Here are some of our favorite trailer-friendly waysides and points of interest on Lake Superior's North Shore from Duluth to Grand Marais.
Name: Thompson Hill Tourist Info
Location: I-35 Exit 249
Description: Tourist information center and wayside. On a clear day, you can see forever! Great overlook of city of Duluth and St. Louis River valley. Nice stop before descending the hill into Duluth (steep grade - gear down). Same exit as Spirit Mountain Campground.
Name: Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge
Location: Lake Avenue South. I-35 Exit 256.
GPS Coords: 46° 46′ 44.5″ N, 92° 5′ 33.9″
Description: The iconic image of Duluth, MN, is the aerial lift bridge. Parking difficult on weekends. Be sure to check out the Corps of Engineers Maritime Museum at the foot of the Aerial Bridge.
Name: Two Harbors Ore Docks and Edna G. Tugboat
GPS Coords: N 47; 1; 6 W 91; 40; 33
Description: History center and museum. World's largest locomotive. Working iron ore loading docks. Historic tugboat.
Name: Two Harbors Lighthouse
GPS Coords: N 47; 0; 84 W 91; 39; 90
Description: Large parking lot. Walking path. Portable toilets. Historic lighthouse is now a B&B.
Name: Two Harbors Campground
GPS Coords: N 47; 1; 35 W 91; 39; 43
Description: Easy access from highway. On Burlington Bay. Look for agates on the beach!
Name: Gooseberry Falls State Park
GPS Coords: N 47; 8; 375 W 91; 28; 408
Description: Minnesota's best waterfalls! Free parking and visitor center with large clean restrooms, gift shop, theater. Be sure to check out the sculpture-clad pillar on the outside southeast corner of the building. Short walk to middle falls is handicap accessible. If you are able, the loop walk around the falls is beautiful. From the middle falls, walk down (counter clockwise) to the foot bridge below the lower falls. Cross bridge and follow the path back up to the highway. The trail goes under the highway bridge allowing you a view of the upper falls on your return to the visitor center. To drive to the mouth of the river or to the lava flow picnic area you must have a park pass.
Name: Iona Beach
GPS Coords: N 47; 10; 11 W 91; 25; 54
Description: No turn lane from highway in either direction. This gem is easy to pass by. There is only satellite toilet here. Two parking lots. Both have drive -through slots. Upper is better for trailers. This spot is a boat launch and bicycle path access point. We like the beach of quarter-sized pebbles just a short walk from the upper parking lot.
Name: Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
GPS Coords: N 47; 12; 33 W 91; 22; 9
Description: Turn lanes from both directions into the park. Park pass required: $5 daily or $25 annual. Parking at lighthouse. Also, parking and very nice views of lighthouse at picnic area/beach below lighthouse.
Name: Tettegouche State Park
GPS Coords: N 47; 20; 38 W 91; 11; 78
Description: Turn lanes from both directions into wayside. Go past entrance drive to park to the free wayside parking areas. Six hour limit. No camping in the wayside areas. Nice walk to mouth of Baptism river. Great walk to, and around, Shovel point with beautiful views of Lake Superior shoreline from of top of tall cliffs. Shovel Point walk is about 2 miles round trip with some long stair sections. Very nice visitor center.
Name: Cross River Falls
GPS Coords: N 47; 32; 75 W 90; 53; 60
Description: View of Cross River falls from highway. Parking on uphill side both before and after the bridge over Cross River.
Name: Temperance River State Park
GPS Coords: N 47; 33; 29 W 90; 52; 41
Description: Possible highway parking (depends of traffic). No facilities. Fee required for campground, which has facilities. Great short hike from highway. The river has cut narrow and deep gorge through the rock resulting in waterfalls and cauldrons which can be viewed from seven overlooks.
Name: Cascade River State Park
GPS Coords: N 47; 42; 42 W 90; 31; 41
Description: Possible highway parking (depends of traffic). No facilities. Fee required for campground, which has facilities. Nine miles from Grand Marais campground. The Cascade Park and river are aptly named. An easy trail follows the river and provides many views of the river cascading down the hill.
Name: Grand Marais Campground
GPS Coords: N 47; 44; 95 W 90; 20; 66
Description: Welcome to the Grand Marais Gathering!