Day Trips in Duluth

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Duluth is the most interior port on the Great Lakes, situated at the far western end of Lake Superior. Its location on the largest fresh water lake in the world and on the road to the northern Minnesota wilderness make it especially well-suited for day trips focused on adventure and nature.


When Minnesotans speak of the North Shore there is only one place they mean--the 150 miles of spectacular Lake Superior shoreline that extend from the city of Duluth up to the Canadian border. Much of this rugged lakefront is easily accessible along Highway 61 (the very route that gave its name to Bob Dylan's 1965 album). Although private property--cabins and resorts, primarily--occasionally obscure the view, long stretches of the road run alongside the lake for an unparalleled vista. Approximately an hour out of Duluth along Highway 61 is Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. The lighthouse, built in 1909, is located 100 feet above crashing waves on one of the most precipitous points of land along the entire north shore coastline. Other state parks such as Gooseberry Falls or Tettagouche are nearby (no farther than 90 minutes) and offer hiking along the Superior Trail, camping, rock climbing, cross country skiing and biking.


Follow the south shore of Lake Superior for a couple of hours to Bayfield, Wisconsin, and discover the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. This area is a kayaker's, diver's, and sailor's paradise and the tiny town of Bayfield is well-provisioned for all boating and diving needs. For less adventuresome types, a cruise service based in Bayfield runs daily trips through the 21 islands of the national lakeshore and to individual islands for picnicking, hiking, fishing, bird watching and lighthouse visiting from late spring to mid-fall. The largest island, Madeline, is accessible by car ferry. Here, visitors can rent vacation cabins or camp.


The former iron mining region of northern Minnesota is approximately 1 to 2 hours from Duluth, depending on which "range" town you want to visit. Bob Dylan fans will want to head to the songwriter's hometown of Hibbing--especially during Dylan Days in May. Hockey fans won't want to miss the U. S. Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth and history buffs can tour an open pit mine in Calumet or climb aboard mining equipment at the Minnesota Museum of Mining in Chisholm. Like much of northern Minnesota, the Iron Range is peppered with pristine lakes for swimming, fishing and boating.

September 29, 2009 new by kimerly

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