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Author Topic: Lake Superior Area  (Read 2560 times)

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Offline Bro. Noble

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Lake Superior Area
« on: June 16, 2003, 03:41:21 PM »
My son and Daughter-in-law are going to be going from Milwaukee to Deluth,  arount the north shore of Lake Superior for a way;  then to International Falls back to I-35 and back south to Mo.  Anything near that route that you guys that inhabit that area consider a 'must see'?  How about the 'gunflint' trail?

Thanks Noble
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Offline Minnesota_boy

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Re: Lake Superior Area
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2003, 06:56:46 PM »
I like Split Rock Lighthouse on Lake Superior's north shore and Gooseberry Falls is pretty nice.  In Duluth, the arial lift bridge at the mouth of the harbor is kind of neat and inexpensive.  There is a museum there that chronicles some of the shipping on the lake, including some stuff on the Edmund Fitzgerald.  If they would like to see how an underground iron mine was worked, there is a tour of the Tower-Soudan mine (a state park now) near the town of Soudan just east of Tower, MN along highway 1.
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Offline Mark M

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Re: Lake Superior Area
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2003, 10:38:09 PM »
Hi Noble,
Now your talking about sumptin I know! How far up the shore do they want to go? and why do they want to go to to Int'l Falls?

Mn-Boy mentioned some good spots, I might add Tettegouche State Park near Silver Bay. If they like to go on a little hike there is lots to see here. It is one of the few spots you can actually get down to the lake because this is where the Baptism River runs into Superior and there is a break in the cliffs. At this same place is a trail to Shovel Point, it is about 1/2 mile walk out to a rocky outcrop and it is especially nice in the evening. They can also hike to the High Falls on the Baptism. In the same area (just before the junction to MN1) is something called Palisades Head, it is a 400 ft shear cliff with a spectacular view of the lake. You can drive right to it and if you look to the North you can see Shovel Point.

From here you can either keep going north or you could turn off on Mn 1 and head to Ely. It's about a hour drive through some pretty wild country. Good chance of seeing a moose. Ely is a neat little town and is the main entrance to the BWCA. It's what I call a yuppie canoe town because of all the city folks with there $3000 kevlar and custom-built canoes. I like it and it has a lot of neat little stores. From here they can take the Echo Trail to Buyck (near Crane Lake) and then head towards Orr (where I went to high school) and then get on 53 to International Falls which is about 50 miles. The Echo Trail is a well maintained forest road that is in a wilderness area, they won't see much traffic.

On the way to Int'l Falls is Voyageurs National Park which is a water park. You have to get in a boat if you really want to see it. For about $30 bucks they can catch a boat from the Kabetogama Visitors Center to Kettle Falls Hotel which is a pretty neat place. The boat ride is about 6 hours and they will travel about 60 miles into a road-less area. The hotel was used by the early lumberjacks and commercial fishermen around the turn of the century. The easiest route to Int'l Falls was by water and this hotel was one of the stopping off places. For 5 years I ran the tour boat that went to the hotel, now my wife's sister and husband run the hotel and my daughter Sasha works there.

Now as for Int'l Falls - there isn't much there. It would be a good place to find a hotel but other than that there isn't much to see. It is a nice drive out to the Rainy Lake Visitor center however. They have a big paper mill that I miss the smell of. When I was a kid I used to go out on the bridge and watch dem fellas run on the logs that were towed down the lake in big log booms. They used pike poles to push the logs into a  chute where they went up into the mill.

Back to Silver Bay - instead of going inland they can keep going up the North Shore - it gets better the farther you go. Grand Marais was an old fur trading post (I think) and there is a post at Grand Portage. From Grand Portage you can take a boat to Isle Royle (dat's part of Michigan). When your kids are going up 61 tell them to stop at every bridge (well almost) and look over the side because there is probably a water falls under it.

Keep going up 61 to Thunder Bay Ontario. They can get a cheap room at Chippewa Point campground and cabins. About $25 bucks if I remember right. Thunder Bay has some neat things to see and about 20 miles west is Kakebeka Falls which is a miniature Niagara. One thing that is an absolute must is a visit to Old Fort William at Thunder Bay. It is an old fur trading post with all kinds of neat things and people in costumes going about the daily activities of the 1700's. Its easy to spend a day at this place. Up north a little are some amethyst mines where you can pick through the tailings and buy some stones.

If they still want to go to International Falls they can head west from TB to Fort Francis, Ont and then cross over. This is a heck of a drive through some wild country and muskeg. I've seen several moose on this route and the road reminds me of what would happen if someone took off through the woods with a heavy duty v-plow pushing up rocks on both sides of the road.

If they really want to do it right and have a nice trip go to Duluth, 61 to Thunder Bay, Fort Francis/Int'l Falls via Atikokan (hwy 11 I think), Hwy 53 south to Kabetogama (where my house is) and boat to Kettle Falls or keep on 53 about 3 miles and take the Ash River trail back in the wood. Then keep going to Orr, east to Buyck (before Crain Lake) on CR 23 and get on CR116 the Echo trail to Ely (stop at the little lakes along the way), then MN 1 to Illgen City via Finland and then back to Duluth on 61.

If they follow this route I guarantee they will see some of the finest scenery in Minnesota and get a taste of the wilderness. They might even see a few trees along the way.

Let me know if I can help in any way.

Mark

PS - The Gunflint is a nice drive too. Once last thing, if they want to stay in Duluth avoid the weekend as rooms are very hard to find and the rates almost double. Weekdays are fine. They got to go to Canal Park by the Lift Bridge and walk along the lake on the Lake Walk. Do this in the evening but earlier in the day stop at the Marine Museum at the base of the bridge and check the shipping schedules to see if any ships are coming in of going out. They will pass right under the bridge about 100 feet in front of your nose. They might also what to check out the William Irving which is a sister ship to the Ed Fitz. For a few buck they can take a tour through the ship.

Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: Lake Superior Area
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2003, 08:37:48 AM »
Thanks Guys,

We have gone around the lake a couple of times and loved it.  Some of the stuff you mentioned we saw and didbut a lot of it is of course new information.  The kids will look your info  through and decide what to do.  They have limited time so it will be hard for them to decide.  You have been most helpful.

Mark,

The reason they were thinking about going to Int.Falls was to cross over into Canada and take a look at the foreigners :D  I don't think she has been to Canada and it's been a long time since my son has.  As I remember Ft. Frances was a pretty small town and easy to get around in yet having a variety of nice stores where they could do a little shopping in that strange land.  I was afraid Thunder Bay might be a little big------I remember going through there and it was too fancy a 'honky tonk' for me. ;)   Ya have to realize (I may have mentioned this before) we live in a county that only recently acquired it's first traffic light and it doesn't even turn colors.  It just blinks on and off.

I really enjoy that part of the country and am really excited for them as I know they will really like it.

jThanks,  Noble
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Offline chet

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Re: Lake Superior Area
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2003, 07:17:03 PM »
Noble if the kids are going thru Milwaukee, they have no reason to be worried about Thunder Bay.  And as Mark said it is definately a more interesting route than Int. Falls.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Lake Superior Area
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2003, 07:18:28 PM »
Come wif um. Come through Michigan where the really good part of Lake superior is and visit me on the way through. Noble, COME TO THE PICNIC
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Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: Lake Superior Area
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2003, 09:23:25 PM »
Chet,  

Time is really more of a factor than the size of TB.  They may go that way anyway.  They are leaving the Mrs. off just north of Milwaukee where her sister lives ( and just recently my 95 year old Mother-in-law) and then doing this little trip.  My younger son has a meeting in Chicago a few days later and will then go pick up his Mom.  I get to stay home and milk :'(  I am gonna take a nap every single day they're gone though.

Jeff,  I was keeping the picnic in mind if things had worked out differently.  

Noble
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Lake Superior Area
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2003, 03:22:52 AM »
By coming to the picnic wouldnt that be working out differently?
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