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Just an hour north from Duluth, on the beautiful North Shore of Superior, lies a small, but very impressive state park with some awesome waterfalls! They are easy to get to, and are often full of other tourists, but still very neat to see. I spent about an hour here looking at the different falls (upper, lower, and middle). The falls were the most impressive to me, falling around 40ft from a big cliff that you could actually walk around on! It's a must see on the North Shore for sure!
Written Jul 29, 2003
About 20 mins north of Gooseberry Falls is another famous landmark: the Split Rock Lighthouse. Unlike the falls, there is an admission price to get onto the grounds. Instead of paying to take the guided tour ($6 a person) we paid the 'per-vehicle' rate ($7) and drove to the beach below for a beautiful view of the lighthouse and the lake! That's my insight suggestion.... it was really neat!
Written Jul 31, 2003
Lutzen Ski Area is in Lutzen, Minnesota, about an hour and a half north of Duluth on Interstate 61 that parallels the lake. Not only do they have great skiing in the winter, but horseback riding, ATVing, gondola rides, and an awesome alpine slide! We found it almost by accident and had a blast! It was an expensive slide, but definitely worth it. And you could see Superior from the top of the hill! It was great!
Written Jul 31, 2003
First United Methodist Church (known locally as the "Coppertop") is one of the dominant buildings on Duluth's skyline. Its parking lot is also a great place to get a view of the city, the lake, and the bay. On weekdays around noon you will probably find a half dozen or so police cars, ambulances, and service trucks in the parking lot with their passengers eating take-out lunches appreciating the view. Get a clue from the locals and check it out!
The inside of the church is interesting too and the side chapel is a beautiful and restful spot for contemplation. The church is almost always open, but I'd suggest checking in with the office. There's a nursery school in the building and one can't be too careful these days.
Updated Apr 14, 2003
Phone: 218 727-5021
Chester Creek Park stretches for over two miles right through the middle of the city. You can start at the entrance at 4th Street near 14th Avenue East right across from the Whole Foods Co-op and walk up the trail to Chester Bowl. It's a lovely hike all year round.
Updated Apr 19, 2003
Yes, Duluth is a rugged port city. A city of dock workers and a haven for former iron range miners. Yet, Duluth is a land of parks and streams and flowers. It is highly ranked by Outdoors Magazine as a top city for outdoors enthusiasts. Great for hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and cross country skiing. My favorite activity is walking along the many creeks which flow sharply downhill to their rendevous with Lake Superior.
Written Sep 26, 2003
I find this photo fascinating because it shows how the railroad spurs thrust unto the lake. The iron ore is pulled out of the ground in "Iron Range" cities like Hibbing, Chisolm and Virginia and then carried by rail to the port city of Duluth. The end of the line are these spurs that extend into Lake Superior for the sole purpose of depositing the ore into the vast ore ships that will eventually carry the iron to the steel mills of the lower midwest. Places like Gary, Indiana and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Written Jun 23, 2003
Driving the north shore, you'll pass through many parks and cross numerous bridges. At Gooseberry Falls State Park, you'll pass the main park entrance, then cross over a high arch bridge. To your left, you'll see a beautiful waterfall, just upriver from the bridge. This will temp you to pull into the parking area and visitor center just off the bridge and walk back to view the falls from the overlook walks on the bridge and around the river. Please do so, but if that is all you do, you'll miss Gooseberry Falls, well the biggest and most striking falls in this chain of rocks, rapids, and tumbling water.
You see, below the bridge, on your right as you crossed is the largest of the series. But, you're upstream and its well below the road level. Go back, enter the park (there's a fee most of the year) and drive down to the parking area by the falls. Walking through the woods, you'll hear the water and see the opening beyond the woods. In spring, you'll find a quarter miles (1/2 km) of water flowing down towards Lake Superior. It tumbles and rumbles over a rock bed. In late summer, you can walk all the way across this water course and never get your feet wet. By summer the water levels are so low that they need only the riverlets cut into the rock bed of the river. You can easily step over or leap these narrow channels.
Gooseberry Falls State Park is about 45 miles from Duluth.
Updated May 7, 2007
Just north of Gooseberry Falls State Park is an overlook. The road reaches the top of a rise and begins to bend left and down again. Pull off at walk up to the stone wall. On a point of rocks, over looking Lake Superior is Split Rock Lighthouse. You'll be able to enter the park a mile further up the road, but this first impression will stay with you longer than the actual visit to the lighthouse will.
Split Rock is a warning beacon to shipping traffic. Here, Lake Superior is narrowing and the cliffs rise suddenly from the water. In the early years, all traffic to the lighthouse came by boat. The landing still exist at the Lake level and a trolley system is visible for hauling supplies up to the lighthouse on the bluff. You can walk down the several hundred feet (maybe 100 m or less) to the landing or marvel at the climb from above.
Split Rock is about 50 miles from Duluth (one-way)
Updated May 7, 2007
Well, maybe you're not a mile in the sky, but the William I. Bong Bridge is the highest in Duluth, and fortunately when it was built in the 1980's a walking path was built. This walk is not for the faint at heart, but it's defintately exciting. You can get on the bridge in Duluth and walk over to Superior, WI over the St. Louis Bay. What an amazing experience! It's probably about a 30-40 minute walk, depending on how many times you stop to take in the beautiful view.
Written Feb 5, 2006
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