Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is located northeast of Two Harbors, Minnesota on the shores of Lake Superior. It is home to Split Rock Lighthouse, one of the most popular lighthouses in the country. The park offers visitors many views of Lake Superior as well as countless opportunities for outdoor recreation like hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Of all of the things one can do at the park, we recommend keeping the top 5 things on the top of your “things to do” list:
- Visit the Lighthouse: The Lighthouse was built after many ships were lost in a fierce storm in November of 1905. It operated for almost sixty years, from 1910 until 1969. The lighthouse is open seasonally for tours. On the tour visitors are able to view the lighthouse interior, the lighthouse keeper’s home and other outbuildings on the site.
- Visit the Pebble Beach: Pack a picnic or just head down to the beach to skip some rocks. The beach provides excellent views of the lighthouse and is a great place to relax and enjoy Lake Superior.
- Go Biking: A four-mile section of the paved Gitchi-Gami State Trail lies within the boundaries of the park. From the trail, you’ll find a great view of the Middle Falls waterfall and will also catch a glimpse of the Upper and Lower Falls.
- Hike the Split Rock River Loop Trail: With 12 miles of hiking trails within the park, there are many areas to explore. One noteworthy hike is the Split Rock River Loop Trail which has unique red rhyolite rock towers. They are found near the boundary of the park.
- Go Birding: The state park is an excellent place for birding, especially in the spring and fall months when many birds migrate along the shore of Lake Superior. The Audubon named Split Rock State Park and Important Bird Area because of the presence of Peregrine Falcons and their nests. When you’re at the park, be sure to bring along a copy of the Split Rock State Park Birding Checklist in hopes that you can spot and check other birds off the list as well.