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fall colors north shor emn go to the Fall Color Report 2014
Suggested Fall Color Tours
north shore map Scenic 61 Lodging Two Harbors Lodging gooseberry Beaver Bay Lodging Silver Bay Lodging Little Marais Lodging Schroeder Lodging Tofte Lodging Lutsen Lodging Grand Marais Lodging Grand Portage Lodging gunflint
Two Harbors to
Little Marais
 
Schroeder, Tofte, & Lutsen
 
Grand Marais to
Grand Portage
 
Gunflint Trail

maple leaf
Early Season
maple tour
Sep to early Oct
yellow poplar tree
Late Season
poplar tour
thru late Oct
driving tour
Driving Tour
walking tour
Walking Tour
Fall Color Tour
legend

  From Two Harbors to Little Marais
maple tour   driving tour Two Harbors to Beaver Bay Drive
This route explores the backcountry including northern hardwood forests of oak, maple and basswood and boreal forests of pine, spruce, cedar, aspen and birch.

:: 30 miles + 24 miles fro return to Two Harbors ::
From Hwy 61, drive north on Co. Rd. 3 for 28 miles to the Lax Lake Rd (Co. Rd. 4), then south on Co. Rd. 4 for 2 miles to Beaver Bay; this triangular route uses Hwy 61 as the third, returning leg; to continue on, see the Beaver Bay to Illgen City Drive, below.
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late season birch tour   walking tour Castle Danger to Gooseberry Falls
Consider leaving a car at Gooseberry Falls for this 8 1/2-mile stunning hike. The trail runs north of Castle Danger to Gooseberry State Park. Highlights include overlooks at Wolf Rock, Crow Creek Valley and Mike's Rock. The upper reach area of the Gooseberry River is particularly gorgeous. The round trip hike to the Crow Creek Overlook and back is 2 1/2 miles.

:: 8 1/2-mile stunning hike ::
From Hwy 61 just past mile marker 36, drive north on Co. Rd. 106 (which turns into Silver Creek 617) to parking on right .

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late season birch tour   walking tour Gooseberry Fifth Falls Trail
Winding up the east bank of the Gooseberry River, this 1 1/2 mile loop passes the upper Falls as it leads to the Fifth Falls. Not as spectacular as further inland, but an enjoyable autumn stroll with great vistas.
Best during the late fall season.

:: From Hwy 61, head south into the Gooseberry Falls State Park visitor's center.
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maple tour   driving tour Beaver Bay to Illgen City Drive
Similar backcountry terrain as route from Two Harbors to Beaver Bay. Watch for deer and moose on this narrow winding road. A good picnic spot is along Lax Lake, about 7 miles into the tour. As an option, head north and follow MN Hwy 1 to Isabella or Ely.

:: 16 miles + 7 miles for return to Beaver Bay
From Hwy 61, drive north on the Lax Lake Rd (Co. Rd. 4) to MN Hwy 1, then south on MN Hwy 1 to Hwy 61.

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late season birch tour   walking tour Split Rock River Loop
The upstream portion of this superb trail sits 50 feet above the river along a rocky ledge. On the downstream, eastern leg, you will be treated to overlooks of the river valley, and, as you head inland, you can look out to Lake Superior.
Best during the late fall season.


On Hwy 61 about 15 miles north of Two Harbors, watch for parking on the west side of the river.
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late season birch tour   walking tour Section 13
Hike through boreal forests before climbing maple ridges that showcase magnificent fall colors and imposing sheer rock outcrops.

:: Trail is 4-1/2 mile round trip ::
From Hwy 61 at Little Marais, drive north on Co. Rd. 6 for 2 miles to Superior Hiking Trail sign and parking.

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  Schroeder, Tofte, Lutsen Area
maple tour   driving tour Heartbreak Ridge
Make this fall color tour number one your list. It is breathtaking. The short drive leads you down one of the prettiest maple canopied drives along Minnesota's North Shore. A roadside plaque explains how Heartbreak Ridge was named. Best during the early fall season.

From Hwy 61, head north on the Temperance River Rd (FR 343), then east on FR 166 and south on the Sawbill Trail (Co. Rd. 2) Heartbreak Ridge lay just east of the forest road junction
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late season birch tour   walking tour Carlton Peak
Massive blocks of resistant gray anorthosite form Carlton's Peak. This heady peak gives bird's eye views of the maple forests you will cross to reach the summit. A nearby overlook has panoramas of Lake Superior, Tofte and the Temperance River Valley.

From Hwy 61, drive north on Sawbill Trail (Co. Rd. 2) about 2 miles to parking area on right
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late season birch tour   walking tour Britton Peak
A steep half-mile grade leads to Britton's Peak and views of Superior, adjacent hardwood forests and Carlton's Peak to the west. 

From Hwy 61, drive north on Sawbill Trail (Co. Rd. 2) about 2 miles to parking area on right
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maple tour   driving tour The Railroad Grade (Forest Rd 170)
This drive is pretty anytime of the year. As you travel through conifers and hardwoods and past eight lakes, keep an eye out for moose.

:: 15 miles of road between Sawbill & Caribou Trails ::
From Hwy 61, drive north on the Sawbill Trail (Co. Rd. 2) to FR 170, east on FR 170 to Caribou Trail (Co. Rd. 4), return south on Co. Rd. 4 to Hwy 61.

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maple tour   walking tour Oberg Mountain
Oberg is the trail to hike during the early maple colors of autumn. This maple hillside will surpass all expectations. Hike includes seven overlooks, so don't forget your camera! Best during the early fall season.

From Hwy 61 about 5 miles north of Tofte, drive north on FR 336 for 2 miles to parking
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maple tour   late season birch tour North Shore Mountain Tramway Ride
Treat yourself to a beautiful gondola ride over the Poplar River Valley and up Moose Mountain. Opt for the gondola ride back or return on the moderately difficult 3.6-mile trail through maples back to the main chalet or Caribou Highlands lodge. Very nice!

From Hwy 61, drive north on the Ski Hill Road to the main chalet
late season birch tour   walking tour White Sky Rock
A steep quarter mile trek leads to the overlook of Caribou Lake and the surrounding maple forests.
Best during the early fall season.


From Hwy 61, drive north on the Caribou Trail (Co. Rd. 4) about 4 miles to the brown and yellow trailhead sign
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maple tour   driving tour Pike Lake Loop
The entire drive showcases maple stands and aspen and birch intermingled with conifers. Especially beautiful is the rock crop hillside rising to the east of the Cascade Palisades. Decked out in sugar maples, it is one of the prettiest spots in the county.

From Hwy 61, drive north on the Caribou Trail (Co. Rd. 4) to FR 161, head east on FR 161 to FR 159, drive east on FR 159, then west on the Pike Lake Rd., which turns into Co. Rd. 45, drive east on Co. Rd. 45 to Co. Rd. 7, drive south on Co. Rd. 7 back to Hwy 61 just north of Cascade River State Park.
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maple leaf
Early Season
maple tour
Sep to early Oct
yellow poplar tree
Late Season
poplar tour
thru late Oct
driving tour
Driving Tour
walking tour
Walking Tour
Fall Color Tour
legend
  Grand Marais To Grand Portage
maple tour   late season birch tour

Lake Superior Fall Colors Cruise
A 2-hour sail that begins with an introduction to the 50-foot gaff-rigged schooner, the

From the Grand Marais harbor, the cruise will journey along the shore a distance that will allow participants to experience the spectacular nature of the Sawtooth Mountain Range as it changes from the greens of summer to the reds, oranges and yellows of autumn. The true nature of this annual event can only be fully appreciated from this offshore perspective.

North House Folk School is located in Grand Marais on Hwy 61 on the harbor
888-387-9762
Cost: $45
Sailing Dates: Most days from Sept 20 - mid/late-Oct

maple tour
driving tour   walking tour
Pincushion Mountain Overlook
The Gunflint Trail climbs 1000 feet in the first few miles to a maple ridge line. The Pincushion Mountain and Devil Track River Trails lead through these maples to overlooks of Lake Superior, the maple forests and falls and gorges of the Devil Track River. Admire the view from the overlook or stroll along the cross-country ski trails.

From Hwy 61 in Grand Marais, head north on the Gunflint Trail (Co. Rd. 12) for 2 miles to Co. Rd. 53, go east on Co. Rd. 53 to parking.
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maple tour   driving tour Maple Hill
The picturesque Maple Hill Church sits center stage surrounded by maples - this is a great early season drive.
Best during the early fall season.

:: From Hwy 61 in Grand Marais, drive north on the Gunflint Trail (Co. Rd. 12) for 4 miles to the gravel road just past Co. Rd. 8, head NW on the gravel.
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maple tour
driving tour   walking tour
Hovland Lookout Tower
The tower overlooks sugar maples, quaking aspens and conifers, making it a good drive and hike all fall color season long. This is a good wildlife viewing spot.

From Hwy 61 in Hovland, go north on the Arrowhead Trail (Co. Rd. 16) 2 1/2 miles, then 1 1/2 miles west on the Tom Lake Rd. to Tower Rd and the pull-off area.

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late season birch tour   driving tour Mount Josephine
The spectacular views of Superior's shores and islands from Mount Jo's summit are enhanced by fall colors.

On Hwy 61 near Grand Portage.

  Gunflint Trail
maple tour   driving tour

bridge out on
Co Rd 60 - road not passable as of Oct 2
Trout Lake Road & County Road 60
The Trout Lake Road and Co Rd 60, both just outside of Grand Marais, are especially pretty drives, featuring beautiful sugar maples.

Directions 1:
From Hwy 61 in Grand Marais, drive north on the Gunflint Trail to Co Rd 60, drive east and either choose to head south at the intersection with Co Rd 14 or, head north and follow Co Rd 14 up and around, ending up back on Hwy 61.

Directions 2:
From Hwy 61 in Grand Marais, drive north on the Gunflint Trail to the Trout Lake Rd, follow this east to the junction with Co Rd 14 and go either east or west, ending up on Hwy 61, or make a loop, taking Co Rd 60 back to the Gunflint Trail
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late season birch tour
driving tour   walking tour
Lima Mountain
From the top of this peak where a fire lookout tower once stood, full-circle panoramas show the golden autumn tones of the backcountry. And a pretty drive to get there!
1-mile hike
Best during the late fall season.

From Hwy 61 in Grand Marais, drive north on the Gunflint Trail (Co. Rd. 12) for about 20 miles to FR 152, drive west on FR 152 for about 2 miles to FR 315, go south on FR 315 to the South Brule Rd. ( FR 325 ) drive east on the South Brule Rd. back to the Gunflint Trail (Co. Rd. 12).

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late season birch tour   walking tour Honeymoon Bluff
A more difficult half mile climb up Honeymoon Bluff showcases the fall colors circling Hungry Jack Lake's perimeter.
Best during the late fall season.

From Hwy 61 in Grand Marais, drive north on the Gunflint Trail (Co. Rd. 12) for 32 miles to Co. Rd. 66, head east (right) on Co. Rd. 66 to Flour Lake campground & trailhead.

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Here are links to everything you need for your next North Shore visit!
Activities Attractions   Calendar of Events Canoe Outfitters
Dining Fall Colors Lodging Lodging Specials Photo Gallery
Real Estate Shipwrecks Shopping Site Map Snow Report
State Parks Waterfalls Weather Winter Activities  



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