With fall in full swing there is no better time to get out and explore the beautiful North Shore. There are endless spots to stop and see the fall colors reflecting off the lake, but there is one particular park that has much to offer for your fall adventures. That park is Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park boasts many different and beautiful indoor and outdoor activities for the family, in all seasons! But I find that the fall is one of the best times to spend at the park. The many groves of birch trees, spruce, and fir trees make for beautiful sightseeing. But it doesn't stop there. Split Rock is home to a very famous and important lighthouse, which can be seen from many different areas of the park overlooking mighty Lake Superior.
When you enter the park, you will quickly notice that it is different from most other state parks in the area, and that is because it has a historical museum! Upon arrival, visitors get to choose to tour the old historic lighthouse, go on a beautiful hike along the water, ride bicycles on trails, or even better, all of it! Of course, when going to Split Rock you have to check out the historical museum and get a tour of the lighthouse! Learn all about the light keeper's job and what it was like to live and work as a lighthouse keeper when it first opened many years ago.
Once you have explored the Lighthouse, I would also suggest getting a little further into the park itself to explore all it has to offer. From over 14 miles of hiking trails, biking trails and even snowshoeing and skiing in the winter, this park has something for everyone. The Superior Hiking Trail goes right through the park! They have two campgrounds in the park, one for car camping and another for hike-in sites. Split Rocks hike-in sites are some of my all-time favorite North Shore camping spots, with breathtakingly beautiful views of the lake.
There is also a beautiful beach in the park called "Pebble Beach". This beach is perfect for relaxing, taking a picnic, or swimming if you feel brave enough. See beautiful views of the light house from below. Try your hand at rock skipping or maybe bring out the kayaks and paddle boards to tote around on. This beach is right next to the hike-in sites and right below one of my favorite hikes " Day Hill" Hike, mentioned below.
In my house, Split Rock is one of those parks we always find ourselves going back to. One of my all-time favorite hikes is called Day Hill Hike. It traverses up a large hill using switchbacks to one of the most pristine views of Lake Superior. Although it is a challenging uphill hike, it is not long, and I have often brought my elementary aged family members. The short-term work always pays off when you get to the top and see that view. One other unique thing about this particular hike is what you will find at the top of the hill, but I will let you find that surprise on your own.
Whether it be a day trip or a weekend camping adventure, check out Split Rock on your next North Shore visit!
About the Writer:
Ruby Dammann has been with North and Shore since the Makers Mercantile mobile camper days. She also is the maker behind Little Leaf Goods jewelry. Ruby grew up in St. Paul and moved up to Duluth for school (go bulldogs), fell in love with Lake Superior, and just hasn't been able to leave since. When she isn't in the store or making earrings she loves to get outside and go camping with her wife Marcy and dog Onni. You can find her and her jewelry on Facebook and Instagram at @little.leaf.goods or check out her website Little Leaf Goods.