• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Kayaking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    5.8 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    300 Feet

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic

Tour Minnesota's most famous lighthouse and relax on the shore of the world's largest freshwater lake. Looking to make a day of it, you can also kayak to remote shoreline campsites. This is also a great spot to see fall colors from the top of Corundum Point.

On November 28, 1905, a violent storm hit Split Rock Point on the North Shore of Lake Superior. While large storms aren't unusual at Split Rock, this particular storm resulted in the destruction of twenty-nine ships on the lake in a single day, prompting the construction of Split Rock Lighthouse. Dubbed at one point "the most dangerous piece of water in the world," the waves crashing against the cliffs can sometimes soak the lighthouse windows nearly two-hundred feet above the surface of Superior.

I suggest visiting during a calmer, summer day when the lake is still and the distant Wisconsin shore is just visible. The best way to see the park is to take the 5.8 mile roundtrip trail to Corundum Point. Begin at the lighthouse parking lot and head west following the "Trail to the Lake." You'll pass a series of lakefront picnic grounds before entering the denser forest around the point. The trail will split, but stay to the left along the shore for the most interesting views. Take a short spur trail up to Day Hill, where you'll see the ruins of a failed settlement, and then continue on to Corundum Point for amazing views of the lake and surrounding shoreline.

When you get back, make sure you check out the lighthouse area itself, which is directly adjacent to the parking lot, or even opt to take a tour of the interior. A side hike down to the rocky shore next to the lighthouse will reveal the remains of a 19th century Norwegian fishing village, where you can follow in these early settlers' footsteps by angling for the park's lake trout or Pacific salmon, yourself.

The park has some of the best drive-in campgrounds on Lake Superior, but if you're feeling particularly adventurous, rent a kayak from Sawtooth Outfitters in Tofte and head to one of the park's remote kayak sites only accessible by water.

Finish your trip at the nearby Northern Lights Cafe for a drink and some local fare.

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Water bottle
  • Sea kayak
  • Life jacket
  • Fishing gear
  • Camera
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Joe Whitson Explorer

Minnesota Native. Check me out on Instagram: @joewhitson and feel free to shoot me an email if you want to talk more about things to do in Minnesota: joekentwhitson@gmail.com

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