North Shore. It is not all-inclusive of the mandate, which you can read here. If driving from another state that doesn't have a mask mandate, be aware that once your cross in Minnesota you will need to [...]

July 15th, 2020|Categories: Cascade Vacation Rentals, Covid-19 Updates|

A Different Kind of Fourth of July

Fourth of July Weekend has arrived! Of course, the Fourth of July in 2020 is going to be a bit different than Fourth of Julys past. Of course, we are still in the midst of a pandemic, and the North Shore, especially Cook County, is continue strong efforts to keep COVID-19 at bay. With only one confirmed case, the area has not experienced the influx of cases, and would like to keep it that way. It can get hard to maintain social distancing amongst crowd of visitors in popular areas, so here are a few tips and tricks we [...]

July 3rd, 2020|Categories: Cascade Vacation Rentals, Holidays, Summer/ Fall Activities|

Guest Post: Best Ways to Preserve Nature While Hiking

Hiking is one of the best ways to stay healthy. Regular hiking gives you a full body workout that will help lower stress, lower your risk of heart attack and stroke, and help manage the symptoms of depression. Studies show that spending time in fresh air surrounded by healthy green plants, grasses, and trees is good for your mental health as well as your physical health. However, there are more than 40 million taking advantage of those health benefits each year and that puts a big strain on the natural world. Do these four things to protect the natural [...]

July 3rd, 2020|Categories: Summer/ Fall Activities, Wildlife & Nature|

The North Shore Art Scene Blog by Joan Farnam

I got asked a question the other day that resulted in quite the "ah-ha!" moment for me. Someone asked me "Where do you find all of this great info that you share in your newsletter?" The person asking it was just wondering what other resources they could use to help plan their trip. I usually refer people to Visit Cook County, Boreal Community Media, and WTIP Community Radio for resources that list upcoming events and news from around the area. But there's another resource that, for some reason, I haven't really mentioned before. Even though it's a resource I [...]

June 25th, 2020|Categories: North Shore|

Big Changes Coming to Grand Marais

Big changes are coming to the bustling town of Grand Marais! Minnesota is now on Phase 3 of re-opening, which means indoor dining can resume if restaurants choose to, at a limited capacity. Bluewater Cafe, Gunflint Tavern, My Sister's Place, Voyageur Brewing, and others in the county are slowly opening indoor dining options. Outdoor dining options are also available at several restaurants. Speaking of dining- two new restaurants have recently opened in Grand Marais! Dockside is under new ownership and has been renamed The Fisherman's Daughter. It celebrated its opening day Wednesday, June 17. Order at the window of the [...]

June 18th, 2020|Categories: Cook County, Covid-19 Updates|

Be Smarts About Being Safe | Tips and Tricks For Visiting the North Shore

The Stay at Home Order has officially ended in the State of Minnesota. The motto for the summer of 2020 is now "Be Smart About Being Safe". So what does this mean for a trip to the North Shore? Let's take a look! Dining Options - Curbside, Takeout, Outdoor, and Indoor Dining Options Available Governor Tim Walz announced that restaurants will be able to host outdoor seating starting June 1 and indoor dining starting June 10, provided that social distancing is in place along with some other guidelines. Of course, many Cook County restaurants have remained opened by offering curbside [...]

May 21st, 2020|Categories: Covid-19 Updates, North Shore|

COVID-19 Policy Changes and Updates

The State of Minnesota's Stay at Home orders have expired. The new motto of the summer is "Be Smart About Staying Safe". The North Shore is open to visitors, but you should be aware of several changes that you will notice with your stay. The entire globe has been challenged due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s get that right out there. And it’s no different here in northern Minnesota. With being said, let us describe how Cascade Vacation Rentals has been using the last two months preparing for your stay as we plan to welcome you back to the [...]

May 1st, 2020|Categories: Cascade Vacation Rentals, Covid-19 Updates|

Event Cancellations and Business Closures Due to COVID-19

As I am writing this, the Stay at Home orders in Minnesota is still set to expire on May 4th due to the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic. However, exactly when and how the state will open back up remains unknown. Grandma's Marathon Has Been Canceled We continue to look to our state leaders to make important decisions on when and if to extend the closure of Cascade Vacation Rentals. At this time, we are still accepting reservations starting May 4th under our new policy. Because of the unknown involved in the current situation, several major area events have [...]

April 20th, 2020|Categories: Covid-19 Updates, North Shore|

A Fun At-Home Challenge + The Best Thing I’ve Seen All Week

Re-Live Your North Shore Vacations With a Photo Contest! Sarah's interpretation of "The Goldfinch" by Carel Fabritius, 1654. Credit: Mauritshuis, The Hague. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. From the Getty Museum Facebook page. Recently, the Getty Museum challenged art lovers to dig into the Getty's online collections, and re-create a piece of artwork with just the materials they found at home. The results were posted on their Facebook Page, and didn't disappoint! This got us wondering if there was a way we could incorporate this creative idea into something for Lake Superior's North Shore. So, we have come [...]

April 6th, 2020|Categories: Free Activities|

Webcams: Your Connection to Nature

Discovering NatureCams Many years ago, I was going to college in New York City and my dad called me because he’d discovered a webcam outside of a camera shop in Times Square. He wanted me to go there, and let him know when, so he could see me waving on the webcam. I tracked down 42nd Street Photo and waved at my dad back in Minnesota. This was the first time I heard of webcams and was introduced to the idea of catching a glimpse of life elsewhere in the world. These days, there are more webcams than ever before. [...]

March 31st, 2020|Categories: Wildlife & Nature|

Enjoy the Great Outdoors When At Home

Social distancing and entire countries under "shelter in place" orders have resulted in many being stuck inside or with limited areas to move around. Ironically, I started this post a few months ago as a "things to do on a rainy day" post meant for springtime visits to the North Shore. With a bit of tweaking, I'm hoping it will help you pass the time and find little ways to enjoy nature and getting out as much as you can until we're all able to travel and get out as usual. So here are six ways to enjoy the [...]

March 24th, 2020|Categories: Free Activities|

Bear Rescue

Bears Rescued at Cascade Vacation Rentals The text came in at 7:31 AM. “I just went to the dumpster and both bars were on it and when I opened it the bear was sitting in the dumpster!! I wonder how that is even possible with it being barred shut?!? I ran off with my trash but didn’t put the bars back on or look to see if the bear jumped out.” Bara, a Cascade Vacation Rentals housekeeper, got quite the startle when going to dispose of her garbage in the CVR campus dumpster early Wednesday morning. By the time the [...]

March 4th, 2020|Categories: Cascade Vacation Rentals, Wildlife & Nature|

LutZen Reflections Massage Studio

Feeling stressed out?  Sore?  Needing to be pampered and soothed on your next North Shore Vacation?  LutZen Reflections Massage Studio is a full-service spa that aims to do just that!  With a full array of services offered from the area’s top massage therapists, you are sure to walk out with your cares melted away.  LutZen’s Grand Marais spa is located right on the shore of Lake Superior in picturesque downtown Grand Marais.  Get a LutZen Signature Massage or Zen Sweetheart Couple’s Massage while the waves of Lake Superior lap against the shoreline just feet away. Their Lutsen location at The Mountain [...]

March 4th, 2020|Categories: Cook County|

Winter: Things To Do on Minnesotas North Shore

Winter might seem like the ideal time to stay inside to read books and play board games, but we know that there is much more to do during the day than sitting inside. We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 winter activities to do on the North Shore. How many of them have you tried? 1. Ski/ Snowboard: Rising more than 1000 feet about the coast of Lake Superior, the Sawtooth Mountains are home to some of the most rugged terrain you can find in the Midwest. Perfectly located on the North Shore, these mountains let you enjoy a day full of [...]

February 14th, 2020|Categories: North Shore, Winter Activities|

Magnetic Rock

Sitting a mile and a half off the Gunflint Trail in Northern Minnesota is an impressive rock known as the Magnetic Rock. The rock is a 60-foot rock, soaring 30 feet into the air from its 10 by a 20-foot base. Not only does the monumental-like appearance of the rock make it unique, but as its' name suggests, the rock is magnetic. The large rock gets its magnetic properties from the mineral magnetite. Magnetite is the same mineral that is found in the underlying bedrock of the Gunflint Iron formation that runs from Northern Minnesota into Ontario. If you plan [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Gunflint Trail|Tags: , |

Golfing on the North Shore

There are many activities to do outdoors on the North Shore, a favorite of many is golf. When golfing on the North Shore you have many options of where to go. If golfing is your ideal activity check out these golf courses. Superior National at Lutsen Golf Course Few Golf Courses have been built on land as spectacular as Superior National. And more recently, the golf course just completed its nearly $4.6 million course improvement project on the River and Canyon 9's. The River and Canyon 18 make up the newly renovated “Premier 18” hole golf course while the Mountain [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: North Shore, Summer/ Fall Activities|Tags: , , |

Palisade Head

Located within Tettegouche State Park is the enormous rock cliff known as Palisade Head. Formed almost 1.1 billion years ago, it is said to have been formed from a lava flow that pushed the rock outward into the lake. Shovel Point, the main part of Tettegouche State Park, was also formed from this extremely hard volcanic rock. The rock formation sits right on the edge of Lake Superior and offers one of the most spectacular views of the North Shore. Enjoy dangling your feet off the edge (be careful!) or lay back, as the views are just as beautiful. On [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Lake County, State Parks|Tags: |

Whispering Giants Statue

Peter Wolf Toth is a well-known American Sculptor known in Minnesota for his impressive statue built in Two Harbors. He built and erected the Whispering Giants Statue in 1977, but was drawn back to it when he heard it needed repair. Spending weeks camped out next to the statue, Peter was unpaid and basically unnoticed, but was determined to give the previous inhabitants back what he had once been so proud of. The statue is part of a larger collection known as The Trail of Whispering Giants. The 71 statues that make up the collection are cataloged by the Smithsonian [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: History, Lake County|Tags: , |

Rocky Taconite

Rocky Taconite is the unique monument that welcomes people to Silver Bay. It’s one of those fun, quirky monuments that makes you want to pull over on the side of the road and snap a photo in front of – one that you see and won’t soon forget. Rocky is made up of a black spherical head and body (resembling taconite pellets) and holds a pick which is believed to have come from old Sweden. The Swedish pick represents the many Scandinavians who settled in the area. Built in 1956, Silver Bay was a planned housing community that was built to house workers of [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: History, Lake County|Tags: |

Fall Drives

Fall Colors on the North Shore Fall is an incredibly beautiful time on the North Shore. Fresh lake breezes blow in from Lake Superior and the hills are ablaze with color. Maple leaves (which are typically found inland) begin to change from green to fiery shades of orange and red while the aspen, poplar, and birch trees add to the display with vibrant shades of yellow. If you're looking for a destination for fall color drives, the North Shore is it! Some of our favorite routes are below. 1. Seven Bridges Road (1.9 miles), Duluth This 4-mile route passes over a [...]

Lake Superior Agates

Lake Superior Agates are a specific kind of stone that was formed by volcanic activity along the North Shore 1.2 billion years ago. Gas pockets in the molten lava filled with mineral deposits like ferric iron, quartz or calcite as the years passed by. The pockets that were filled with quartz-rich deposits gradually crystallized into concentric bands (known as chalcedony) to form agates. Over time (we’re talkin’ a billion years) the agates were freed by water and ice from the lava rocks that they were buried in. Now, you'll find them scattered along the North Shore. Lake Superior Agates are red, orange and [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Wildlife & Nature|Tags: , , , , |

Summit Express Gondola

Looking for panoramic views of Lake Superior and the Sawtooth Mountains? The Summit Express Gondola at Lutsen Mountains will bring you 1,000 feet up over this spectacular area and create an on top of the world experience for you and your guests. The Experience Climb aboard the Summit Express Gondola to soar over Lutsen Mountain Ski resort up to the opposing peak, Moose Mountain. During your ride, you will pass over the Poplar River and may even spot wild animals including moose, bear, wolves, eagles, or pine marten. When you reach the top of Moose Mountain you are free to [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Summer/ Fall Activities, Winter Activities|Tags: , |

Aerial Lift Bridge

Duluth became the proud home to the United States’ first transporter bridge when construction on the Aerial Bridge, then a ferry bridge, was completed in 1905. It was later converted from a ferry bridge to the Aerial Lift Bridge in 1929. The bridge spans the Duluth Ship Canal which leads iron ore ships into the Twin Ports from Lake Superior, and connects the areas known today as Canal Park and Park Point. Why Was it Built?: A Little Bit of History Park Point, also known as Minnesota Point, is a neighborhood of Duluth that is separated from the city by the [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Duluth, History|Tags: , , |

The Northern Lights

One of the Earth’s natural wonders, the Northern Lights, cast radiant, multi-colored lights over the northern landscape. They most commonly appear between 60-75 degree longitude, making the North Shore a hot spot for seeing a display. Also known as Aurora Borealis (meaning “dawn of the north”), Northern Lights form when charged particles from the sun enter the earth’s atmosphere and collide with the earth’s gaseous particles. Typically the lights are green, but every so often viewers will get to see red, yellow, blue, and violet lights. The colors are determined by the height in which the particles collide. Green lights, which are the most common color, appear [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Free Activities, North Shore|Tags: , |

Gales of November

You’re wrong if you think there isn't anything to do on the North Shore during the late fall/early winter season. As the season changes and the temperature drops, Lake Superior becomes alive with the Gales of November! Gales are winds that exceed 39MPH, an occurrence that happens usually once a week during the month of November. They are created by air pressure differences between low-pressure systems and high-pressure systems. The greater the difference, the higher the wind speeds are. These winds create enormous white caps just like you’d see in the ocean. You haven’t seen Lake Superior until you’ve seen [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: North Shore|Tags: |

McQuade Small Craft Harbor

If you’re looking for a day to watch ships on Lake Superior but don’t want to deal with the large crowds of tourists in Canal Park of Duluth, look no further. McQuade Small Craft Harbor is the perfect place to enjoy a calm, but interesting day watching small crafts come in and out of the harbor. Although they might not be the biggest vessels, this harbor has seen increased boat traffic for many years. This public access facility was developed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the US Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis County, and the City of [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Duluth, Free Activities|Tags: , |

William A Irvin

We know where and we know how, but the when is a mystery.  However, soon, the North Shore will witness a historic moment that you may be lucky enough to catch, if you happen to be in the right place at the right time. For the first time in over 30 years since she was moored in the Duluth Harbor, the SS William A Irvin will once again sail the Great Lakes.  Sort of. The move, which will likely happen in the pre-dawn hours on an undetermined day in the near future, is a tricky one that is estimated to [...]

Hovland Dock

Located on Chicago Bay in the ghost-town of Hovland, MN (19 miles northeast of Grand Marais), is the last remaining vintage commercial dock on Lake Superior. The concrete dock dates back to the early 1900’s when Hovland was a thriving economic hub in the area. Its primary use was a loading and unloading site for passenger and cargo ships traveling between Duluth and Canada. Today the dock stretches out about a hundred feet into the deep water, with a couple sections disconnected and submerged into Lake Superior. An old bell that was rung in years past to signal the arrival of a [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Cook County, Free Activities, History|Tags: , , |

French River

If you find yourself driving along the North Shore in need of a reprieve, the mouth of the French River is a great place to stop. Not only does it offer quick, easy access to Lake Superior’s shore, and an opportunity to dip your toes in the water on a hot day, it is also home to an adult fish trap used by the French River Cold Water Hatchery (FRCWH). The trap is used to capture spawning fish (Chinook Salmon, Steelhead, Kamloops and Rainbow Trout) who are then brought indoor to the spawning facility upstream where they spawn and they are [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Duluth, Free Activities, North Shore|Tags: |

Putt ‘N Pets

Driving into Grand Marais from the west (Duluth) you’ll find yourself catching a glimpse of some peculiar things on the south side of Highway 61.  A moose?  A bear chasing a man up a tree?  A… goat watching mini-golf? Don’t worry, you aren’t seeing things.  Your long drive from wherever you are coming from has not made your eyes play tricks on you.  At least, not in this case.  Those things are really there.  They are at Putt ‘N Pets, the most whimsical mini-golf course on Earth (or, at least, on the North Shore). Located at 2014 W Highway 61 [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Cook County, Summer/ Fall Activities|Tags: |

Taconite Harbor

Taconite Harbor is a safe harbor located near Schroeder, MN. The harbor originally opened in 1957 and was built using two natural islands that were located near the shore. The breakwaters built from these islands were built large enough for massive ore boats to enter and leave the harbor. While in the harbor, the boats were filled with low-grade taconite pellets that came by rail from Hoyt Lakes 75 miles away. The harbor closed in 2001 after the steel industry declined. Now the harbor is used as a public water access site and a safe harbor. On the far side [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Cook County, History|Tags: |

Lookout Mountain

Located in Cascade River State Park is one of Minnesota’s many unique features. Halfway between Schroeder and Grand Marais, Cascade Park is usually just a pit stop since the cascades are an easy stroll from the parking lot.  But as you continue, you will be amazed at what you find. The trail to Lookout Mountain winds around the mountain giving you picturesque views of Lake Superior and the surrounding forest. The hike begins out of the parking lot along Highway 61 (if your back is to Lake Superior, the trail you'll want to take is on the left side of [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Cook County, Free Activities, State Parks|

Towering Pines Canopy Tour

Towering Pines Canopy Tour on the Gunflint Trail Zip Line Adventure Park Looking for an adventure on your next trip to northern Minnesota?  Want to do something a little out of the ordinary?  Fly high with the thrill-seeking Towering Pines Canopy Tour located on the Gunflint Trail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area! The Towering Pines Canopy Tour takes "eagle-eye view" to a new level.  The tour features eight high-speed zip lines that take you through the boreal forest canopy with spectacular views of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area as your backdrop. Cruise among and even onto platforms high in [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Gunflint Trail, Summer/ Fall Activities|Tags: |

Susie Islands

The Susie Islands are a group of 13 islands off the North Shore of Lake Superior near Grand Portage. The three major islands: Susie, Francis, and Lucille were all named after a member of the Falconer family who once lived in Susie and mined its copper ore in the early 1900’s. Though copper ore is no longer mined from the islands, they still have much to give: an environment for growing rare flora and a breathtaking view from the roadside overlook along Highway 61. The islands are all home to unique and unusual flora due to their location. Because the islands are offshore, they experience colder, [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Grand Portage, History, Summer/ Fall Activities|

Dog Sledding

A Community of Dog Sledders Along the North Shore By Aliya Marxen From Silver Bay to Grand Marais along the North Shore of Lake Superior, dog sledding binds communities together for winter fun and worthy causes.  If you are a dog, and in particular any dog that has thick fur and likes to pull a sled, the frosty forests of the North Shore must seem like heaven. Endless trails to bolt down, things to smell, wildlife to chase, is there anything that can bring a smile to your face quicker than a dog with tail wagging as he bounds about [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Winter Activities|Tags: , , |

John Beargrease Indian Cemetery

Tucked in a grove of trees near the edge of Beaver Bay, Minnesota, is an Old Chippewa Indian Cemetery where 22 people, including the legendary John Beargrease, were buried beginning in the year 1865. Most don’t know the legend of John Beargrease and all he did for his surrounding community. Growing up a hunter, fisher, and trapper in Beaver Bay, Minnesota, was not easy, but their family made it work and soon became well known for their mail service. Since the train back then only made it as far as Agate Bay, and other channels of communication were limited, John [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Cook County, History|

Winter Hiking

Winter recreation such as skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling & more can be enjoyed on the North Shore all winter long. Another one of the winter activity that gets overlooked is winter hiking. The state parks literally clear out after MEA weekend and don’t spring back alive until after the thaw around Memorial Day. This is one of the main reasons we recommend you try a winter hike, at least once, during your next visit to the North Shore. Hopefully, by the end of this article you will be excited, inspired, and prepared to get out and adventure on one of the [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Free Activities, Winter Activities|Tags: , , , |

Grand Portage State Park

Home of the highest waterfall in Minnesota, the trail in this beautiful park was carved out by the American Indians and is known today as the Grand Portage.  There are many things to do within the Grand Portage State Park border, and here are some of our favorites: Hike the Pigeon River: Visitors can hike along the bank of the Pigeon River and enjoy scenic views, wildlife, and well-maintained trails. Visit the Welcome Center: This distinct welcome center’s design was influenced by the Grand Portage Band of Ojibwe. Look for the bright turtle on the lobby floor that represents creation and [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Grand Portage, State Parks|

Snowshoeing on the North Shore

Snowshoeing, or winter hiking as it is often referred to, is a very popular hobby that takes place on the North Shore. Strap on a pair of wooden or metal frames and explore the great outdoors during the winter season! Although the origin of the snowshoe is quite controversial, the work of the snowshoe has come a long way. Beginning with hardwood frames and rawhide lacings, snowshoes have developed into a more modern metal and plastic framework to make the hike even more enjoyable. Even with these bigger and better snowshoes, some believe that the traditional wooden snowshoe makes for [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Winter Activities|Tags: , |

Father Baraga’s Cross

Along Highway 61 in Schroeder is a green highway sign reading “Father Baraga's Cross”. It’s a sign that points to a place few people stop to explore. Down Baraga Cross Road, visitors will find a beautiful slice of shoreline marked with a granite cross reading “Father Baraga 1846”. Father Baraga was a Catholic priest originally from Europe. After hearing there was a need for clergy in the Great Lakes Region, he moved to La Pointe, Michigan with an interest in Ojibwe culture. There he was loved by many Ojibwe, Metis and French Canadians. He stood with many Native groups while [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: History, North Shore|

Snowmobiling on the North Shore

One of the many things to do on the North Shore during the winter months is to snowmobile! Whether you want to play in the powder, take a drive over the frozen lakes, or tour the developed trails, the North Shore has what you’re looking for. The trails on the North Shore wind through private and public land and are managed and developed through an MN DNR Grant-In-Aid program. In Cook County alone there are 450 miles of trail. As long as your snowmobile is registered in the state of Minnesota and you obey the speed limits, the trails are yours to enjoy! The [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Winter Activities|Tags: |

Judge C R Magney State Park

Judge C R Magney State Park, located 14 miles northeast of Grand Marais, is home of the famous Devil’s Kettle waterfall. It is also known for its perfect trout fishing spots and excellent trails for hikers. Below are a few things you'll want to do when you visit Judge C R Magney State Park. Visit Devil’s Kettle: Devil’s Kettle is this park’s claim to fame. The waterfall splits in two with one side heading downstream and the other into a deep mysterious hole (Devil’s Kettle). Though many have tried to find out, no one knows where the water in this hole [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Cook County, State Parks|Tags: |

Dire Wolf

The Dire Wolf, also known as the fearsome dog, is an extinct species and is perhaps one of the most famous prehistoric carnivores in North America. Its long, sharp fangs and huge body that is considerably larger than a gray wolf make it a unique animal - one that you would not want to mess with! Although the dire wolf is believed to be extinct for almost 10,000 years, when a trucker driving on Highway 61 hit and killed a large-bodied wolf years ago, he couldn't help but make a call to the DNR to have them check it out. [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: History, State Parks, Wildlife & Nature|Tags: |

Cascade River State Park

Cascade River State Park is a beautiful park with a rushing river running throughout its entirety. Large waterfalls that lay within a volcanic rock gorge, lined with moss and ferns, are one of this parks magnificent features. Only ten miles southwest of Grand Marais, a trip to explore all this park has to offer would leave you with no regrets. When you're there, you might want to try these five activities: 1. Fish: The Cascade River is known for its perfect fishing spots and beautiful scenery. If no luck is found in the river, Lake Superior is only a short [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Cook County, State Parks|

Temperance River State Park

Temperance River State Park is a unique park with a trail that winds along the edge of the Temperance River. The park has plenty of hiking trails and beautiful scenery. Located between the communities of Schroeder and Tofte, visiting this state park should be at the top of your North Shore to-do list. Above all, you'll want to experience the following things: Hike to the Hidden Falls: With trails winding along both sides of the beautiful Temperance River, taking this hike is a no-brainer. Hike the trail to the Hidden Falls or the Superior National Forest and be ready for some [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Cook County, State Parks|

George Crosby Manitou State Park

George Crosby Manitou State Park is designated as a state park with limited development and is located near Lake Superior's North Shore north of Highway 61. Because of its location, this state park is one of the least visited on the North Shore. With less traffic, visitors are more likely to spot wildlife like deer, bear, moose, hare, red squirrels, beaver and wolves than they are at many other state parks. Highlights of the park include peaceful Benson Lake, the Manitou River Cascades, and excellent hiking trails. Top Five Things to do at George Crosby Manitou State Park Hiking: There are [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Lake County, State Parks|

Cutface Creek

Located on Good Harbor Bay a few miles south of Grand Marais along Highway 61 is the small Cutface Creek wayside rest. It is not your ordinary rest spot, though! This spot is where the construction of the highway began cutting away into a sandstone bed that was overlaid with lava. You'll see the unique rock patterns to the southwest of the wayside rest along Highway 61. Good Harbor Bay is also one of the best places along the North Shore to find beautiful Thomsonite rock. Most of the rocks are now only small pebbles, but the six mile stretch of beach [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Cook County|Tags: , , , , , |

Tettegouche State Park

Visit the Waterfalls and Lakes: Take a hike to the High Falls waterfall, the highest waterfall located entirely within Minnesota. Tettegouche State Park also contains six inland lakes great for northern pike and walleye fishing. Take a Hike: The park contains 22 miles of hiking trails that overlook Lake Superior, the Sawtooth Mountains, and various inland lakes. Our favorite hike is the 2-mile round trip hike from the visitor center to Shovel's Point. Enjoy the Wildlife: Common wildlife observed at the park include the white-tail deer, hawks, red squirrel, snowshoe hare, and much more. Moose, black bear, and the occasional northern [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Lake County, State Parks|

Minnesota State Park Hiking Club

Did you know that the Minnesota State Park system has a hiking club that features 68 hiking trails scattered in state parks throughout Minnesota? The trails highlighted in the Hiking Club are specific trails that lead hikers to the main attraction of each park. The trails are marked with hiking club signs, including a sign at the end of the trail (or at the turnaround point) with a password unique to the area. The club offers hikers a great way to explore some of the best and most popular attractions throughout the state. Trail highlights include everything from waterfalls, to [...]

Gooseberry Falls State Park

Gooseberry Falls State Park is one of Minnesota’s most popular state parks. Often referred to as the “Gateway to the North Shore”, this park offers visitors a chance to see and do many things. Of all of the things to do at the park, you don’t want to miss the five activities that are listed below. View the Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls of the Gooseberry River as it cascades through a steep, rocky gorge. A short hike from the visitor's center will bring hikers to a bridge that stands over the waterfall. Continue past the bridge to see more falls. [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Lake County, State Parks|

Split Rock Lighthouse

Starting on November 27, 1905, a massive storm, known as the Mataafa Storm, hit the Great Lakes region and caused a total of 29 shipwrecks on Lake Superior during a two day period.  One of those ships, the Madeira, sank in an area that is now located between Beaver Bay, MN and Two Harbors, MN.  Recognizing a need for a guiding light in that area after the catastrophic storm, the United States Lighthouse Service commissioned the construction of a lighthouse near the mouth of the Split Rock River. In 1910, the construction of the Split Rock Lighthouse was completed.  The [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: History, Lake County, State Parks|Tags: , |

Silver Bay Marina

On the south side of Silver Bay, off Highway 61, is a beautiful marina. It is used as the launchpad for a number of North Shore adventure businesses (think scenic cruises and charter fishing on Lake Superior). The marina is owned by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and is managed by the City of Silver Bay. The facility is located on the scenic North Shore of Lake Superior approximately 55 miles northeast of Duluth, Minnesota. Here are a number of things we recommend doing at or around the marina. Take a Scenic Cruise: The Wenonah leaves daily during the [...]

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Lake County, Summer/ Fall Activities|Tags: |

Top 10 Things To Do On The North Shore

The North Shore is an incredible place with many exciting things to do and unique places to visit. The problem is that there is never enough time to squeeze it all in during one visit (or two, or three). So, we tried narrowing down the list to the top 10 things we think all visitors should do when they visit the North Shore (and let us tell you – it was hard!). Nonetheless, here’s our top ten list: Gooseberry Falls State Park: This state park is best known for its spectacular upper, middle and lower waterfalls. Also in the park is access to beautiful Lake Superior shoreline, [...]

April 24th, 2019|Categories: Free Activities, North Shore|

Free Things to do on the North Shore

If you're looking for an afternoon or a whole week filled with fun on a budget, you'll want to be sure to check out  our list of Free Things To Do on the North Shore below: Here are a few things we recommend doing: 1. Look for Agates. Search the shores of Lake Superior (or gravel roads – but that doesn't sound as magical, does it?) for agates. Agates are banded ornamental stones typically associated with volcanic rock. Lake Superior Agates, unlike other types of agates, have unique red bands that were formed from the oxidation of iron. 2. Hike the Superior Hiking Trail. The [...]

October 5th, 2018|Categories: Free Activities, North Shore|

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