Tag Archives: North Shore

North Shore 2022

What a surprise this year – no fall colors.

We go to the North Shore about the same time, within a few days, nearly every year. Every year we’ve had spectacular fall colors. The maples along the tops of the Sawtooths are gorgeous. One of the most beautiful sights I’ve seen – and I’ve seen a lot of beautiful sights around the world.

This year was different. Fall is late. Very late. Instead of fall colors we saw the end of the wildflowers and about a billion pollinators. It was so much fun to see the impatients, golden rod, blazing star, and a multitude of other flowers I’ve never seen on the trails over run by may different types of pollinators I’ve never seen.

We spent quite a bit more time hiking this year than in the past. Usually a hike in the morning and a hike in the afternoon. It was a lot of fun to revisit some of the falls I haven’t seen for about a decade – going to Devil’s Kettle in Judge CR Magny State Park and hiking the 192 stairs was 100% worth it. All in all we hiked in every single state park along the north shore sans Split Rock Lighthouse State Park and Grand Portage State Park – we hiked Goosebury Falls, Tettegouche State Park (Illgen Falls), Temperance River State Park (Hidden Falls), Cascade River State Park(Cascade Falls), and, Judge CR Magney State Park (Devil’s Kettle). Outside of state parks we had very rewarding hikes at Oberg Mountain, White Sky Rock + Lake Agnes, and Caribou Falls wayside rest. I think our favorites may have been Devil’s Kettle and Caribou Falls simply because of the type of trail and surrounding forest. We did visit the Grand Portage National Monument but that’s a bit different than the state park.

The restaurant situation is still a bit jacked up. Everyone is hiring, one restaurant didn’t have enough employees and had very limited services, another restaurant had employees but they were on a worker exchange visa program of some sort and from all over the globe, and one of the best places we ate, Voyagers Brewery, had a crap ton of employees, great service, a bunch of customers, and reasonably priced food. The places with a shortage of employees and services must not pay well.

Beyond the restaurants, it seems all the COVID related changes are gone – a pretty different experience compared to visiting in 2020. Looking back at my post history, it looks like I skipped writing about the north shore visit in 2020. It’s probably a good thing to keep my opinions on that experience to myself. However, the fall colors were spectacular that year 10/10.

Once again, we had a fantastic time on the north shore. We look forward to visiting next year!

Enjoy the photos!

Chris W.

North Shore 2019

We visited the North Short this fall and it was a bit different than usual. First, it was kind of an odd fall in Minnesota so we didn’t really catch the fall colors. Second, we actually stayed in Canal Park of Duluth, MN, pretty far away from the nice, rural, North Shore that we’re used to. That said, it was still super enjoyable.

We visited Gooseberry Falls and hiked around the park, a first for us, and we finally hike Oberg Mountain! Oberg Mountain is a higher point in the Sawtooths and has a wonderful view of Lake Superior and the mountains to the west. We’ve attempted to hike Oberg Mountain in the past but it the parking area was constantly full. This year we showed up super early and had an absolutely beautiful hike. The hike itself was rather easy even though I was carrying about 30lbs of stuff and the trail had quite a few lookouts of the surrounding area. The hike was well worth the wait and I look forward to doing it again!

Otherwise, we visited our typical parks and lookouts and enjoyed the scenery of the North Shore.

We had a some pretty good food. We found the best BBQ restaurant we’ve ever visited in Minnesota not too far from our hotel and we finally had a chance to eat some donuts at the World Best Donuts in Grand Marais. For whatever reason we have had poor timing and never have had the opportunity to try their donuts – either they were closed for the season or we arrived too late. It’s not like we didn’t try, we’ve visited the North Shore consistently for the last 10 years or so. The donuts were certainly delicious and I can see why they have their reputation!

Enjoy the photos 🙂

North Shore 2018

We finally made it to the north shore when there nice fall colors! After years and years of trying we discovered the north shore does in fact have beautiful fall colors. Who knew?

Minnesota does not have gentle fall weather. It’s usually quite windy, often rainy, and sometimes snowy. More often than not, the leaves are ripped from the trees well before the beautiful fall colors can be displayed. For some reason, this year was different and we were able to see it. The colors seemed to stretch for miles and were quite lovely; our touring around reminded us of our time last year in the Smoky Mountains NP area.

Fall on the north shore starts a bit sooner so we still have a couple more weeks in the twin cities area before we get our peak fall colors. It’s nice getting two falls :).

Enjoy the photos!

North Shore 2016

It’s been a few years since we visited the North Shore and we’re glad we returned! We did things a bit differently because of time constraints. We normally stay in Grand Marais and then hike / sightsee around the area but we found lodging a bit south in Silver Bay via an AirBnB and then drove around the north short area for hikes. Also, we actually looked for things to do in advance instead of just wandering around. We’ve been up to the North Shore a handful of times but it was always ad-hoc and we did whatever we felt like doing so we figured we’d plan just a little bit more this time.

We had a blast and thoroughly enjoyed the hiking around Tettegouche State Park, visiting Naniboujou, and enjoying the other views of the North Shore. It’s neat to see what has changed in the few years since our last visit and to also stop by our old favorites. It was neat to use our State Park Pass. This is the first year we ever invested in a pass so we actually visited the state parks instead of finding ways to sneak into the parks from the road. Well worth the price of admission :).

Naniboujou is a very strange place. The food was alright but the story, decoration, and the location are very strange. We’ve driven by Naniboujou numerous times throughout the years but I’m glad we stopped by simply because it’s such an odd place. After visiting once, I’m not sure I’d return but it’s worth at least one visit.

On an odd note, it’s incredible is how much our travels have changed our expectations and our taste buds. When we first returned to the US we had some troubles when we visited our old favorite places to eat because we’d find out that they just weren’t… good. We thought they were good before we traveled because we didn’t know how the food was supposed to taste or we simply didn’t have enough of that food type to know better. We continually have this occur but we were a bit surprised when this happened to our stop at Toby’s. Whenever we’d drive to the North Shore we’d always stop at Toby’s for doughnuts on the way up and way down. We were sad to find out that we don’t really like Toby’s anymore :(.

Enjoy the photos!

Chris W.