Split Rock River Loop Hike – Lake Superior

Duluth, MN

On our final day in the Duluth area we decided to do a little hiking.  Friends, Terry and LuAnn (Paint Your Landscape), recently drove along the north shore of Lake Superior and told us about the Split Rock River Loop hike north of Two Harbors, MN, about 50 miles from Duluth.  Most trails along the north shore of Lake Superior are maintained by a private group called the Superior Hiking Trail Association, headquartered in Two Harbors.  So we stopped at the association’s headquarters to get directions (and purchase a couple of shirts to support their efforts) and headed out to the trailhead.

The trail is accessed from a small parking area along Rte. 61.  It follows the Split Rock River inland from the lake for about two and a half miles, crosses the river on  a small bridge, then returns.  The first section of the trail is fairly flat through the forest.

Many sections go steeply up over rises near the river, then back down to the water.

The association has done a great job in creating passage over wet areas along the trail.

The most interesting parts of this hike are the many waterfalls along the trail.

One of us took the opportunity to place her piggies in to test the water temperature.  It was a little chilly, but not unbearable.

A second person who can “walk on water”

Lunch with a view

Split rocks that give the river its name

The leaning bridge to the return hike

Despite this sign, the bridge did feel pretty stable

Near the end of the hike you gain a bit of elevation with a nice view of Lake Superior.  While it was sunny with temperatures in the mid 60’s, the high humidity made a bit of haze on the lake that blended the water and sky together.

We enjoyed this hike as it is long enough (5 miles) and contains enough elevation changes to give you a work-out and has some great views of beautiful waterfalls.

Tomorrow we depart the Duluth area and head northwest about 150 miles for a visit to Bemidji.  Terry and LuAnn are going to meet us there, so it should be a great visit.  Also, as most of you know, Bemidji is the curling capital of the U.S!  OK, so none of you knew that (neither did we).  But one of us is a fan of curling (the other is a fan of watching paint dry) so we will enjoy visiting the curling center.

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19 Responses to Split Rock River Loop Hike – Lake Superior

  1. Sue says:

    Looks like a beautiful hike, and I loved the red shirt John. Its a good look for you…

  2. pmbweaver says:

    I love that path. It looks so lovely. It would be totally great expect that bridge. That would make me a bit nervous.

    Bemidji? Curling or not…I have never heard of it. I had to look it up on the map, and it stills me nothing to me…..lol

    • placestheygo says:

      We had never heard of Bemidji either, Marsha! It was just a place between LuAnn and Terry and us. Then, when John did research we discovered it was a nice town AND the curling capital!! Wait til the next blog!!!

  3. LuAnn says:

    I loved that I could recall where you were with each photo that I saw. That new camera of yours takes some awesome pictures, or perhaps it is the photographer? 😉 I have many of the same photos, albeit with different hikers, in my collection. Love the North Shore! Look forward to seeing you both again.

  4. One hiker at a time? Come on…they’re just asking for a bunch of teenagers to see how many it can really hold!

  5. Ingrid says:

    Glad to see you back on a trail with rocks and elevation. We had a great meet-up with Sue and Dave and decided next summer would be fun to have a big blogger get together in CO. Give LuAnn a hug for me…. enjoy 🙂

    • placestheygo says:

      I love the idea of having a blogger get together in CO next summer!!

      Glad your meeting with Dave and Sue worked out. I am sure you had a great time.

      I’ll pass your hug along Friday when we meet Terry and LuAnn again:)

  6. Laurel says:

    What a pretty hike! A five-mile hike with waterfalls sounds just right. I also love dipping my feet in the water at every opportunity — it’s so refreshing, especially if it’s a warm day and the water is chilly!

    • placestheygo says:

      It was a good five miler to get in some climbing shape. It wasn’t a walk in the park for sure, Laurel. The temperatures were in the 60’s but it was humid in the woods so we were quite warm. The “foot bath” was just what I needed while we ate lunch:)

  7. That chilly water must have nice on your hiking feet!

    • placestheygo says:

      The water was wonderful! While the temperature was only in the upper 60’s, the humidity was up and it was very warm in the woods with little air. It was just what I needed while having lunch:)

  8. My legs and muscles are aching for a good hike. Glad that you are back in the hiking shape. I hope you were delighted to see the split-rock Pam! That water must feel so refreshing after your hike.

  9. Pam says:

    Oddly enough we ended up in Duluth and Superior today ourselves! Two Harbors is on our list as a via point on the way to Isle Royale…two or three summers from now! Love a 5 mile hike.

    • placestheygo says:

      Small world, Pam! We were glad we decided to visit Duluth. It was very interesting especially since we have spent years watching the ships go by my mother’s house up on the St. Lawrence and now we know where they go!

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