THE NORTH SHORE OF LAKE SUPERIOR HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PLACE FOR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS TO GATHER AND EXPLORE IN THE SUMMER. STAYING AT THE RESORTS, HIKING ON THE SUPERIOR HIKING TRAIL, PLAYING IN AND ON THE WATER ARE JUST A FEW OF THE MEMORIES THAT VISITORS RECALL WHEN THEY REMINISCE ABOUT THEIR NORTH SHORE VACATIONS. HOWEVER, WHAT MANY PEOPLE DO NOT REALIZE IS THAT THE NORTH SHORE IS ALSO A FUN PLACE TO VISIT DURING THE WINTER MONTHS. BELOW ARE JUST A FEW OF MANY ACTIVITIES THAT VISITORS CAN PARTAKE IN THIS WINTER UP THE SHORE:
Gooseberry Falls State Park
If you love to walk or hike, you'll be a natural at snowshoeing. It's all the enjoyment of a winter walk without sinking in the snow up to your thighs and there's no better place to try it out than on the North Shore. Only 40 miles from Duluth, Minnesota, Gooseberry Falls State Park is just as beautiful in the winter as it is in the summer but maybe a little more mystical. No longer does one hear and see the crashing of rushing waters, but instead silence and towering ice formations. Gooseberry offers people of all skill levels the opportunity to snowshoe their trails and view the falls from a different perspective. If you're coming up for a winter weekend but do not own a pair of snowshoes, consider staying at Grand Superior Lodge. Located right on the edge of Lake Superior, the resort offers not only complementary lake views but also complementary snowshoe rentals with your stay.
"Our most popular activity for guests during the winter months is snowshoeing," said Front Desk Manager, Beverly Edman. "With our resort being so close to Gooseberry Falls State Park, our guests love to snowshoe there to experience the waterfalls when they are frozen."
Stop by the front desk, grab a pair and head out to track winter wildlife, tramp through the woods, experience the sounds of winter forests, and capture photos of winter's beauty. Snowshoeing is a great mental retreat and a great workout. Hike at your own pace, break from the trail or follow a pre-set trail.
Although a farther trek up the shore than Gooseberry, alpine skiing and snowboarding in Lutsen, Minnesota is the best in the Midwest. Lutsen Mountains opens first, closes last, and has the most snow. In addition to this, they offer four different mountains, 95 runs, and they have the only gondola in Mid-America. Moreover, if you're looking for slope-side lodging, Caribou Highlands Lodge offers a wide variety of options including hotel-like lodge rooms, condos, townhomes, and large 4 bedrooms homes, all with direct access to skiing. Making it easy for you to relax in the hot tub, grab lunch at Mogul's Grille & Tap Room (their onsite restaurant), or treat yourself to a massage at their Woodlands Spa - all of which can be done in between runs. In addition, Caribou Highlands Lodge just added Front Desk Ski Expert, Ryan Horton, to their staff.
"I will be there to assist our guests in planning their trips, to inform them on where to go, and to make sure they get the most out of their ski trips," said Horton. "It is my job to ski as many runs as possible and be the guy who can tell any new or returning guest everything there is to know about every run on the mountains."
Horton will also be keeping a blog that will contain written and video content to update skiers on the conditions of the runs on the mountains throughout the season. Spot Horton in the neon yellow hat, black jacket, neon blue snow pants, and red/blue Rossignol Skis and don't be afraid to say hi, share a chair lift, or pick his brain on what slopes you should be hitting that day.
Follow Ryan's updates at caribouhighlands.com/ski
No matter where you end up staying, there's nothing better than waking up to the sunrise over Lake Superior and ending a day of skiing by catching the sunset on the last lift up one of the mountains.
Snowmobile near the
'Best Midwestern Small Town'
Chosen last year by USA Today's readers as the 'Best Midwestern Small Town,' Grand Marais, Minnesota impresses its visitors no matter what time of year it is. Explore the best snowmobile trails in Minnesota this winter and plan your snowmobile vacation at the heart of all the North Shore snowmobile trails. Renowned for miles of touring, the trails run the ridge-lines, hillsides, and woodlands of the Sawtooth Mountains. Rent a sled and ride across lakes, past beaver ponds to overlooks of Lake Superior - the perfect way to explore winter on the North Shore.
"This area has so much to offer for snowmobiling," said Senior Editor of American Snowmobiler Magazine, Ross Halverson. "There is a lot of variety for everybody here - any rider is going to enjoy this. They have plenty of snow here, come on up, check it out, it really is a fantastic way to spend your day riding."
Snowmobiles can be rented from Steve's Sports and Auto in Grand Marais. And if you're looking for lodging, staying at East Bay Suites in Grand Marais is a no-brainer. Located just steps away from the shore of Lake Superior, East Bay Suites is the perfect middle ground to start and stop at. It not only is close to all of the major trails, but also offers suites with fireplaces to warm up next to and full kitchens to cook in. But if you're too exhausted from the day's ride to cook, it is also conveniently located right in town with numerous dining options.