Snowshoeing on the North Shore

Snowshoeing is winter hiking. Lash on a pair of these woven frames and you’ve commandeered the great outdoors. Venture out for an afternoon wildlife expedition. Track hares, shrews, wolves, deer, and ermine. Step soundlessly through the north woods, stopping to guess the width of a virgin pine, to listen to the chickadees, or just to savor the moment.

Lots of folks like to snowshoe the Superior Hiking Trail, but you can snowshoe anywhere. If the trail is also a groomed ski trail, walk on the sides, not on the tracked trail. Many resorts, shops and ski areas rent snowshoes. Listed below are some suggested routes.

Duluth Area

Park Point Rec Area
From I-35, drive south on Lake Avenue, cross the Aerial Lift Bridge to 45th Street. Snowshoe throughout the park area and south of the airport.
Kingsbury Creek Trail/ Lake Superior Zoological Gardens
From I-35, drive west on Grand Avenue, follow the zoo signs. Tramp through the Fairmount Park area, up the trail and through the zoo.
Lester Park
From I-35, continue on London Road, drive north on 61st Avenue East, which turns into Lester River Road. 'Shoe through the park and adjacent golf course, avoiding tracked ski trails.

North Shore of Lake Superior and Gunflint Trail

Wolf Rock
From Hwy 61, drive north on County Road 106 (at junction with the Rustic Inn) which turns into 617 to the parking area. Make the big climb to Wolf Rock, then return or continue on as far as Gooseberry Falls State Park.
All North Shore State Parks
Snowshoe any of the parks, but avoid groomed ski and snowmobile trails. Enjoy the amenities!
Caribou State Wayside
On Hwy 61 about 5-1/2 miles northeast of Little Marais. Make tracks up the river, into the woods to Sugarloaf Road.
Oberg Mountain
From Hwy 61 in Lutsen, drive north on the Onion River Rd (Forest Rd 336) about 2 miles to parking. Snowshoe the Oberg loop or plan a longer winter hike to Moose Mountain at Lutsen Mountains, where you can take the gondola down or hike the last few miles.
Superior National at Lutsen
Off Hwy 61 in Lutsen. Try out snowshoes on these rolling fairways and through the Poplar River valley woodlands.
Sweetheart's Bluff
In Grand Marais at the Rec Park. The initial part of the trail from the campground is an easy place to shoe. You can also snowshoe throughout the campground and out to the shoreline.
Up the Gunflint Trail
Snowshoe at George Washington Memorial Pines (8 miles north of Hwy 61 on the Gunflint Trail), but stay off the ski track. Or, once the ice has set up, explore an inland lake on snowshoes.
Kadunce River State Wayside
On Hwy 61 about 8 miles northeast of Grand Marais. Hike the trail, the shoreline, and, if the river is frozen, up the river.
High Falls
In Grand Portage State Park. An easy winter hike to the High Falls which leaves plenty of time to explore the lower trails.