Monday, October 17, 2016

Our Annual Walk on Fall Leaves

Every October, after the peak of Fall foliage has subsided, we head up to the North Shore of Lake Superior to walk sections of the Superior Hiking Trail. We like this time of year: the trails are uncrowded, the temperatures are good for hiking, and mosquitoes are done for the year. Besides, we don't need the bling of peak Fall colors.

This beautiful trail stretches over 300 miles from the Minnesota/Wisconsin border in the south almost to the Canadian border in the north. The trail winds its way between views of Lake Superior and views of the back country.

Much of the time we crunch our way on fallen leaves through forest trails. The trail in the photograph at the top of this post took us through an extensive maple forest. I enjoy this quiet experience: the dry leaves underfoot, moss on rocks, fungi on tree stumps.

This year, the rivers were particularly lively, including the roaring Brule River:
The trail has bridges across streams and rivers, but we check to make sure a bridge has not been washed away.

Gentle climbs are rewarded by great views, including this back-country view.
Most of the time, Lake Superior is out of sight, usually miles away. Then we climb a hill, and the Great Lake makes an appearance.
This is comfortable hiking. Some folks hike the complete trail, camping along the way. We settle down each evening in a friendly lodge.

Dining room, Naniboujou Lodge
Note: This year we hiked these sections:
  1. Brewer Park Loop (above Duluth) 
  2. Cascade River (in and out) 
  3. Judge Magney State Park, east side of  Brule River and beyond (in and out) 
  4. Judge Magney State Park, west side of  Brule River and beyond (in and out)
  5. Oberg Mountain loop
  6. Oberg Mountain to Temperance River to Tofte (one-way)
  7. Schroeder County Road 1 to Temperance River to Tofte (one-way)
The Superior Hiking Trail Association site has maps and trail descriptions.

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