Split Rock Lighthouse
Perched over 180 feet off the shore of Lake Superior is one of Minnesota’s most famous attractions: Split Rock Lighthouse. It sits on a 25-acre piece of land which includes the lighthouse, the original fog signal building, the oil house, an original home for the lighthouse keeper, and a visitor’s center. It is visited by over 100,000 people every year, making it the most visited lighthouse in the US.
The lighthouse was built in the early 1900s, with the completion in 1910. Though it operated for over 60 years, it was decommissioned in 1969. Every November 10th, the day in which the Edmund Fitzgerald sank, the lantern is lit for the Edmund Fitzgerald Beacon Lighting ceremony.
In the early 20th century, Lake Superior was one of the most dangerous bodies of water in the world, and with the sudden iron ore boom something needed to be installed for ships traveling in the night. US Congress approved a $75,000 budget for a lighthouse and fog signal to be built on Split Rock.
Though the lighthouse is no longer used for its original purpose, it is open to the public for tours. When you join a tour group, you’ll gain historic knowledge from the guide, watch an introductory film, and walk through of the entire site. Allow roughly 2 hours to complete your tour. Access to the outbuildings is available May 15 through October 31. Visitors can also tour the site and explore the lighthouse on their own.
Located 20 miles north of Two Harbors on Highway 61 at 3713 Split Rock Lighthouse Rd, Two Harbors. Signs along the highway will direct you to the park entrance.