This is a question we frequently receive at the Bluefin Bay Guest Services desk, so we thought it might be helpful to construct a list of the 5 best hiking trails for kids in the Lutsen/Tofte area.
What constitutes a great trek for kids, you ask? The formula we utilized is equal parts easy, safe terrain + fun stuff to look at = great hike for kids.
Caribou Falls – This hike is just over a mile long and is an out and back. There is a bit of a steep climb toward the end but the waterfall you get to see is worth it. Pro Tip: This is also a great spot for swimming!
Temperance River – Temperance River State Park is a super cool place to explore. The trail winds along the river for quite a while and you can go as far as you want. Important: You do need to be careful with younger kids as there are some steep overlooks!
Leveaux Mountain – This is a bit of a longer hike at 3.2 miles. Leveaux Mountain shares a parking lot with the popular Oberg Mountain, but Leveaux is less busy and has fewer overlooks. The woods are fun to explore and there is one awesome overlook at the top. Pro Tip: This hike is lined with Maple Trees toward the top and is beautiful in the fall!
Lake Agnes – Enjoy a leisurely trek to beautiful Lake Agnes. This section of the Superior Hiking Trail will take you through a variety of different forests (Maple, Cedar, Birch) and offers an opportunity for swimming when you arrive. Pro Tip: Take the spur trail to White Sky Rock. You won’t regret it!
Cascade River State Park – Cascade is one of the most popular State Parks in Minnesota and for good reason! The park is located where the river flows into Lake Superior and features beautiful waterfalls the whole way down. Pro Tip: If you are in the mood for something super quick, you only need to hike about a quarter of a mile to see the first (and largest) waterfall!
There are many hidden gems scattered along the North Shore of Lake Superior but Sugarloaf Cove stands out as a favorite. Sugarloaf Cove is a 34-acre site located about 10 miles south of Bluefin Bay. Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association was created in 1992 to inspire the preservation and restoration or the North Shore’s unique environment. For a $5 parking fee, you can enjoy lively hiking trails, access to educational programs and breathtaking views of the cozy Lake Superior cove.
Sugarloaf Cove has a fascinating history. From 1943-1971 the area was used by Consolidated Papers, Inc. as a site to store pulpwood logs during the winter. In the summer months, tugboats hauled the logs across Lake Superior to Ashland, Wisconsin. The paper company utilized at least 14 buildings on the site and a root cellar, metal mooring rings and boom logs can all be seen today as remaining reminders of the logging history at Sugarloaf Cove.
This summer, they plan to host drop-in educational programs. Bird banding demonstrations have long been a beloved activity of many Bluefin guests. Occurring every Thursday morning, a Sugarloaf naturalist will band birds in order to monitor the populations of song birds that nest and travel through the area. The demonstration begins early and you can stop by any time to learn more about the banding process and its important in understand the lifespan, movement and productivity of song birds. This program, among others, is a way for Sugarloaf Cove to educate the public about the local environment.
To learn more about the programming, hiking trails and offerings at Sugarloaf Cove, click here.