Lutsen-Tofte area

German lesson: spazieren the North Shore
June 25, 2013 by Best North Shore

German lesson: spazieren the North Shore

I just got back from Germany. There is so much to learn and experience there, with great trails and amazing experiences despite the densely populated country. … read more


Love on the Superior Hiking Trail
September 27, 2012 by Andrew Slade

Love on the Superior Hiking Trail

  "This is one of my favorite sections." Only for a old hiking couple like us could that have been words of love.  When Sally said just that to me this week as we hiked from the Caribou Trail to Lutsen on the Superior Hiking Trail, I felt as warm and gooey as if she'd reached across a fancy restaurant's white linen to hold my hand. She likes it. She really really likes it! I'd wrapped up a virtual present for her and she was delighted with it. We'd already enshrined this hike as one of the "50 fabulous day hikes" in … read more


North Shore Fourth of July
July 3, 2012 by Andrew Slade

North Shore Fourth of July

It's hard to believe that it's already the Fourth of July. Since Independence Day falls on a Wednesday this year, the North Shore won't be quite as frantic with travelers making a long weekend out of the holiday. That means a great opportunity for North Shore fans to enjoy some great Fourth of July traditions.It's going to be a lovely day, with breezes off Lake Superior keeping temps in the 70s despite the statewide heat advisory.  Tofte Wilderness Trek  Start your day off right with a 10 kilometer run (or walk) through the woods and ridges near Tofte. Just show … read more


Great guided hikes on the Superior Hiking Trail
April 30, 2012 by Andrew Slade

Great guided hikes on the Superior Hiking Trail

Small group of hikers on the Tofte Overlook, Carlton Peak. Have you always wanted to hike the Superior Hiking Trail, but never felt quite ready? Maybe you heard about how difficult it can be, or maybe you heard one of the rare stories of people getting lost on the trail. Fear not! If you can follow driving directions to a trailhead, you can join a guided hike this spring, summer or fall on the Superior Hiking Trail. These guided hikes are a great way to get out on an excellent hiking trail. There is truly safety in numbers, and each hike has … read more


Lutsen gondola: Why hike when you can stroll?
October 10, 2011 by Andrew Slade

Lutsen gondola: Why hike when you can stroll?

Looking for a great, amazingly scenic North Shore experience? Want to stroll and enjoy the view rather than hike and clamber? Head for Lutsen Mountains. The gondola ride to the top of Moose Mountain is like an express train to Beautyland. There is a great 4.2 mile hike from the top of the gondola back down on the Superior Hiking Trail. The maples of Mystery Mountain are amazing. The Via Ferrata-like scamper below the Moose Mountain ridge is remarkable..and difficult. That hike is Hike #35 in Hiking the North Shore, and it definitely lives up to the book's subtitles as … read more


The best North Shore Fourth of July
June 30, 2011 by Andrew Slade

The best North Shore Fourth of July

Fourth of July in small-town America means parades and fireworks. If you're on the North Shore for the Fourth, head for Tofte for the best small-town celebration of all.Sure, Two Harbors has fireworks and an ice cream social And Grand Marais will have fireworks and a parade. Even little Silver Bay and Grand Portage will have fireworks. But no one puts it all together like Tofte. Here's your schedule for a great North Shore Fourth of July at Tofte: 7:45 AM Tofte Trek registration Opens at Birch Grove for Tofte Trek 10K Wilderness Run (and hike)9:30 AM Tofte Trek startRun through the … read more


Winter is still here, with more on the way
March 21, 2011 by Andrew Slade

Winter is still here, with more on the way

There is plenty of snow up in the North Shore ridges. With a blizzard watch for tomorrow and a stretch of cold days coming after that, it looks like we've got a bonus week of real winter still ahead. I love these snowdepth maps from the climatologists at the Minnesota DNR. Check out that raindrop-shaped smear of mauve along the North Shore. That's snow over two feet deep.  Even if the forecasts for a big snow don't pan out, here are some great ski trails right in that mauve smear: Flathorn-Gegoka, IsabellaNorthwoods Ski Touring Trail, Silver Bay Sugarbush Trail, Tofte-Lutsen Bally Creek Trails, … read more


Sugarbush: Groomed or ungroomed, still the best North Shore skiing
March 13, 2011 by Andrew Slade

Sugarbush: Groomed or ungroomed, still the best North Shore skiing

Twenty years ago, my wife Sally and I rolled down Highway 1 from Ely to the North Shore with our cross country skis for a weekend with my parents. I had never skied on big wide groomed ski trails before, only on the winding skier-packed trails of the Superior National Forest. We skied on the Sugarbush Trails, just inland from Tofte. It was mind-blowing. I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven. I still remember the thrill of gliding down the well-groomed hairpin turns of the Sixmile Crossing trail. The view of Leveaux Peak rising above the fields in the … read more


After the thaw, ski season goes downhill
February 17, 2011 by Andrew Slade

After the thaw, ski season goes downhill

For North Shore nordic skiers, this has been a tough week. A big thaw settled in over the region and melted away probably half of the snow in the woods. Cross country ski trails will be hard-packed and icy until we get more snow. Fortunately, there are places on the North Shore where there is still plenty of snow, and where they have big machines to grind up the crust and create soft, ski-able conditions. The ski season has gone downhill...literally.And let's face it, downhill skiing is a blast.  Lutsen Mountain should have very good ski conditions this week. The Big … read more