7 Epic Fall Hikes on Minnesota’s North Shore
One of the most underrated places in the US for Fall hikes is Minnesota’s North Shore. The colorful trees, views of Lake Superior and great food stops make it an incredible destination. We’ve been going to the North Shore frequently over the past few years and experienced some stunning hikes. Read on for our favorite Fall Hikes on Minnesota’s North Shore (with my favorite at the end!).
Lutsen, 3 miles, Loop
Undoubtedly one of the best (and therefore most popular) hikes on Minnesota’s North Shore is Oberg Mountain. The trail is roughly 2.3 miles long and takes about 90 minutes to complete. Views of Lake Superior, Lake Oberg and the stunning hills blanketed with colorful trees turning for the Fall make for epic photo stops. There are also interesting signs along the way explaining the volcanic geology of the region’s past. To avoid crowds, go early in the morning or later in the afternoon and on weekdays. Read more on AllTrails here.
Grand Marais, 4 miles, Out & Back
With sweeping views of Lake Superior and gorgeous trees, the Pincushion Mountain hike is one of the most scenic hikes on the North Shore. You can also get views from the parking lot if you’re short on time but the extra 4 miles roundtrip that take about 90 minutes are worth it. The midpoint is a beautiful fun lookout after walking up a steep but flat rock. Read more here.
Grand Marais (Gunflint Trail), 0.3miles, Loop
This short but sweet trail offers stunning views of inland lakes. It was quieter when we went, likely since it’s further up the Gunflint Trail vs. off the main Highway 61, so may be a better spot for some quiet time. The hike takes about 15 minutes. Pro Tip: stop at Hungry Jack Lodge for lunch afterwards and then sit by the lake. Read more here.
Bean & Bear
Silver Bay, 6 miles, Out & Back
One of the longer day hikes along the Superior Hiking Trail is the beautiful Bean & Bear Lakes route. This trail takes about 4 hours (sometimes more or less depending on ability and time for photos). It’s a more challenging moderate level hike. Enjoy the multiple lookout points along the lakes! Read more here.
Lutsen, 0.6 miles, Out & Back
The best ROI hike on the North Shore is White Sky Rock. It’s a short (but steep!) 0.3 miles each way and offers the most scenic panorama in the fall with stunning colors around Caribou Lake. Read more here.
Silver Bay, 1.5 miles, Out & Back
Located in Tettegouche State Park, the Shovel Point hike is a quick 0.75 miles each way trail. There are a ton of stairs in the middle so it’s a great workout. The views of Lake Superior are stunning. We love enjoying picnics at the mid point and soaking in the views. Read more about it here.
Grand Portage, 2.5 miles, Out & Back
Mt. Josephine is my favorite view in all of Minnesota. It overlooks the northern tip of Minnesota, Canada, Isle Royale (Michigan) and, on a clear day, Wisconsin. The trail is pretty steep heading up to the lookout and takes about 30 minutes to get to (plus 30 minutes back). The viewpoint is incredibly serene and we sat at it for about an hour just soaking it in. The trailhead is off of a very small dirt lot. Read more here.
What other trails do you enjoy along Minnesota’s North Shore? Feel free to add more in the comments!