Best summer vacation USA

GRAND MARAIS OVERLOOK

MODERATE

LENGTH 4.4 miles

TIME 2:30 DIFFICULTY Moderate

ROUTE-FINDING MAPS & PERMITS

GETTING THERE

TRAILHEAD GPS

Easy

A map of the Pincushion Mountain trails is available at the Tourist Information Center in Grand Marais. Or call the Grand Marais Chamber of Commerce at 1 -888-922-5000. USGS quad: Grand Marais. No permit is required.

Take the Gunflint Trail (County Road 12) at the west end of town. Drive 2 miles and turn right on Pincushion Drive (County Road 53) and drive 0.2 mile to the parking lot.

47=46′ 14.7′ N 90c 19′ 1.4″ W

The first time I heard the name Pincushion Mountain I thought of the small red, tomatolike cushion my Mom kept her pins in when she wasn’t using them. As it turns out, this image isn’t far from what the namers of this peak had in mind. A 1930s forest fire left only stark, burnt trees protruding at different angles from the otherwise denuded knob, making it look like a pincushion. Today the forest has grown back and only the name persists offering but a hint of Grand Marais’ history.

The area to the west of Pincushion Mountain is interlaced with 15 miles of cross-country skiing trails. During the off season, hikers and mountain bikers use the trails, ignoring the Do Not Enter signs that direct one-way traffic during the skiing season.

 

I have chosen the last of these, Alfriston, as Best summer vacation USA the start and finish point for a tour of five wonderfully unspoilt villages. Each has a magnificent Best summer vacation USA downland setting; each is rich in history; each is predominantly built of flint, that most traditional of Sussex building materials; and each contains at least one significant attraction for the visitor, with three of them meriting considerable exploration. The journey itself, linking the five villages, is quite outstandingly attractive, providing a huge variety of walking. You will walk beside a river, along the edge of rolling fields, through large areas of woodland, and along open downland tracks offering magnificent views to the surrounding countryside and the sea. And you will meet a Hungry Monk and a Long Man. You begin at Alfriston, in front of the parish church on a spacious and lush green, with the delights of Alfriston village centre just a couple of minutes away.

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