Twin Lakes Trail: One of the Best


One of the best hikes on the North Shore is the Twin Lakes Trail, also known as the Bean and Bear Lakes hike. Most people hike to Bean Lake on the Superior Hiking Trail, off of Penn Boulevard. The Twin Lakes Trail has its own trailhead, right in town in Silver Bay. I think this access is more wild and more interesting.

The hike is 6.8 miles long and involves some pretty good climbing, so it’s not suited for young children. Pack a lunch, too. Not only will you need the calories, but there are three really great lunch spots to sit and enjoy the meal with a view.

You’ll find the Twin Lakes Trail trailhead 0.3 miles up from the Highway 61 Silver Bay stoplights up Outer Drive. The parking lot is also for the visitor information center run by the Bay Area Historical Society. From the corner of the parking lot, the trail follows a wide gravel ATV trail for about 0.3 miles. Then the hiking trail cuts to the right off the ATV trail.

Silver Bay was the center of the damage from the April ice storm. This trail had been hit hard, by falling trees and broken branches. But the trail crews had cleared nearly the entire loop. THANK YOU TRAIL CREWS!!

It’s a lollipop loop, so you’ll hike up 1.8 miles on the “stick” of the lollipop. That gets you to the crux move. Left or right?

I enjoyed going left and hiking clockwise around the 3.1 mile main loop.

Some highlights, in hiking order:

1) The view from the top of Elam’s Knob, as the town of Silver Bay gets swallowed by the hills and forest and lake:

2) The dramatic cliffs and far-below views of Bean Lake:

3) The full view of Bear (close) and Bean (far) lakes:

It’s a great hike anytime of year. At least half of the hike is in maple woods, so it’s gorgeous in the fall. The spring wildflowers were nice this week.

Get out and go wild!


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3 Responses

  1. UpNorthica says:

    Nice recommend, this looks like one to remember.

  2. I forgot to mention that the poodle really liked the chipmunks that were out sunning themselves.

  3. Don't Paniq says:

    Very nice hike, went out on June 5, 2000, great weather, the hike can get a bit warm and/or humid, but you also get some spots with a good breeze. Great Lake Superior views during the earlier stretch, then Bean and Bear Lakes later. Lots of elevation changes, not large scale for most, but lots of inclines from 20 to 60 feet throughout. There is a significant incline near the beginning of the overall hike. Very enjoyable, but not your easy Gooseberry Falls hike. Almost no one on the trail on this day. Great spot to dangle your feet in Bear Lake. It looks like a little trail maintenance on a couple bridges is planned. Be careful with the one bridge that you will look at and it will be obvious to be careful. We’ll head back later in the summer to hike and swim, and then in the autumn this should be a great one for fall coler. Happy hiking!

What do you think?


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