Day Trip The North Shore of Lake Superior, just north of Duluth, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. If you’re planning a weekend getaway, we highly recommend exploring the breathtaking waterfalls on the North Shore of Lake Superior. In this blog post, we will guide you through a perfect weekend itinerary that will take you on a journey to some of the most stunning waterfalls in the area.
Hands down the best place to stay in Duluth is the Pier B Resort. The Resort has numerous seasonally appropriate amenities. We visited at the start of Spring and they had a Sauna experience available. Each night we were there we took advantage of their complimentary S’More kits. We enjoyed cooking the s’mores at one of many fire pit tables on their patio. They have a sports court next to the hotel with petal carts, basketball, and Cornhole to keep the kids entertained and they have the Silo restaurant on site as well. In the summer it appears they have additional amenities, including access to watercraft that give us a reason to return to explore Duluth in another season. We booked a lakeview room and enjoyed watching the ships come in and out of the harbor from our room and the patio.
To start your adventure, we suggest departing from the Pier B Resort in Duluth and taking a leisurely 30-minute drive along the scenic Highway 61 to Two Harbors. Make sure to stop at Louise’s Place, a local cafe that offers a mouth-watering breakfast menu. We highly recommend trying their homemade cinnamon roll (my son devoured his) or the ham, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich. Although there is no dine-in option, you can take your coffee and breakfast to go and enjoy it on the road.
Next, head further north to the Caribou Falls State Wayside, which is about a 50-minute drive. Once you arrive, take a 20-minute hike back to Caribou Falls, which is less than a mile away. As you approach the falls, you’ll hear the sound of rushing water growing louder. Descend the stairs, and you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of the cascading waterfall. Visiting during Waterfall Season in late April is an ideal time to explore the waterfalls in the area, as the snowmelt causes a high volume of water to flow over the falls. It’s an unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss.
After Caribou Falls, we recommend a stop at the historic Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, built in 1910 to guide ships safely through Lake Superior’s rocky shores. Take a stroll along the lake, where you can admire the lighthouse and take some stunning photos. The waterfalls can be captured well with an iPhone, but Split Rock Lighthouse will be best captured with a formal digital camera and possibly a telephoto lens.
Next on the list is Gooseberry Falls, one of the most popular waterfalls in the area. We arrived at a full main parking lot and needed to park in an auxiliary lot. Gooseberry Falls is a series of cascading waterfalls with lower falls, middle falls, and upper falls. We enjoyed walking around the boardwalks to explore the falls, most of which could be explored by a paved path. We chose to hike a mile upriver to check out Fifth Falls, and as soon as we left the main falls, we were once again alone in nature and had Fifth Falls to ourselves. When we visited, there was still snow and ice on the ground in some parts, which made for a slippery hike. Bringing walking sticks or treads for your shoes would be a good idea during that time of year.
After an exciting day of exploring nature, head back to Pier B to unwind and enjoy the resort’s numerous amenities. Throughout Duluth and at the Pier B resort you will find Leaf Ride Scooters and Bird Scooters. We enjoyed using them to ride over to Love Creamery in Canal Park for ice cream. The Canal Park district has a variety of restaurants and ice cream places. This is where you can enjoy seeing the iconic John A. Blatnick Memorial Bridge. The Blatnik Bridge is an impressive sight to behold, especially at night when it is illuminated by thousands of lights, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
Duluth is an extraordinary destination for a day trip or weekend getaway, especially if you’re a fan of outdoor adventures and natural beauty. Exploring the waterfalls on the North Shore of Lake Superior is a must-do activity that will leave you in awe. Plan your trip today and discover the magic of Duluth.