Lois and I arrived in the Two Harbors area on Friday the 28th of September, stopping at the SHT office to pick up needed maps of the new trail sections near Finland, a meal at Blackwoods and on to our motel. The weather was beautiful - comfortably warm and clear - with a good future forecast. Saturday morning we drove South of Two Harbors to the Knife River Trailhead. We were a little early so stopped at Emily's Deli where "surprise" Barb Johnson had just arrived from her overnight stop in Superior, WI to have a light breakfast. We could not resist buying a couple of Orange / Cranberry scones just out of the oven. Jim and Ken Terpstra (our Michigan contingent) arrived from their campsite at Gooseberry Falls and John Peterson rolled to a stop in his little truck. Six of us were ready to start our weeks adventure. Others were to join us on Sunday and Monday.
This first six-mile warm up hike was along the valley of the Knife River which flowed through old deposits of glacial tell and post glacial lake clays. On Sunday morning, after setting up our shuttle between Split
Rock Wayside and Gooseberry Falls State Park, we spent some time at the beautiful new visitor center. Judy
large dark chocolate bar on the bottom of the pack. Fully refreshed, we paddled south, this time to the West Bay and short portage into Alton Lake. Alton is a beautiful spring fed lake with many camping spots. We stopped at one to enjoy the beauty around us while sitting on a large rock enjoying the remainder of the chocolate bar. Eagles were seen soaring high overhead as we paddled toward our last short portage back to Sawbill Lake and on to the outfitters. Marge Schell carried one of the 64-pound canoes with relative ease. We all needed help getting the canoes up onto our shoulders.
Hauser was now with the group increasing our number to seven. Judy told us about Betty Storey's bout with the Pharaoh's revenge after returning from Egypt. We were all sorry she could not be with us but happy that she was recovering quickly. Today's ten-mile hike started with a gentle climb through colorful birch and cedar to higher elevations with great views of Lake Superior. One of the three young ladies we had passed earlier seemed familiar. Later, when encountering them again, was the opportune time to settle this question. Sure enough, Karen was the host of the public television program ' Venture North '. We finally passed them for good when they stopped for lunch at a pretty ribbon falls coming off a thick shelf of lava rock. Our loop around Split Rock proved to be a lovely finish to this days walk.
Wisconsin Go Hiking Club
Superior Hiking Trail (SHT)
This page was last updated on June 22, 2006
Club Trip to Minnesota's North Shore
Late September into early October of 2001
Report by Leaders: Lois & Dave Lovejoy
Hike from Gooseberry Falls to Split Rock Hike. One has to just pause and look at all the beauty that abounds along this trail.
This was a perfect day for canoeing in the Boundary Waters Wilderness area. Eagles were soaring above as we paddled across Alton Lake.
When we arrived at the Maple Groove Motel in Finland, Marge Schell had arrived increasing the group to eight for Mondays canoe outing. What could possibly be a finer day for our one-day wilderness canoe trip? It was 70 degrees with clear sky and a very light breeze. We all arrived at Sawbill Outfitters at 9 A.M., after traveling interesting back gravel roads. After being instructed on the fine points of how to lift, carry and protect the canoes, we selected our gear, obtained the necessary day use permit, and carried the three canoes down to the shore of Sawbill Lake. The canoe route was to be an eight-mile loop starting north along the west shore of Sawbill Lake to a 13-rod (1 rod = 16.5 ft) portage into Kelso River and on to Kelso Lake. The first campsite was occupied so we continued to the ext site I had spotted on the maps carried by each canoe navigator. Loons were common but silent this late in the season. At the campsite Barb Johnson mixed up the tuna salad while Jim and I heated the Chai Spice tea and Pacific organic creamy tomato soup. All agreed the lunch was delicious. We were nearly finished with soup and sandwich when Barb discovered a
That evening we were joined by Barb Pritzl and Ken and Donna Johnson while Barb Johnson had to reluctantly depart early the next morning. There were now ten of us. The forecast always seem to include rain and cold but the days remained clear, albeit somewhat cooler. There was an unbelievable mix up on Tuesday while setting up the shuttle as Ken, Jim, Judy and John were off towards Ely on RT 1 when they realized something was wrong. We ended doing two different hikes on Tuesday. One group the Section 13 new section and Ken's group the hike that was planned for Wednesday. We switched hikes on Wednesday and then were together again on Thursday. Both of these hikes were on new trail in the Finland area. The highlights were the Sawmill Cliffs, the long winding boardwalk across the top of an old beaver dam, the old trappers cabin, Egge Lake and the boardwalk onto an island in Sonju Lake. On Wednesday we joined the S.H.T. Fall Color Hike, a group of 27 fun to be with trail loving people.
Superior Hiking Trail Association led a Fall Color hike
past Egge lake, the old trappers cabin and Sonju lake.
The nights were uneventful but there was talk of a friendly mouse that would scamper over John's head occasionally while he tried to sleep in his truck. Thursday October 4th was to be our last day hiking the North shore, an 8.1-mile hike from George Crosby Manitou S.P. to Caribou River State Wayside. This is a more difficult hike following or crossing deep gorges and cliffs at Caribou and Manitou Rivers with broad views of both inland ridges, ponds, rivers and of Lake Superior. Wow! What a beautiful landscape for adventure hiking.
Judy, John, Ken and Donna left on Friday while the rest drove to the Chippewa Moraine IAT Information Center in Wisconsin and on to Cornell for a two night stay. On the way south, we stopped at Betsy's Pie (non-smoking) restaurant just north of Two Harbors for a lovely breakfast experience. That afternoon we took a stroll around Brunet Island S.P. Lots of deer use this Island as safe habitat.
An outstanding hike crosses the Manitou River and ends at the Caribou River Wayside. There are many beautiful overlooks like this distant view of Lake Superior.
On 10/6/01 we were back in Wisconsin hiking the Chippewa moraine on the Ice Age Trail, a land pocketed by many beautiful kettle lakes.
On Saturday we joined the Chippewa Moraine IAT Chapter on their Fall Color walk. Kate, who had just completed the entire IAT (her last section walked was the Holy Hill section maintained by the WGHC), gave our group of five a shuttle to Plummer Lake Rd. Our walk followed along glacial ridges, beautiful kettle lakes, past beaver dams with the colors of Fall all around us on one final beautiful day. If you ever stop in Cornell for lunch, try the non-smoking Stacker restaurant. You'll go away with next day's lunch as well. Thanks for hiking with us.