So pretty you’ll want to hike it twice

Oberg Mountain is a great North Shore hike, especially in fall colors. Sure, it’s full of people, but the views are so spectacular and so accessible, you just gotta do it. And maybe you should do it two times in a row.

The trail starts from the Onion River Road, from the big trailhead parking lot 2.1 miles up from Highway 61. It’s well-marked and easy to follow the whole way. The entire hike is about 2 miles long.

The heart of the trail is the 1.3 mile loop around the summit of Oberg. There are seven different overlooks, each one quite different from the last. Most people take the loop counter-clockwise, and if you do so too, you won’t run into nearly as many people.

Chloe and a friend and I hiked the trail a few days ago. Fall colors were just coming out, so the trail was relatively quiet. When we got to the overlook facing up the shore toward Grand Marais, we ran into a gal from Hibbing who had been ahead of us on the trail. She’d hiked the whole loop once. Of all seven overlooks, this was the one she chose to revisit to eat her lunch.

Which made me think: after driving an hour or two to get here, after climbing up 200 feet from the parking lot to get to the loop, why not keep the peak experience going? You’re bound to see something you missed on the way around. Maybe this time there will be a raven riding the thermals, or an ore boat out on Lake Superior.

You could be a gourmet gawker, knowing just where you want to sit and take in the views. Or you could do public service, offering to use their cameras and take pictures of all the hikers trying to do that awkward long arm self-portrait. Reinvent yourself as a local tour guide, who knows all the best spots.

Get out there. Fall colors are headed for their peak. It’s North Shore hiking season big time. Double time. Twice the fun. You see what I mean?


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7 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Real men walk with funny hats
    and a poodle.

  2. Andrew Slade says:

    That’s no normal poodle either. A vicious chipmunk killer she is.

  3. I’m jealous, I spent all my time last week in the Copper Harbor area of Michigan. Which of course is just wonderful but I want to hike in Minnesota in the fall again. Only so much time…….

  4. Andrew Slade says:

    Copper Harbor is such a cool part of the Keewenaw…I’ve only been out there twice, and only hiked once, out to the big pines (Estivant?). Lovely.

  5. Estivant Pines it was! 500 year old
    plus White pines. I’ve never seen trees so large in the Midwest. Copper harbor is a little jewel and remote enough to keep it that way. It’s a haul over there but I enjoyed it greatly. Some wonderful dining also. Many hiking trails around the area. Hunter’s point was nice. Nothing beats a cabin on the shore waking to the sound of the inland sea.

  6. lotus says:

    Thanks for stopping by my site, Andrew! It was great to see these images of what we missed on our foggy hike up Oberg Mountain. It must have spectacular in the Fall. I hope to get out there for a Fall hike next year!

  7. Andrew Slade says:

    Lotus, Fall is lovely at Oberg, though often crowded. Bring your baby in the backpack mid-week for a great jaunt next fall!
    Meantime, we’re planning a return trip to the Moab area with our “babies”…12 and 13 years old now!

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