Categories: CampingDestinations

Superior Spaces: Minnesota’s North Shore

Hipcamp is officially live in the Great Lakes region (OH, IN, IL, MN, and MI)! To coincide with the launch, we’re highlighting Voyagers in the corresponding states to see what’s up in their neck of the woods. If this post inspires you to get outside, check out our Wander The Water giveaway, running from 6/16/15-6/30/15 to win a boat camping trip, inflatable SUP, and $2k in outdoor gear!

This post was written by Hipcamper, Spud Groshong about his time spent on the North Shore of Minnesota.


This is a list of my favorite spots along the north shore of Lake Superior, spanning from state parks and scenic overlooks to hidden gems and a hike that doesn’t feel at all like Minnesota.

Most of the places on this list have campgrounds and if you’re feeling a little brave you can always pitch your tent just off the trails. As far as gear is concerned it’s truly up to you, it can be a fun-filled family weekend with tents and sleeping bags at Lamb’s resort in Schroeder or long haul hikes on the Superior Hiking Trail (a 304 mile trail from Duluth to Canada). I hope you find this list helpful in your own North Shore adventure!

Gooseberry Falls State Park is the gateway to the North Shore of Lake Superior and can be filled with beautiful weather in the Summer or frozen over in the winter. It also has a wonderful Lake Superior shoreline.

The next stop as we ventured north is Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Split rock is best known for its iconic Lighthouse and great views of the lake. Camping, hiking, biking, and cross country skiing are activities you can do in this beautiful park.

If you’re feeling like you wanna do some bouldering you can stop at Silver Bay Marina and crawl the rocks out to Pellet Island.

Palisade Head is the North Shore’s answer to rock climbing with cliffs up around 300 feet. For the less adventurous types it also acts as possibly the best viewpoint of the lake. On a clear day they say you can see the Apostle Islands some 30 miles off the Wisconsin’s South Shore.

Cruisin’ north you’ll come to the little gem of Sugarloaf Cove. This was a recent discovery for me, thanks to my brother. Sugarloaf is quite a small cove but the hike along the shore and out to Sugarloaf point is pretty amazing. At the end of the point there is a large rock you can get on with a little climbing that gives you a pretty cool view of the land heading back to shore.

Temperance River State Park holds a special place in my heart as this is where my family would go when we were kids during the summer. Things have changed quite a bit since then though, the pools we used to cliff jump into are now shallow. The trail does, however, lead up to a place where you can swim away from the lake and there’s a nice high-walled cove that leads out to the lake. It’s a beautiful park, but I might be a touch biased.

Lutsen Mountain in the summer provides a nice stop for fun gondola rides, good food, and a sweet alpine slide. In the winter it’s one of Minnesota’s best places to ski and snowboard.

Grand Marais is the last “big” town before you get to Canada. The town has everything you could need to restock before heading out into the woods. If you’re withdrawing from the woods while in town you can always go to Artist Point on the north end of the harbor. It’s filled with a little forest and and some rocks that are great fun to scurry around on. Grand Marais is also where you can take the Gunflint Trail to Canada and the site of some seriously wonderful lake camping.

Last and totally not least is Kadance River, which feels like something right out of the Pacific Northwest! At certain points of the year, when the river is really low, you can hike up it’s waterfalls and lush green slot canyons.

Words by Spud Groshong

Spud Groshong is a Portland-based, outdoor-loving, photo-taking, world traveler. He can be found on both Instagram and Twitter @Spudthesoundguy

Hipcamp is an online marketplace where you can list, discover, and book campsites and accommodations on private and public land. Hipcamp is your go-to guide to getting outside. If you’re a landowner, Hipcamp creates new revenue streams for your business, which can help conserve your land and keep it wild. #FindYourselfOutside #LeaveItBetter

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