Travel Superior Photo Contest Finalist!

IMG_4234Oh my goodness! I am so excited.  I don’t think I’ve ever been a finalist in anything before.  Back in June I submitted this photo of one of the waterfalls at Amnicon State Park to the Travel Superior photo contest and guess what? It was picked as one of the three finalists!  It’s a win by the most votes contest.  If you are on Facebook make sure to look up Travel Superior and place your vote! And thank you to all who have voted and will vote!

Pattison State Park

I love hiking!  I love being in the woods.  I love being near water, whether a river, a lake or the ocean.  I love the smells and the sounds.  I love the peacefulness it brings to my soul.  Well, as much peacefulness as you can get while hiking with an energetic and loud 9 year old.

We made the best find yesterday at Pattison State Park.  It’s 20 minutes from our house.  We had hiked the High Manitou Falls a couple of times but had never checked out the other trails that the park has to offer. IMG_5063

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The trails are beautiful.  IMG_5089The trees are tall and cover you with a canopy of leaves providing the perfect amount of shade as you hike.  I can’t wait to go back in the autumn when the leaves are changing.  With all the oak and maple trees we spotted the colors are going to be amazing!

Almost the entire hike is right along the river.  I love the sounds of the river running as you walk through the trees!IMG_5140

 

We happened upon the most peaceful little beach.  It was the perfect place for my son to wade and throw rocks and for my husband and I to sit, talk and enjoy the quietness and beauty of the day.

We hiked to little Manitou Falls

IMG_5156and then back around the lake.  Yes, I said lake.  This park has EVERYTHING! Waterfalls, a river, great trails and a lake.  It even has a swimming beach on one side perfect for cooling off after an amazing hike!

The campground and the facilities at this state park are great too.  So, if you ever find yourself in Northern Wisconsin make sure you plan to spend a day or two at Pattison State Park!

http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/pattison/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exploring Michigan – Porcupine Mts

In June we went on a short little trip to explore a different side of Lake Superior. We drove to the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan near the town of Ontonogan.  The drive to Michigan was absolutely beautiful.  We drove through parts of Wisconsin we had never been to before.  There will definitely be at least a day trip to Ashland, WI and I see some fishing in our future on the Brule.

We were completely surrounded by such beautiful and thick foliage that as we approached the park I don’t think we even realized we were gaining in altitude.  I can’t wait to go back in the fall.  I imagine that the fall colors must be unbelievably beautiful there.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is huge.  It has 59,000 + acres.  There are two more modern campgrounds and multiple camping sites and cabins that you can backpack into.  There are rivers, waterfalls and lakes to hike to and explore and amazing access to Lake Superior.

We were there for about half a day total and I don’t think we even scratched the surface of what this park has to offer.  What we did see was beautiful and very different from the north shore of Lake Superior where we live.  The beaches were much more sandy and it didn’t have the rugged bluff look that the North Shore does.  I love exploring new places in this great northland!

 

 

 

Mini Holiday Part 2 – North Shore Hiking

Do you know how you blink and it’s suddenly two weeks later?  That’s what just happened to me.  I meant to write this post the week after my one on Stonegate but here I am a couple weeks later.  Almost 3 weeks. But who’s counting?

Anyway, on our mini holiday up the North Shore of Lake Superior we did some hiking. We drove all the way up to the Canadian boarder to Grand Portage,MN.  We went to Grand Portage State Park and hiked/walked up the Pigeon River to the High Falls.  We also had a long discussion on if it is really called hiking when the path is paved. If you have thoughts on this subject please share them. We’d love your input.

There is a great visitor center and the path as mentioned before is wide, paved and kid friendly.  I believe it may even be wheelchair accessible.  The falls were running fast and it was another of the North Shore’s beautiful sites to see.  I don’t know what is is about waterfalls that make them so peaceful.  I could sit next to one all day long. These were magnificent.

After Grand Portage State Park we made our way to Judge CR Magney State Park and hiked up to Devil’s Kettle.  Though the mystery of Devil’s Kettle is gone it was still quite the site to see and quite the hike.  My hubby kept telling me we were almost there the entire hike.  This path is not paved and there is a part of the trail that has about a million flights of stairs.  I almost quit but I am so glad I didn’t.  Going down the stairs was no problem and in all reality going back up that wasn’t that bad either.  So don’t even think about turning around at that point.  It’s totally worth every step. The views were gorgeous and it was fun to see the waterfall and wonder where all that water goes.

After the hike to Devil’s Kettle it was about 2 pm and we both were hungry so we went into Grand Marais,MN and had lunch at the most unique cafe.  The food was amazing and Grand Marais is a cute little town I hope we get to explore a little more in the future.

Being the parents of an only child we have gotten used to just always having him with us.  I think this was the second trip in his 9 years that we have left him with our parents and gone away just the two of us. We ended up missing him so much and repeatedly saying, Noah would love this over and over that we went and got him the next afternoon and headed up to Gooseberry Falls.  A super family friendly and popular location on the North Shore it made for a great evening of hiking.

I LOVE exploring the North Shore.  In the past few months I have heard of many places along the Shore that I have never been.  I am so excited to do a lot more hiking and exploring this summer and fall.  If you ever get the chance to or have a weekend that you don’t really know what to do with, head up to the Duluth, MN/Superior, WI area and you won’t be disappointed.  I love mynorthlandlife.