For the third part of The Endless Horizon series, we’re joining the Boehnlein family on their annual trip north to the shores of Lake Superior. Once you’ve read their travel guide below, gather inspiration from their setup and leisurely morning routine. Shop a collection of the gear they used in The Endless Horizon Collection.
No camping season, in our opinion, is complete without a trip to the north shore of Lake Superior. In fact, the times that we haven’t been able to go, we have made up for it by visiting during the winter. But that’s for another story! Together, we have traveled and explored this beautiful area since before starting our family, in fact, before we were married. And that’s just shy of 19(!) years. But what has become so special to us, is getting to share all of Lake Superior’s seasons and magic with our girls. There is so much that this little chunk of Minnesota and small shoreline of the greatest, great lake in world has to offer. We can only hope that you get the chance to explore and fall in love with it as much as we and our kids have over the years. The best part about this amazing place is that it welcomes us time and time again, with crashing waves, open spaces, peace, and beauty beyond compare. A few places on our must see and to do list are:
Temperance State Park - 90 minutes north of Duluth, HWY 61 cuts through Temperance State Park. You can park off the HWY and hike some trails, but we prefer to park in the lower campground picnic area with our beach gear in tow. Swimming at the junction where the Temperance River and Lake Superior meet is a must. A mixture of warm inland water and cold Lake Superior water is exhilarating. A real eye-opening, bone-chilling, superhero-making experience. Relaxing on beach after your dip in the lake, while watching the kids agate hunt along the shoreline, is not a bad way to welcome in the evening.
Caribou Falls State Wayside Rest - 10 miles south of Temperance River State Park you will find Caribou Falls State Wayside Rest. Don’t blink or you will drive right by. Winding along the Caribou river is a family friendly, one-mile round trip hiking path that leads to a staircase that will take you down to the base of Caribou Falls. There you can take a dip in the cool waters or walk besides, or in, the river. Our girls loved sliding down some of the smooth rocks submerged in the river - kind of like their own personal, nature-made, water slide. Sugar Loaf Cove Nature Center – If you’d like to learn about the history of the area, I recommend checking out Sugar Loaf Cove Nature Center. A self-guided tour through the woods, with informational pit stops along the way, will help give you a sense of the area’s rich history of logging and its transportation through Sugar Loaf Cove. At the end of your hike, you will be greeted with a breathtaking view of Sugar Loaf Cove and you can still see remnants of the logging industry in the area. On the hike back to your vehicle you can stop in the nature center to learn more about the north shore’s bugs, birds, mammals, fish, and their habitats.
Fika Coffee - Fika Coffee (pronounced fee-kah), which is a Swedish word meaning coffee break, is a north shore road trip delicacy. A must-try, enjoy, and repeat. Here is where mom and dad can get their bag of grounds or whole beans (bonus cup of joe with each purchase) and the kids can get their cups of hot chocolate. If you are passing through Lutsen, MN, I recommend picking up a bag of their North Shore Blend. A mix of roasted beans from Guatemala, Brazil & Ethiopia, this medium body coffee is a perfect roast to enjoy while watching a sunrise over Lake Superior.
Schroeder Baking Company – Are you on the road and the family is starting to get ‘hangry’? Schroeder Baking Company to the rescue! We ALWAYS leave a meal option open for our favorite menu items, cheesy hot pizza and chocolate malts from Schroeder’s Baking Company. They have a cute outdoor picnic area where the field is usually filled with wildflowers and grasshoppers for the kids to catch and release. Oh, by the way, their other food offerings are great too! Donuts, nachos, and subs, oh my!
Sawbill Outfitters - Not far from Lake Superior in the Superior National Forest is the eastern edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). This is the most visited wilderness in the United States with 1M acres, of which 20% is water. Not everyone has the gear to navigate this wilderness, so outfitters are a very common site near the BWCAW. Sawbill Outfitters is a 40 minute scenic drive up HWY 2 and is our absolute favorite outfitter for entry into the Boundary Waters. Anything you may possibly need is available here - a canoe, paddles, camping equipment, gifts, groceries, and a hot shower. There is nowhere quite like the BWCAW. It is so peaceful and is a perfect place to reset and reconnect with your soul. Time has no place here and that is a welcomed break from the fast pace of life. Sawbill is a great partner to help you get there.