When you get too close to Lake Superior in winter, you run the risk of being frozen in place till warmer weather releases you.
Tettegouche State Park is home to some wonderful hiking trails and a favorite of mine is the trail to Shovel Point. It does require climbing some stairs, but the hiker will be rewarded with wide open vistas of Lake Superior and the north shore.
For the fourth year in a row, I had made a plan to take part in the “Opt Outside” movement started by REI. It has grown over the years to include many other businesses. In Minnesota, all the state parks are open to the public for free on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
However, as the day drew nearer, I became concerned about the weather due to the extended forecast calling for freezing rain on Friday and I had hoped to travel up the north shore of Lake Superior to visit Cascade River State Park. In the event travel wasn’t possible on Friday, I chose to take my trip on the day before Thanksgiving and opted to only go as far as Temperance River State Park. I also made stops at Gooseberry Falls State Park and Tettegouche State Park.
As it turned out, not only did it not rain till much later in the day Friday, the temps were in the low forties. Over the three days around Thanksgiving I managed to get in three very nice hikes. The day up the shore, through the woods and on the shore of Park Point and on the Superior Hiking Trail above Duluth. Not once did I think about wanting to go shopping! (Except for some thoughts of getting some new hiking boots.)
Here are a few memories from the last three days. If you stare at the black & white image for awhile, it morphs in to all kinds of strange things.
Shovel Point at Tettegouche State Park as seen from Palisade Head.
As I previously mentioned, Tettegouche is one of my favorite Minnesota state parks and one of its most famous landmarks was the stone arch. On one of our trips to the park, my wife and I had the chance to kayak through the arch. However, in late August of 2010, the bridge portion of the landmark collapsed into the lake and left behind a stack rather than an arch. Because of its location, this part of Lake Superior’s north shore is often subject to large waves from storms and when that happens during frigid winter weather, the blowing spray can create unusual ice formations along the rocky shore and on the trees.
In case you haven’t figured it out, the three bottom images are from the same day, but from opposite sides. The first two are looking south from Shovel Point, the Watcher is looking north.
Tettegouche State Park on Lake Superior’s north shore is one of my favorite places to visit in Minnesota. With the addition of the new wayside rest area, the park is open to everyone traveling along the north shore. The park offers fantastic views of the lake, miles of hiking trails, camping and the highest waterfall contained within the borders of Minnesota. But the lake is the big draw and no matter the season, its personality is always on display.
Minolta DiMAGE S404, ISO 64, 7.38mm, f/ 6.7, 1/250 sec, Nov. 20, 2005