Take An Easy Loop Trail Past Some Of The Prettiest Scenery In Minnesota On Split Rock Ridge
One of the country’s best-kept secrets, Minnesota is home to some incredibly diverse landscapes, uniquely forged by ancient geology, the powerful waters of the Mississippi, and the tumultuous clashing of climates from all sides. Fortunately for outdoor enthusiasts, that adds up to some pretty epic hiking trails to explore! For an easy taste of some of Minnesota’s best sights, the gorgeous Split Rock Trail is an absolute must-do hike on the North Shore. Here you’ll find multiple waterfalls, gorgeous beaches, camping, and epic rock formations, all tucked away in a scenic slice of Beaver Bay. Check it out:
Wild yet peaceful, the 310-mile Superior Hiking Trail is one of Minnesota's most beloved hiking trails. Following the rocky ridgeline above Lake Superior from the eastern Minnesota border to Canada, the trail makes its way through eight different state parks.
The Split Rock Trail (Split Rock Ridge) is just a small portion of the SHT, but it packs some incredible scenery into the short 5-mile loop.
There are multiple ways to find the trailhead, but keep in mind that entering through Split Rock State Park adds extra length to the journey.
Straight away, the first part of the trail traverses a number of tree roots as it climbs uphill, so watch your step! Over the course of the trail, you will also come across a few sets of stairs and steep scrambles.
Fortunately, you'll barely notice the gradual ascent - you'll be too busy admiring the scenery! Depending on the time of year, wildflowers are abundant everywhere you turn.
Towering trees provide a welcome escape from the humidity while still allowing beautiful rays of sunshine to peek through and glisten on the nearby creek.
It won't be long before you see the first waterfall! This little cascade tumbles just a few feet into the creek, but the gentle sounds of the water on all sides are absolutely serene. Feel free to take a rest in the shade or grab some water while you enjoy the views!
As you continue along the trail, you'll notice the sound of water getting louder as you approach more waterfalls (some obscured behind the foliage) and a rocky portion of the riverbed. Until finally…
…the trees along the creek open up and the gorgeous Split Rock Falls makes its appearance. This stunning 20-foot waterfall is by no means the tallest waterfall in the state, but its setting is absolutely perfect!
You'll also continue to discover more waterfalls farther on. This trail is perfect for waterfall hopping!
Your journey doesn't end with the trail's dozens of waterfalls, though. Multiple side spurs will take hikers down to Lake Superior (because what better way to experience the Land of 10,000 Lakes than with a beachside trip?!)……and up to various overlooks for some epic panoramic overlooks that double as leaf-peeping vantage points.
You'll also find the trail's namesake - Split Rock itself - as well as a number of other rocky outcroppings and walls that show off Minnesota's glacial geology.
In order to make the return journey, you'll need to cross the river before the downed wooden bridge. Be sure to take a few moments here to dip your toes, sit on one of the river rocks to enjoy the river spray, or cool off on the riverbank before heading back to the trailhead.
With so much natural and scenic beauty to experience, this is a true choose-your-own-adventure slice of Minnesota paradise. Snap a photo of the map at the trailhead to plan your side quests and photo stops! This trail offers so much more than first meets the eye and you'll want to experience every part of it.
To complete your day hike, a trip to the iconic Split Rock Lighthouse is the perfect end to a perfect day.
This sweet trail is just another reason to love the Land of 10,000 Lakes! Let us know if you have any tips to make this hike even sweeter.
Looking for more scenic hikes in Minnesota? Check out these short and sweet trails under three miles!
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Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, Split Rock Lighthouse Road, Two Harbors, MN, USA