Back in May when I wrote a post about Patrick's Backpacking trip on the Superior Hiking Trail with Rickard I said I am sure a few backpacking trips were in my future. That has certainly been the case. With this trip I have been backpacking three times this summer and Patrick has been six times. It has been really fun to discover really cool places that are not far from home.
On this particular adventure our plan was to take the shuttle from the trail center at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park to Silver Bay and then hike the 20 miles back to our car. It ended up working out fairly well. We did have to leave at 5am Saturday morning to arrive at the shuttle in time though. One good thing about being up so early was we started hiking around 9am, so we had lots of daylight ahead of us.
I had seen on the DNR color report that the area we were going to be at was only 25-50 percent of the leaves had turned. It ended up being perfect. A lot of trees had turned beautiful colors and most of the other trees still had all their leaves. Here is the view after we climbed just one of the hills on our journey.
There were also some spectacular views of Lake Superior.
The Beaver River near Beaver Bay. Originally we had thought that we would camp here, but we were here by noon so we kept on the trail.
Here is the part of the trail. It really is a ton of rocks, tree roots and up and down hills.
After 8.9 miles we arrived at our campsite for the night. We stayed at the Fault Line Creek campsite. This is also where we met Matt and Lindsay. They were on the same journey as us, so we ended up hiking with them for a while on Sunday morning.
While I got the tent set up, Patrick went searching for fire wood. He collected quite a bit of stuff, but most of it was wet. It was taking a while to get the fire started, but once it started it was going strong.
For dinner we made our burritos in the fire and roasted some marshmallows. We were in bed before 10pm after our 4:30am wake up call. I was out as soon as I put my head on the pillow, but our friends Matt and Lindsay were cold and thought they heard a bear outside their tent. Patrick thinks it may have been a bird. The temperature was supposed to get down to 27 degrees, but with our small tent and warm sleeping bags neither of us was cold or awake hearing bears.
On Sunday morning Patrick was up early collecting firewood to reignite the fire. He got it going again, so we had a fire to warm up to while we ate our oatmeal. We packed up and headed back out on the trail again.
We stopped at an empty campsite for a lunch break. It was a nice break, but it was getting chilly so we headed back to the trail pretty quickly.
Here is a view of Split Rock Lighthouse from the trail.
After 12.4 miles of hiking we arrived at the Split Rock Loop campsites. We stayed at the N.E. Split Rock River campsite. Here is Patrick filtering water from the river.
On Monday morning we got up and slowly got our things packed up. The day before we had walked by the sign to the trail to our car. We were on the Split Rock River Loop, so we figured if we continued on the loop we would get back to that trail. Well that didn't happen so we ended up at a parking lot on Hwy 61. Our plan was going to be to hike along the Gitche Gami bike trail until we we got to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Lucky for us our friend Lindsay was waiting for Matt in the parking lot and she offered to give us a ride to our car. We were both thrilled because neither of us was too excited about the extra two miles to the car.
On Monday we hiked 2.6 miles, so for the trip a total of 23.9 miles. It was really enjoyable to be outside and to really enjoy the fall weather and colors. I would definitely be up for another trip in the future. And of course on our way home we made our traditional stop at Pizza Luce in Duluth for a late lunch.