Lake Superior Adventures: North Shore to The Apostle Islands

Cross River Falls – MN

September 18th, 2022:

The gentle roar of Lake Superior’s waves crashing against the rock greeted me as I woke up just after seven-thirty. I could have stared at the lake all day from the comfort of The Best Western Superior Inn, but I have many miles to go on this adventure.

In need of grace and spiritual fuel, I attended Mass at St. John’s Catholic Church before heading south down Highway 61, hugging the coast towards Duluth for 110 miles.

Fog enveloped the lake as I headed south. I enjoyed another trip along the coast, this time noticing views and stops I missed the first time around including the stunning Cross Falls.

This waterfall is right by the road as The Cross River pummels down rock into the inland sea before. This is near the site of Father Baraga’s Cross and an informative sign about Fr. Baraga is near the wayside path.

I learned that a majority of these helpful waysides with scenic views and restrooms are parallel to the Superior Hiking Trail, which runs from Duluth along The North Shore. I’d love to return and tackle a few miles of the trail.

I continued south until I reached Two Harbors…I was in desperate need of gasoline and coffee. Always on the hunt for local and delicious coffee I stopped for a cup of java at CedarCoffee. The barista recommend I try the Maple Latte – a perfect treat on a foggy day.

Interesting to note that Minnesota is known for delicious locally sourced maple syrup.

Cedar Coffee is about a mile off the main road and is well marked. The welcoming coffee shop is attached to a cycle shop, Spokengear and Cedaero – hand made packs made right in Two Harbors.

Cedar Coffee serves piping hot delicious java, treats and breakfast and lunch. It is a gathering place for the people of Two Harbors and beyond.

Two Harbors also features several other great coffee stops including The Vanilla Bean, White Pine Coffee and Northshore Coffee House.

I reached Duluth just after 12:30 and headed through Canal Park before catching the state route across the border to Wisconsin.

I wish I had more time in Duluth – there is a lot of fun things for families in the area including an aquarium on the waterfront and interactive Canal Park. For history buffs, The Glensheen Mansion is worth exploring. I have it on my bucket list for my next visit.

Welcome to Wisconsin: Duluth borders Wisconsin and its sister city is Superior, WI.

I fell in love with Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan Coast last year at Door County and am excited to explore the Superior side.

Regular blog followers know I love to find scenic detours – so before heading northeast to The Apostle Islands, I decided to take a half hour detour to Wisconsin’s beautiful Amincon Falls. The upper and lower falls are easily accessible. This is a State Park with a small fee – the park has over 30 campsites and 1.8 miles of hiking trails.

After thirty minutes enjoying Amnicon Falls, I headed northeast for an hour on Highway 13 towards the Apostle Islands National Seashore.

Located on the southern shore of the Lake Superior off Wisconsin’s Bayfield Peninsula, The Apostle Islands are a group of twenty-one islands that are known for their remarkable beauty. The unique ‘sea caves’ are popular spots for photographers. Kayakers love to traverse the cold but clear waters of Superior and The Apostles.

We’ll be digging into the history and nature of The Apostles in my next post as I’ve dedicated tomorrow for the island adventures.

However I was able to enjoy the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore today with a four mile round trip hike from Meyers Beach to the first sea caves on the mainland.

I honestly just stopped off at the beach for a map and picture, but the park ranger encouraged me to hike the trail and get up close with a sea cave.

The trail is moderate in difficulty – with boardwalks going over lush moss and creeks, scaling mud and rocks and a few hard scrambles in spots. I managed well, even with my recovering herniated disc – just had to pace my steps.

It was hard to get a good picture of the caves (I didn’t want to be the tourist who fell off the cliff), but spending several hours enjoying The Apostle Islands off the beaten path was worth it!! I cannot wait for more Apostle Island adventures tomorrow!

Bayfield and Washburn are two peninsula towns with accommodations on the waterfront.

Both have restaurants, with Washburn being more local pub food and Bayfield a bit more refined for tourists. I enjoyed Patty’s – a burger bar in Washburn.

Meyers Beach

For more info about The Meyers Beach hikes...

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