The view from Minnesota’s highest point, Eagle Mountain.
Cook County has over 386 miles of incredible Minnesota hiking trails, including the infamous Superior Hiking Trail, which is sometimes called “the Appalachian Trail of the Midwest.” You’ll find hikes to suit every taste, ability and timeframe, all within a landscape beautiful enough to take anyone’s breath away. So take your pick: Lake Superior views, waterfall adventures, river hikes and national forest loops. Cook County has the best to offer when it comes to Minnesota hiking trails.
6 Awe-Filled Cook County Hikes
Hike the Boundary Waters. See the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) as you’ve never seen it before via the Kekekabic, Border Route, Magnetic Rock, and other Gunflint Trail hiking trails at locations like Chik-Wauk Nature Center.
Hike the wildest sections of the 277-mile Superior Hiking Trail, voted #2 in the nation by the readers of Backpacker magazine.
Encounter hundred-mile views of Lake Superior and the Superior National Forest from the peaks of the ancient Sawtooth Mountain Range, like local favorite Oberg Mountain. Along the shore find trails at Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center.
High Falls, the tallest waterfall in Minnesota, plunges 120 feet through a misty, thunderous gorge. Access this beautiful gem at Grand Portage State Park. The trail is paved and barrier-free.
Summit Eagle Mountain, the highest point in Minnesota was named “Best Hiking Trail in Minnesota” by the Star Tribune in 2013.
From stroller-friendly, barrier-free strolls to epic wilderness adventures, Minnesota hiking trails in Lutsen-Tofte-Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail, and Grand Portage will help you find what you’ve been looking for.
Fall: Millions of Colorful Reasons to Visit This Fall
Cook County is the premier destination to view fall colors in Minnesota. Starting in early September, the air turns crisp and clear. Shortly after, the leaves begin to change, color painting the Superior National Forest with a palette of goldenrod, pumpkin orange and firetruck red. For a romantic getaway, escape during the midweek to avoid the fall color crowd – you’ll have the trails to yourselves.
In late fall, a different kind of show begins: the infamous gales of November. This is a chance to get cozy and watch Lake Superior unleash her wild side.
North Shore Fall Bucket List
Embrace your inner leaf-peeper. Marvel at all of the color that nature offers. View the fall colors drive maps.
Go on a “moosefari.” For your best chance of seeing one of the elusive moose, drive the Gunflint Trail National Scenic Byway early in the morning or around dusk. Even if you don’t spy a moose, you’ll see spectacular scenery. Learn more about moose in Cook County.
Hike the Superior Hiking Trail. Catch spectacular views from numerous peaks along the Sawtooth Mountain Range of Lake Superior and the Superior National Forest in full fall splendor. Learn more about hiking in Cook County.
Golf at Superior National. Open into October, you can get in a few more rounds and view spectacular fall colors by hitting the links at Superior National Golf Course. Learn more about golfing in Cook County.
Find your true colors and get inspired. Shop our local galleries and find artisan crafted gems. Feeling inspired? Take a class at North House Folk School or the Grand Marais Art Colony.
Revel at a festival.
Catch the fall bird migration. The boreal forest is at the heart of the migratory path for numerous bird species. From the peak of a mountain, witness a hawk migration or stay up late and listen for the hoot of an owl. Learn more about the birds in Cook County.
Experience the late fall storm season. Starting in late-October, low-pressure systems from the Arctic swing down over Lake Superior and bump into warmer systems fed by the jet stream. These collisions can spawn ferocious gales. If you get a thrill from waves and wind, Cook County has plenty of snug harbors for storm-watching.
As Minnesota reaches peak fall color season, you may be thinking of ways to get out and enjoy the colors. If you’ve already done a fall foliage road trip, the next step may be to get out of the car and see the leaves up close. Each of these trails is less than 5 miles, and each one leads to a spectacular view overflowing with autumn beauty. If you’re looking for some easy fall hikes, these are a great place to start.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/nominate/