Monday, June 18, 2012

Tettegouche to Baptism River High Falls; Superior Hiking Trail: June 16, 2012

Ya know, sometimes things don't work out the way you want.

Excited and enthusiastic after our Grandma's Marathon cheering earlier in the day, we decided to go for an ambulatory journey ourselves.  In our quest to get our 25-mile Hiking Club Patch, we headed for Tettegouche State Park in search of its Hiking Club Trail.

We did not find it.  Oh, we looked...but it would have been helpful if either of these factors had been in place:

1.  If I had brought my Hiking Club book, which had excellent and detailed directions on where to find the darn trail
2.  If the trail maps had actually marked which trail was the Hiking Club trail.

Lost in the deep woods...not really lost, but look at how thick those woods are!

Instead, we found ourselves on a section of the Superior Hiking Trail (not even a spur, it was the main trail) that went through the park.  Well, that works too.  We headed towards Baptism River's High Falls, which is the highest waterfall entirely within the state of Minnesota.

Baptism River High Falls

We followed a very nice boardwalk to the river's edge just above the falls.  There were a lot of people around!  After spending so much time in the North Shore's state parks during the "off-season" (anything other than the three months of summer), it was sort of jarring to see how crowded it was.  I suppose that's the cost I pay for living in a beautiful part of the country.

High Falls, from the top

Nature Man Joe

Nature Dog

The Superior Hiking Trail crosses over the Baptism River above the falls, and keeps going northeast and out of the park.  A remarkable suspension bridge spans the river, and we thought it would be fun to cross over it.  Thunderdog, however, was not too keen on that idea.  She was brave though, and made it... not without looking stressed out and whining pathetically as she stretched her toes out as far as they could go to get a good grip on the bridge.

Not diggin' the bridge

Poor Thunderdog.  She had an extraordinarily stressful day.  When we got home, she received lots of scratches and pets and slept happily on the rug for the rest of the afternoon. We played cribbage, listened to the Twins game, and were happy that we got a lot of outside stuff in early in the day - it poured rain all afternoon and evening.

Tettegouche State Park is really cool.  There's a lot of history in the park, there's some cool ecological stuff that is unique to the park, and there are some amazing views.  Aside from the river and the falls, we didn't see any of it.  I'll write more about the wonders of Tettegouche some other time...when we find the stupid Hiking Club trail.

With all of the wandering we did, it's hard to say exactly how much of the Superior Hiking Trail we covered, and how many miles we actually hiked.  I think it is safe to say that we covered about one mile of the SHT (twice - from the intersection with trail B to High Falls and back, plus some wandering) and maybe another half mile of wandering.

Total miles hiked today: 2.5 miles
Total miles hiked (in 2012): 55.2
Total ticks today: Joe - 0; Thunderdog - 0; Elly - 0
Total ticks (in 2012): 45


  1. That's a great hike; we've done it before. Winter similarly HATES that bridge!

    The Hiking Club Trail is actually off of the rest stop parking lot. Instead of heading into the park, you park just before the entrance and head towards the lake. The trail goes off to the left. It takes you on some AMAZING overviews of Lake Superior. It is my favorite Hiking Club trail, hands down. I hope you can find it!

    1. I knew as much as "Hiking Club Trail starts at the parking lot". I thought for SURE that it would be the actual park lot, not the rest stop! Joe and I were also convinced that any hiking club trail worth its salt would go past the beautiful waterfalls.

      Now I REALLY want to see what makes it your favorite trail! Will I be able to wait for Joe to come back up here, or will I strike off on my own? Hmm...