The North Shore is an incredible place with many exciting things to do and unique places to visit. The problem is that there is never enough time to squeeze it all in during one visit (or two, or three). So, we tried narrowing down the list to the top 10 things we think all visitors should do when they visit the North Shore (and let us tell you – it was hard!). Nonetheless, here’s our top ten list:

  1. Gooseberry Falls State Park: This state park is best known for its spectacular upper, middle and lower waterfalls. Also in the park is access to beautiful Lake Superior shoreline, hiking trails, a Civilian Conservation Corps building and fantastic picnic areas on an old lava flow. Learn more about Gooseberry Falls State Park activities here.
  2. Split Rock Lighthouse Tour: The Split Rock Lighthouse was built in 1910 after a devastating storm in 1905. Today the iconic Minnesota lighthouse attracts visitors from all over the world. Though the light is no longer operating, visitors can tour the lighthouse, keeper’s house, oil house and the fog signal building. When you’re through we highly suggest exploring other areas of Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, as well.
  3. Palisade Head: This 200+ foot cliff towers over Lake Superior and offers one of the most spectacular views of the North Shore. On clear days there are views of the Sawtooth Mountains, Split Rock Lighthouse, and all the way to Wisconsin. Palisade Head is located 2.7 miles northeast of Silver Bay.
  4. Temperance River Cauldron Trail: This trail in Temperance River State Park begins on Highway 61. Without hiking far, viewers can see a number of falls and the Temperance River which has worn hundreds of cauldrons in the bedrock of the river. Though high water levels in the spring make for the best, most powerful waterfalls, low water levels throughout the rest of the year reveal the most cauldrons.
  5. Oberg Loop Hike: This 2.3-mile loop trail is said to be many visitors favorite Minnesota hike, and we understand why! It offers hikers incredible views of Lake Superior, Oberg Lake, and the Sawtooth Mountains and brings hikers through the beautiful maple forest that harbors a variety of plants uncommon to nearby forests. Learn more about the hike here.
  6. Cascade River Falls: This string of waterfalls located near the mouth of the Cascade River has been given the name “The Cascades.” They are very well known to many for their unique beauty. A quick hike up a well-maintained trail, lined with birch, spruce, and white cedar, brings hikers to many overlooks and bridges. Learn more about Cascade River State Park.
  7. Artist’s Point: Unique and beautiful jagged rock formations make up what is known as Artists Point in Grand Marais. Its size might be small, but the impression it makes on your visit will be big! Walk the breakwall to the lighthouse to enjoy a sunset or climb the rock formations all afternoon.
  8. Devil’s Kettle Falls: This waterfall located northeast of Grand Marais in Judge C.R. Magney State Park splits in two with one side heading downstream and the other into a deep mysterious hole (Devil’s Kettle). It is known to have no bottom and no one knows where the water in the hole goes. Learn more here.
  9. Susie Island Overlook: Stopping at the Susie Island Overlook south of Grand Portage is an incredible experience. With excellent views of the Susie Islands to the east, Josephine Mountain to the southwest, and majestic Lake Superior all around, your breath is sure to be taken away. Find out more about the Susie Islands here.
  10. Pigeon River High Falls: If you have time, you’ll definitely want to visit the High Falls, the highest waterfall in Minnesota, located at Grand Portage State Park. The Pigeon River flows along the border between Canada and Minnesota and has carved out a beautiful canyon for visitors to view and explore. Learn more about Grand Portage State Park here.