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


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


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


All those waterfalls, going to waste
May 6, 2010 by Andrew Slade

All those waterfalls, going to waste

I came across this image from a 1913 edition of the Duluth News Tribune today. Note the incredible caption, about this beautiful waterfalls and its 75,000 horsepower "going to waste."The relevant part of the article reads:"Within the very lap of Tofte there is 125,000 electrical horse power undeveloped. Temperance River Falls, three miles west, that has 75,000 horsepower, owned by Fletcher Brothers of Minneapolis, who signify an intention of developing it for operating pulp mills and for furnishing electrical lighting for Tofte. Then there are the Cascade Falls just east of Tofte that has 50,000 horsepower going to waste. Both … read more


Fireworks in Tofte…The Big Oops!
July 5, 2009 by Andrew Slade

Fireworks in Tofte…The Big Oops!

Check out this video from YouTube of the fireworks from Tofte on the Fourth of July. Someone recorded the video on their cellphone from about 350 feet away, but couldn't get the audio to work.Maybe it was in honor of the 10th anniversary of the BWCA Blowdown...the Blow-Down Blow-Up!Here's another view, with audio, from the KARE-TV website. … read more


A very European hike at Lutsen
July 1, 2009 by Andrew Slade

A very European hike at Lutsen

My memories of hiking in Europe include gravity-defying gondola rides, permanently gray skies, and picnics in wildflower meadows featuring beef tongue.Who knew I'd find almost all of those things right here on the North Shore?I did the famous "gondola hike" at Lutsen Mountains yesterday. You take the mountain tram from the very Scandinavian village area of Lutsen up to the top of Moose Mountain, then hike on the SHT about four miles back down to your car. Europeans love gondolas, both the airborne mountain kind and the skinny canal boats in Venice.At the top of the gondola ride is a … read more