SPLIT ROCK LIGHTHOUSE STATE PARK MODERATE DIFFICULT
LENGTH 6.2 miles
MAPS & PERMITS DNR Split Rock Lighthouse State Park map. USGS quads: Split Rock Point NE and Split Rock Point. A Country State Park permit is required.
GETTING THERE The trailhead is the Trail Center at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park located 20 miles north of Two Harbors on U.S. Highway 61.
TRAILHEAD GPS 47311′ 56.7″ N 91° 22′ 33.1″ W
Stories of commercial fishermen, loggers, miners, and unrequited love bring to life the history of Little Two Harbors, the forested hills above Lake Superior, Corundum Point, and Day Hill. The pebble beach just south of the trail center is the former site of Little Two Harbors, a commercial fishing village from the turn of the century until the 1940s. Further on is Day Hill, an excellent vantage point from which to watch the lake. In the hills overlooking Lake Superior, the trail follows a section of the railroad grade lumbermen used to haul logs out of the woods. Finally, there’s Corundum Point, site of a failed mining venture. While this is not a strenuous hike, there is some elevation gain, and it is moderately long at just over 6 miles.
Near the trail center is the site of the small fishing village, Little Two Harbors. The commercial fishermen, mainly Norwegians, who lived here were the first white people to live in the Split Rock area. During fall and winter, the men went out onto the vast and unpredictable Lake Superior in 16-18 foot skiffs. Using 200400 foot nets, they went in quest of trout, whitefish, and herring. It must have been a harsh way to make a living, working on a lake that even in summer can be deadly with its sudden storms and bone-chilling temperatures. The cement foundations along the trail and elsewhere mark the locations of their homes and fish cleaning and storage buildings.
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