Minnesota’s North Shore — An Adventurer’s Haven

Katie Berg, author of North Shore Adventures, tells us why Minnesota’s North Shore is an adventurer’s haven.

There are very few places in the United States, much less in the Midwest, that offer so much fun in such a concentrated area. The fact that it’s all easily accessible in a beautiful location makes Minnesota’s North Shore one of the premier destinations for an adventurer. Don’t believe me? Here’s the evidence.

It’s a multi-sport athlete’s dream destination.
I’ve been to a lot of places that are renowned either for their incredible climbing, paddling, world-class beaches, or their breathtaking mountain biking.

North Shore

Along the North Shore, a multi-sport adventurer can pick a few sports to do in a weekend and pack it all in at world-class levels. You can get an evening paddle in Duluth Harbor on a Friday, then wake up for a Saturday morning dive to the Madeira shipwreck before doing some hiking around the shore’s best waterfalls at Gooseberry State Park. Reserve Sunday for climbing at Palisade Head, and don’t forget to hit up Piedmont’s mountain biking trails before the sun sets.


The trails are long, with a lot of variety.
Duluth alone has over 100 miles of mountain biking trails. The Superior Hiking Trail stretches 310 miles along the entire North Shore, from Duluth to the Canadian Border. Care to see the entire North Shore from the lake? Spend a few weeks in a sea kayak along the Superior Water Trail to see hidden waterfalls, sea caves, and cliffs diving into the sea.

There’s something for all ability levels.
If you’re a beginner climber but an expert diver, you’ll find deep and cold wrecks that will push your ability, as well as easy but beautiful climbs above Lake Superior (led by some of the area’s best guides). Expert mountain bike riders will relish in Spirit Mountain’s and Sugarbush’s technical trails before enjoying an easy hike with gorgeous views for a picnic.

When you’re done adventuring, the local scene is full of options.
After a great day out on the cliffs, the water, the trails, or even underwater, the choices where you can eat and relax are endless. Grand Marais has Sven and Ole’s and the Crooked Spoon, Tofte has the CoHo Cafe and Bakery and Bluefin Grille, Scenic 61 between Duluth and Two Harbors has the New Scenic Cafe, and Duluth has Fitger’s, Va Bene, Sir Benedict’s, Northern Waters Smokehaus, and Duluth Grill, among many others. It’s hard to turn down a street in Duluth without hitting one of their fantastic and well-known breweries. Vegetarians, pescatarians, vegans, gluten-free folks, and meat eaters alike will love the selections, food, and music after a hard day of playing.

It’s cool.
No, literally—it’s the perfect place to play when it’s too hot anywhere else. Lake Superior’s depths mean that if you hang out next to the lake, you get to enjoy the air-conditioning effect the lake has, making your adventures some of the coolest you can get during the hot summer months.

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Liliane Opsomer

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