Here on the North Shore of Lake Superior, the winter season provides the opportunity for an abundance of outdoor activities. A favorite among locals and visitors is winter hiking on the endless trails in our area. The Lutsen-Tofte area is home to some of the most beautiful and dramatic sections of the Superior Hiking Trail.
This year we’ve added several new guided hikes to our winter activity line-up. All of these hikes will help you further explore the Superior Hiking Trail and the extensive effort to build and maintain this fantastic Minnesota gem! We’ll still have the guided hiking favorites like Oberg Mountain and Carlton Peak, but here are a few more you won’t want to miss!
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN LOOP: This hike starts at Highway 61 and travels through gentle terrain along a multi-use trail in Cascade River State Park for just under a mile before joining The Superior Hiking Trail. Once on The Superior Hiking Trail, you will start your ascent up to the summit of Lookout Mountain. At the summit, enjoy views of Lake Superior, Sawtooth Mountains, and Grand Marais. Enter a mixed boreal forest to begin your descent and rejoin the multi-use trail. The descent offers fantastic views of Lake Superior below.
DYER’S CREEK HIKE: This hike starts at the trailhead on the east side of Cook County 1 and after a quick trek through a coniferous forest it crosses to the West Side of the road. Thick stands of fragrant Balsam/Spruce hug the corridor of the trail for 1 ½ miles until you reach your turn around point at a 40-foot A-frame bridge over Dyer’s Creek. Come check out one of the larger structures in the Superior Hiking Trail and learn how trail professionals and volunteers labored to install this magnificent structure. Head back along Two Island River, cross over abandoned railroad tracks and return to the trailhead.
SPRUCE CREEK LOOP: This hike begins on a multi-use trail and brings you by marsh wetlands before entering a thick stand of spruce and other coniferous trees. Join the Superior Hiking Trail and begin a gentle climb to the ridgeline where you will have unlimited views of the Sawtooth Mountains. A short but steep descent will take you to the beautiful Spruce Creek before climbing back uphill to rejoin the multi-use trail. The East Side of the marsh wetlands will take you around the ponds back the beginning of your hike. This hike has been known to have some moose sightings!
MYSTERY MOUNTAIN LOOP: At the End of Ski Hill Road, Lutsen Ski Village, you will begin this challenging hike by crossing over the Poplar River Gorge, with spectacular views of the ski slopes and Lake Superior. After crossing the Poplar River, begin your trek up the base of Mystery Mountain through thick Spruce Stand that converts into open stands of Maples. After 1 mile you will join the Superior Hiking Trail on the South West Flank of Mystery Mountain. Enjoy open space in the Maple Stand while you gradually gain elevation to the top of Mystery Mountain. A stop at the Poplar River overlook is a perfect way to start your ascent back to the Poplar River Crossing and the trailhead.
SUGARLOAF TO CARIBOU HIKE: This hike is a one-way hike that offers nearly 2.5 miles of ridgeline views of Lake Superior. Start out trekking through a mixed boreal forest, quickly pass through a mature white pine stand and come to the open birch stand to hike along the ridge. Cross over The Superior Hiking Trails only covered bridge at Crystal Creek and continue towards the Caribou River. Check out the gorge of the Caribou River on a bridge that was installed via Helicopter before you move onto the observation platform to take in a sweeping view of Lake Superior and if it is clear possibly the Apostle Islands. One more stop on your trek will take you to the base of the 40-foot waterfall of the Caribou River.
WILDERNESS BONFIRE ADVENTURE HIKE: Are you ready to experience the Northwood’s? Join us for a 3.5-mile hike, Beginning at Sugar Loaf and ending at Caribou Falls. Where we will stop half way at Crystal Creek to build a bonfire and have a wintery treat (S’mores & Hot Chocolate) before we head to the Caribou River where we can explore the top and base of Caribou Falls!