Superior Ridge Resort Motel, Schroeder, MN

Superior Ridge Resort Motel, 8041 MN-61, Schroeder, MN 55613

Schroeder is this tiny little town next to some of the greatest hiking trails or at least superior hiking trails.  It is a very short distance to from Temperance River and there is a nice little pizza and breakfast place you can eat at.

The Superior Ridge Resort Motel is tucked just off the main road.  It is easy to get to, but not noisy.  You rent a room with a bathroom attached.  Our room had a couple of beds, a table to eat at, a microwave, and a dresser.  It literally was a brand new room and it was perfect for us.

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The view out our window was pretty amazing.  Is that Lake Superior?  Yes it it.  There was also a sitting area with a good view just a few steps away as well.

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The internet works well, which is nice for planning your trips around the area.  You can watch DVD’s in your room, they have a selection at the front desk you can borrow.  You can play basketball or badminton.

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Of course you can take in a little hiking with a trail to somewhere in the backyard.  We didn’t go too far on that trail because we didn’t know where it went and there are amazing trails just down the road like Temperance State Park and the Superior Hiking Trial along the Temperance River.

This lodge is close to everything and nothing at the same time.  It is hard to find a restaurant in the area.  There is a great place for breakfast in town and they make a decent pizza.  Grand Marais is reasonably close if you want to take a drive to get a meal or there are a few places nearby.

The resort is setup for both the summer and for your winter activities.  The owners were nice and friendly.

Overall it was a great find and I would definitely stay there again.

Palisade Head, Silver Bay, MN

Palisade Head, Silver Bay, MN 55614

As you are travelling along 61 near Silver Bay you will see a pull out with some parking along the road.  Here is the place you can park, or in a smaller vehicle you can drive up to see the Palisade Head rock formations.

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We parked and walked up to it because it was a short walk and that is what we do.  If you have a smaller vehicle the drive up isn’t too bad and there is parking at the top.

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It is basically a great view of lake superior and the cliffs that were formed a long time ago.  Also, you can rock climb these cliffs if you are crazy enough to do that kind of thing.  We saw a few people getting ready to do the climb.  It is probably pretty amazing.

The view of Lake Superior from here is pretty intense.

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Are they sure this isn’t an ocean?  Lake Superior is huge and from this view all you see is water.  Looking at the cliffs are pretty neat as well.  I cannot imaging climbing them, but like I said people do.

You can drive up to see the view so if you are in the area take a moment to take in the Lake from this vantage point.

Temperance River State Park, Schroeder, MN

Temperance River State Park, 7620 West Highway 61, Schroeder, MN 55613

Along the north shore in Minnesota there is a little town called Schroeder, and just north of this town is the Temperance River State Park.  The park entrance is on the east side of the road, but the trails we took were on the west side of the road.

We parked along 61 and took the superior hiking trail along the northern part of the river all the way up to Carlton Peak.  It is a beautiful journey.

The trail starts near hidden falls, which, if this is all the further you get you still have a lot to see.  It isn’t far the to first looking point.  You get a glimpse of the falls hiding behind some rocks.

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A better view is just a little ways further, but you will need to walk up some rock stairs.  They did a great job making the path look almost natural at times, like the stairs where crafted by the Earth and not placed by man.

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The river is this beautiful, powerful, twisting, turning thing at this point in the river.  It carves its way through the rocks and creates whirlpools along the way which is way there is so much foam in the river.

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About a mile or so in you will come across a sign stating Carlton Peak 2 miles and Britton Peak 3.6 miles.  Take the journey up to Carlton Peak if you have the time.  There is quite a bit of walking up hill, but the view is amazing.

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A view from the bottom looking up at Carlton Peak will make you take a pause, but it really is worth it.  I believe there are shorter journeys up to the top from another trail head if you only want to see the peak.

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There is a place where you can write in a journal about who you are and why you are there.  We were going to attempt to go up from there, but if you walk a little further an easier path will present itself.  Luckily someone saw us and pointed this path out to us.

The view of Lake Superior from here reminds you just how big that lake really is because you can’t see all of it.  It almost looks like it isn’t a lake, but instead the sky shining blue and touching the trees.

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The view away from the lake is just this ocean of trees.  It seems to extend forever.

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On our trip back to our car a squirrel posed for a picture.  I swear he chased us down and waited for me to get this pic.

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Camping near the Temperance River in the State Park by the Lake looked like it might be pretty amazing.  You are pretty close to your neighbors, but the view is great and the trails down to the Lake and beach area are pretty sweet.

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We walked along the beach just as the sun was setting and the moon was rising.  We knew we needed to get back to the car, but it was hard to walk away from these fantastic views.

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If you get a chance to see Hidden Falls, Carlton Peak, or any of Temperance State Park take the opportunity to see it all.  It is part of the Superior Hiking Trails and a piece of the trail that you will  not want to skip.

Glacial Lakes State Park, Starbuck, MN

Glacial Lakes State Park, 25022 Co Rd 41, Starbuck, MN 56381

Glacial Lakes State Park reminds me of home.  Home  being the Loess Hills of Iowa.  Although the flowers are different.

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We tried our third camping trip at Glacial Lakes State Park.  We took the Oakridge Campground which is near an overlook.  You can camp here, rent a cabin, or take one of the walk in camp sites.  Oakridge is a walking site about a mile past the parking spot they provide.

We grabbed our gear and headed to the campsite.  Everything was pretty great.  We had to hike in our firewood which added some extra weight.

The walk was fine until we got to the turn for the campsite.  It was like walking through a mosquito mine field.  They swarmed and we had to rush to start a fire.  The campsite had three entrances and all three were full of mosquitoes.

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Once we managed to get the mosquitoes somewhat under control we began to enjoy the campsite.  The tent went up and the food came out.  The next day I hiked back to the car just to bring back ham and cheese for our breakfast.

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We tried the trail up to the lookout and were literally chased by the mosquitoes most of the way up the trail and back to the campsite.  It was a nice view.  I think a different time or year might make this trip a whole lot better.

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There are campsites and cabins all around the lake.  Many of them look very nice.  Kids swim in the lake in a designated area.  I even hear there is some fishing on the lake.

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There are some horse trails as well and horse camping sites.  This park doesn’t have any bears the that is sweet.  I actually slept for the first time on a camping trip.

The flowers where nice.  The views were nice.  Anytime without a the mosquitoes would have been really nice.

Grand Marais Lighthouse, MN

Grand Marais Lighthouse, MN

On Lake Superior at Grand Marais there are actually two lighthouses.  We walked out to one of them.  Viewing the marina is pretty cool with all of the boats and the view of the lake and the city.

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To get to the lighthouse you park at the harbor and walk behind the U.S. Coastguard building and along a concrete barrier all the way out to the lighthouse.

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The path is wide enough for two people to pass fairly comfortably.  I saw a group of younger children taking the path less traveled along the rocks past the barrier.  They looked like they were having fun.  One was pretending to climb one of the rocks.  It was pretty funny.

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From this tree you can see both lighthouses at the same time.  The one we were walking to is in the middle and way in the back on the left you can barely see the second one.

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As far as lighthouses go neither one of these lighthouses is very impressive.  They are pretty plan structures, but they get the job done.

Here is a picture of the one you can see from the one we walked to.  I assume you could walk to that one too, but the walk cannot be nearly as fun.

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Here is the one that we walked to.  You can climb up the stairs, but I do not think you can go inside or anything.

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Honestly the best part about the walk out to the lighthouse is the view of everything else.  The rocks along the walk are pretty cool and of course the boats.

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If you find yourself in Grand Marais you owe it to yourself to take the walk out to the lighthouse and just take in the lake and the city.  While we were out there a fog rolled through the city.  It was pretty cool to watch.

World’s Best Donuts, Grand Marais, MN

World’s Best Donuts, 10 Wisconsin St, Grand Marais, MN 55604

It is a bold claim to name your store World’s Best Donuts, but I have to say that it may very well be a true claim.

You walk in and choose the donuts that you want.  They ring you up and then you can either eat in their little seating area inside, eat outside, or take your donuts home.  We took ours back to the cabin.

The donuts themselves are basically grease and sugar somehow held together with just enough flour to give it form.  It literally melts in your mouth as you bite it.

Amazing donuts.  Definitely worth getting one and trying it for yourself.

Watch out for the birds, that is all I am going to say about that.

Sven and Ole’s Pizza, Grand Marais, MN

Sven and Ole’s Pizza, 9 Wisconsin St, Grand Marais, MN 55604

Sven and Ole’s Pizza is pretty famous, mostly due to their bumper stickers.  Oh, and the fact that they have really good pizza.

The bumper sticker is free if you just ask for one while you are there.  We have ours as a sign on our porch.

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You walk in and order the pizza that you want.  You grab a table and wait for them to bring it to you.  The walls are lined with a lot of sports and outdoor items.

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The pizza itself is perfect.  When I complain that I cannot find a decent pizza in the cities it is because this is the kind of pizza that I am looking for.  It is a thinner crust, but not overly crisp and not limp.  The toppings where tasty and plentiful.  The cheese was delicious.  Everything about this pizza was perfect.

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There are plates, forks, Parmesan cheese, and peppers available.  You can ask for a box for the leftovers if you have any.  We did, it was a lot of pizza for two people.

My mouth is watering just thinking about this pizza.  I had a craving for it a few weeks later, but realized four and a half hours was a long way to drive for a pizza.

Try a pizza at Sven and Ole’s and get a bumper sticker.  It is worth it.

High Falls, Tettegouche State Park, MN

High Falls, 5702 MN-61, Silver Bay, MN 55614

Along 61 in Silver Bay, MN there is this gigantic rest stop that doubles as an information center the Tettegouche State Park.  There are tons of trails in this area.  The woman at the center directed us to High Falls.

We drove down the road just a little bit to the parking area for the trail.  You will need a state park pass to park here, or you can keep your car at the rest stop and walk a little further.  The trail to High Falls is 1.5 miles.

The trail starts out by going under 61 and has a decent view of the river.  I think it use to go over 61, but the underpass is a lot safer.

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There are a couple of places that you can walk down to the river along this trail, but the best one is near the falls itself so just keep walking.  It had just rained when we went so the trail was muddy.  Some parts of the trail have wooden boards to walk on which was nice.  Some parts of the trail where just wooden stairs.  Other parts of the trail were just mud so wear appropriate shoes.

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The water fall itself is amazing.  You can feel the mist from the falls from about the distance that we took most of our pictures.  The sound of the falls is what got me.  The rushing water sounded so powerful.

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If you continue on the trail you can see the falls from the top and you can even cross over the suspension bridge and see it from the other side.

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There is even a campsite on the other side.  We didn’t walk to it, but it was pretty close, less than a mile.

The overall hike isn’t bad as long as you do not slip in the mud.  The water fall is completely worth seeing.  Even going over the suspension bridge was okay once I got the courage.

If you have a chance you should definitely take this little journey to high falls.

Betty’s Pies, Two Harbors, MN

Betty’s Pies, 1633 Minnesota 61, Two Harbors, MN 55616

As you are driving along 61 and you are passing through Two Harbors you will see a large building and a sign that says Betty’s Pies.  You will then pull off the road and order one of her famous pies.

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But wait there’s more.  Betty’s Pies isn’t just a pie shop.  It is a fall cafe and restaurant.  We waited half an hour for a table.  Not sure if this is normal, but it was pretty full with people waiting inside and outside to get their names called.  We ended up at the counter which was fine with me.

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I ordered the potato soup and tuna melt which came with a slice of pie.  I had the cherry pie.  I wish a had ordered a different pie because I have had the most incredible cherry pie before and no other cherry pie has ever stood up to it.  This cherry pie was as good as any normal cherry pie could be.  It is served cold and not hot which is a little disappointing, but not surprising.

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I have it on good authority that the veggie burger is pretty amazing here and that is from a non-vegetarian who ordered it not knowing it did not contain meat.  Basically it is just rice and cheese which really does sound amazing.

On our second pass through Betty’s Pies we bought a whole apple pie which was amazing.

If you are passing by you really do have to stop in and buy at least a slice of pie.  If nothing else just to say you have tries Betty’s Pies.

Hungry Jack Lodge, Grand Marais, MN

Hungry Jack Lodge, 372 Hungry Jack Rd, Grand Marais, MN 55604

A man who once lived in California returns home to run his father’s lodge, Hungry Jack Lodge.  The boy isn’t necessarily the most outgoing, but I do like his influence on the menu.

Let’s start with the restaurant in the lodge.  It is downstairs.  They have pizza.  They are more famous for their burger and fries, particularly their fries.  I agree that they are very good.  Our waitress was new and inexperienced, but the food was good so who cares.  You can get drinks at the bar or the tables.  You can even eat outside is you wish.

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The cabins are great.  They are right on the lake.  You get your own private dock.  They come with all of the items you need for cooking in the tiny kitchen area.  It has a little kitchen, a bed and fireplace, and a really nice bathroom.  You have deck to hang out on and enjoy the evening sunset or morning sunrise.  They are pretty close to the lodge so you can pop out to get a bite to eat.

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One thing about being this far north, in the summer for sure, is the northern lights.  It never gets dark.  It hardly gets darker inside at night than it is during the day.  Oh, you can hear the loons at night.

You can fish off the dock or rent a boat.  We caught a couple of small fish, but honestly we needed to be out just a little bit further than we could manage to cast.

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Near the lodge there is some playground equipment if you have children.  The swimming area is straight out from the lodge.

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The have many campsites that you can rent.  The sites look pretty nice.  You can even get a shower if you rent a campsite.  The single shower is really nice, better than the one in my cabin.

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The best part of this particular lodge is the distance to the nearest trail.  Just a little bit down the road you can walk up to a lookout that allows you to see Hungry Jack Lake.

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Walk past this and you will find Caribou Rock Trail and Moss Lake Trail.  Caribou Rock Trail is where it is at between the two, but even if you only get to the lookout point you will enjoy the view.

Hungry Jack Lodge is actually a ways past Grand Marias.  If you are looking for a great place to stay I would say this is possibly the place.