Joe, however, was undeterred. He had heard about an abandoned railroad tunnel south of Duluth - and it just happened to be next to one of the premier day hikes on the Duluth Sections of the Superior Hiking Trail, Ely's Peak. A train tunnel? Hiking? A scenic overlook? I packed up my creaky bones and exploring we went.
Once we got over the bridge, it was just a short walk to get back on the "hiking" part of the Superior Hiking Trail.
|Superior Hiking Trail: head straight up|
|What in blue blazes...|
The Superior Hiking Trail, like many other trails, helps to keep the hikers on track by putting blazes on the trail. The Appalachian Trail has its plain white blazes, some countries have elaborate blazes, and the Superior Hiking Trail has aqua blue blazes. The spur trails have white blazes. Some backpackers and hikers don't like them - they interfere with the natural feel of the trail, people should be using maps and compasses instead of relying on blazes, blah blah. I like them because I don't like getting lost. I even appreciate blazes on straightforward trails because they remind me that I'm on the right track.
Anyhow, most Superior Hiking Trail blazes are painted rectangles onto trailside trees. When there are no trees (like in the above picture), the blazes are painted onto the rocks.
|Joe and the climbers|
|Ah, no climbers here.|
|It's a big tunnel!|
|Joe at the mouth of the tunnel|
What a sweet hike. We got to see lots of trains, a neat old train tunnel, scramble up a very rocky section of the Superior Hiking Trail, and see great views from the top. This creaky old lady had a great time. And there was nary a tick to be found. Can't complain about that.
Many, many thanks to Joe for contributing to this blog post. His knowledge of trains is staggering as well as completely charming.
Total miles hiked today: 3
Total miles hiked (in 2012): 32
Total ticks today: Joe - 0; Thunderdog - n/a; Elly - 0
Total ticks (in 2012): 13