Superior National Forest Scenic Driving Overview

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Superior National Forest
Superior National Forest (Explore Minnesota Tourism)

Superior National Forest Scenic Drives Travel Tips

  • The North Shore Scenic Drive begins in Duluth and runs 150 miles to the Canadian border along the shore of Lake Superior. Head north from Canal Park Drive in Duluth, but pause to watch the machinations of Duluth's unique Aerial Lift Bridge before setting out.
  • Visit the Split Rock Lighthouse 20 miles northeast of Two Harbors, one of the most iconic images along the North Shore Scenic Drive. To abandon the beaten path, park at the wayside at milepost 43.5, southeast of the visitor center. Two hundred yards north on the west side of the road, a half-mile spur trail climbs to an outcrop with amazing lake and lighthouse vistas.
  • Beginning at Silver Bay on the North Shore, the 60-mile Superior National Forest Scenic Byway follows wooded county and forest roads into Minnesota's Iron Range. Skibo Road, eight miles east of Hoyt Lakes, leads to an overlook on the Laurentian Divide, separating waters destined for the Arctic and the Atlantic.
  • Head east from Grand Marais along the Gunflint Trail, a rugged 60-mile tour of Minnesota's northern lake country that ends at the roadless Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Stops along the way include the Magnetic Rock Trail at mile 48, where a small sign marks a 1.5-mile hike to the compass-confounding stone monolith.
  • When you've hit the northern end of scenic Highway 61, get out and stretch your legs at Grand Portage State Park on the Minnesota/Ontario border. Here, a half-mile trail leads to the state's highest waterfall, the 120-foot High Falls.

Interesting information on the history, ecosystems, wildlife species, and management activities in the Superior National Forest enhances a visit to the Superior National Forest while enjoying one of several scenic driving tours.

"The North Shore Discovery Tour" begins at Tofte, Minnesota on the Sawbill Trail. Stops along the route provide interesting stories of early settlers in the 1890s and how logging and railroads contributed to the development of the area.

In addition to the history, the scenic beauty and wildlife sightings of your drive are bound to make your tour a memorable journey.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 12 Oct 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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