The Heart of Lake Superior's North Shore

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  • The Heart of Lake Superiors North Shore

    also featuring

    Beaver BayEast Beaver Bay

    FinlandLittle Marais


  • 2 Official Destination Guide of Silver Bay, Minnesota and surrounding areas



    Cover: Moon at Perigee. PAUL SUNDBERG

    Things to See . . . . . . . . . . . 3Places to Stay or Camp . . . . . 4Other Things to Do . . . . . . . . 6North Shore Mining and Silver Bay. . . . . . . . . . . 7Area Events . . . . . . . . . . 8/9Area Map . . . . . . . . . . 10/11Beaver Bay . . . . . . . . . . . 12East Beaver Bay. . . . . . . . . 12Finland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Little Marais . . . . . . . . . . . 14Silver Bay Map . . . . . . . . . 19

    DirectoryLodging . . . . . . . . . . . . .4/5Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Dining . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15Community Services . . . . . . 17

    Beaver BaySilver Bay


    IsabellaLittle Marais

    Split Rock Lighthouse

    Lake Superior


    Of course, Lake Superior is the reason youre

    here. Its sometimes smooth as glass, sometimes

    raging in a Noreaster, one-thousand-foot ore

    boats, ocean-going freighters, sailboats, cruisers,

    and kayaks all have plenty of room to sail. The

    shoreline is more accessible in our area than any

    other place on the North Shore, with miles of

    rugged cliffs and pebble beaches full of agates

    and driftwood.

    Most of our scenic attractions are easily

    accessible by car, with a little walking.

    Going up the shore, on Highway 61, a

    National Scenic Byway and an All American

    Road, just 39 miles from Duluth is Gooseberry

    Falls State Park. Gooseberry Falls is one of

    the most visited state parks and has ample

    parking. Within a few minutes walk from

    the Visitor Center you can see the falls.

    Just minutes up the shore from Gooseberry

    Falls is the world-famous Split Rock

    Lighthouse, 46 miles from Duluth. You can

    tour the Lighthouse and the grounds, led by

    knowledgeable guides dressed in period

    costumes. Down the hill from the

    Lighthouse, park at the Trail Center of Split

    Rock State Park with paths along Lake

    Superior leading to a vista of the Lighthouse.

    Your next stop is Beaver Bay, only 5 miles

    from the Lighthouse. Its one of the oldest

    communities in Minnesota, founded in

    1858, accessible only by water in those days.

    Visit the shops and see the Beaver River.

    Less than two miles from Beaver Bay is the

    Silver Bay Marina and Bayside Park. See the

    sailboats and power boats in the harbor. Theres

    an excellent view of the Thousand Footers

    (ore boats) coming into the Northshore Mining

    harbor. Have a picnic at the Bayside Park with

    a lakeside view and its cozy beach.

    Adjacent to the marina to the northeast is the

    Northshore Mining taconite processing plant

    built in the mid-fifties. Just beyond that is

    Silver Bay, a city built at the same time. See

    page 9 for more description of the Plant and

    Silver Bay. Turn left at the stoplight on Outer

    Drive, which is the start of the Superior

    National Forest Scenic Byway. Cruise the

    streets of the city to see what planners thought

    the city of the future would look like. The

    Byway continues up the hill and eventually

    reaches Hoyt Lakes on the Iron Range.

    Back on Highway 61, your next stop is

    Palisade Head, a 260-foot cliff just two-and-

    a-half miles from Silver Bay. Park at the top

    of the cliff and see panoramic views of the

    shore. Less than 2 miles from Palisade Head

    is Tettegouche State Park. Take the half-mile

    trail to Shovel Point, another magnificent

    cliff, or take the trail upstream on the

    Baptism River to see several waterfalls.

    Just beyond that, scenic Highway 1 intersects

    Highway 61. Six miles up Highway 1 is

    Finland, a community founded by Finnish

    settlers in 1895. Highway 1 eventually

    reaches Ely, the hub of the Boundary Waters

    Canoe Area. County 6, on the north side of

    Finland, heads east and eventually connects

    with Highway 61 at Little Marais (Mile Post

    65). On the way, you can see the John Pine

    Heritage Site, a village that recalls the past,

    and Wolf Ridge, a well-respected

    Environmental School.

    Little Marais is the end of the Silver Bay

    area. Highway 61 continues to be very

    scenic. Lutsen, a downhill ski area; Grand

    Marais, known as an art community; and

    the Canadian border all await you.

    Things to See



  • LODGINGSilver BayAmericInn150 Mensing DriveSilver Bay, MN 55614218-226-4300

    Fenstads Resort6572 Hwy. 61ELittle Marais, MN 55614218-226-4724

    Little Marais Lakeside Cabins6476 Hwy. 61Little Marais, MN 55614218-226-3456

    Inn at Palisade on Superior5616 Hwy. 61Silver Bay, MN 55614218-226-0200

    Mariner Motel46 Outer DriveSilver Bay, MN 55614218-226-4488

    Split Rock Cabins3668 Hwy. 61ETwo Harbors, MN 55616218-226-4735

    Tettegouche State Park Camping5702 Hwy. 61ESilver Bay, MN 55614218-226-6365

    Whispering Pines Motel5763 Hwy. 61ESilver Bay, MN 55614218-226-4712

    Beaver BayCamp 611017 Main StreetBeaver Bay, MN 55601218-226-4351

    Cove Point Lodge4614 Hwy. 61EBeaver Bay, MN 55601218-226-3221

    Northland Trails GuesthouseMain Street/Hwy. 61EBeaver Bay, MN 55601218-226-4199

    Split Rock State Park3755 Split Rock Lighthouse Rd.Two Harbors, MN 55616218-226-6377

    Places to Stay or CampThe Silver Bay Area offers a surprising

    variety of places to stay. All have websites.

    Just type in the name on your browser.

    If you want to be civilized, there are many

    places to stay. As you approach Beaver Bay from

    the southwest, Cove Point Lodge is on the

    lakeside. In the City of Beaver Bay, Camp 61 is

    on the landside. In the City of Silver Bay, the

    Mariner Motel is just off Highway 61. Just a

    mile down #61, The AmericInn has 60 rooms,

    wading pool, sauna, full-size swimming pool, and

    a water slide. They also offer a free breakfast and

    have an attractive lobby. Four miles from Silver

    Bay, the Whispering Pines Motel (landside) and

    Inn at Palisade (lakeside) await you. A few miles

    up the shore in Little Marais, Superior Lakeside

    Cabins has old-fashioned cabins with a great

    view of Lake Superior. On the scenic Highway 1,

    northeast on Highway 61 from Tettegouche

    State park, the beautiful Baptism River Inn Bed

    and Breakfast is on the Baptism River. They love

    to accommodate hikers, leaf peepers, cross

    country skiers, and romantics. The National

    Forest Lodge, run by the owners of the Baptism

    River Inn Bed and Breakfast, is 7 miles beyond

    Isabella on Highway 1. They have direct access

    to Flathorn/Gekoka Ski Trails, a well known

    place to cross country ski.

    If you want more rustic places to stay,

    Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock, Tettegouche, and

    George H. Crosby Manitou State Parks have

    campgrounds with various tent sites ranging

    from car parking at the site to cart in sites.

    The City of Silver Bay has several free sites for

    Recreation Vehicles at the Observation Park.

    Go to Eckbeck Campground

    on the Baptism River on Highway 1, 3

    miles from Highway 61, has very-low-cost

    campsites for tents and small RVs. Finland

    State Forest Campground on County 6, just

    off Highway 1 at Finland, offers the same

    opportunities. Wildhurst, 4 miles north of

    Finland on Highway 1, is on the snowmobile

    and ATV trails. They have RV hookups.

    If backpacking camping is your thing,

    The Superior Hiking Trail is acclaimed

    throughout the nation, and has many

    campsites from Gooseberry Falls to the Little

    Marais Road. Some of the campsites have

    panoramic vistas, some are more intimate.

    The Superior Hiking Trail can be accessed

    approximately every 5 miles from roads on

    Highway 61, and there are plenty of parking

    lots for the trail in the Silver Bay Area.

    4 Official Destination Guide of Silver Bay, Minnesota and surrounding areas


  • LODGINGFinland

    Baptism River Inn B&B6125 Hwy. 1

    Finland, MN 55603218-353-0707

    Bettys Cabins6077 Hwy. 1

    Silver Bay, MN 55614218-353-7362

    Crooked Lake Resort9449 Cramer RoadFinland, MN 55603


    Eckbeck CampgroundHighway 1/Baptism River

    Finland, MN 55603218-226-6365

    Finland CampgroundCounty Rd. 6 & Hwy. 1

    Finland, MN 55603218-226-6365

    Lax Lake Resort5736 Lax Lake Rd.Finland, MN 55603


    Maple Grove Motel6527 Hwy. 1

    Finland, MN 55603218-353-7303

    National Forest Lodge9905 National Forest

    Lodge RoadIsabella, MN 55607


    Riverside Motel7143 Hwy. 1

    Finland, MN 55603218-353-7539

    Wildhurst Campground7344 Hwy. 1

    Finland, MN 55603218-353-7337

    Sea kayaking is fantastic along the North Shore.

    The Minnesota DNR has developed a kayak

    water trail with many campsites along the shore.

    One of them is Black Beach, just below Silver

    Bay. Another one is just a few miles from Black

    Beach, one mile northeast of Palisade Head.

    The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is world

    famous for canoe trips. Access to the BWCA

    is provided at several points just over an

    hour from the Silver Bay area.

    Pamper yourself at one of our lodges, car

    camp at one of our four State Parks, or

    camp on the Superior Hiking Trail or the

    Kayak Water Trail. We have it all. 5

    Summer CampsFamily Programs

    K-12 SchoolsWilderness TripsSea Kayak Tours

    Finland, MN

  • 6 Official Destination Guide of Silver Bay, Minnesota and surrounding areas

    The Silver Bay area is truly the center of all

    the trails along the North Shore.

    We have one hundred miles of local

    snowmobile and ATV trails within a few

    miles of Silver Bay. Look at the ATV/

    Snowmobile Map on pages 10-11. The trails

    connect to the State Trail, which extends

    from Duluth to Grand Marais, and plans to

    modify the State Trail to accommodate

    ATVs are just ahead. The Penn Avenue

    parking lot in Silver Bay is paved and you

    can offload your sleds or wheelers there.

    The longest segment of the Gitchi Gami

    Trail, 14 miles, extends from Beaver Bay to

    Gooseberry Falls State Park. The trail is

    paved and ideal for biking, inline skating,

    or walking. Theres a big parking lot in

    Beaver Bay, soon to be paved. You can take

    the bikes off your vehicle and immediately

    start biking.

    The Superior Hiking Trail is one of the

    most famous trails in the United States. It

    extends from Jay Cooke Park south of Duluth

    to the border of Canada. You can hike from

    the Penn Avenue lot to Bean and Bear Lakes,

    one of the most scenic parts of the trail.

    The Water Trail for kayaks also extends

    from the St. Louis River, south of Duluth to

    Pigeon River, the border river between the

    U.S. and Canada. There are several camps

    along the shoreline, including at Black

    Beach, just below Silver Bay.

    Were also in the center of fishing and

    hunting. From Lake Superior, where lake

    trout and salmon are caught, to the streams,

    where various kinds of trout live and salmon

    spawn, to the inland lakes, where the usual

    suspects--walleyes, bass, trout, panfish,

    northerns, and muskies--await your skill. We

    have abundant deer, and hunting seasons for

    bear, grouse, and moose. You will see a lot

    of people filling out their tags.

    Twenty-six warblers nest on the North

    Shore. We have raptors, owls, gulls, and

    many other kinds of birds in our area.

    Peregrine falcons nest on Palisade Head, just

    3 miles from Silver Bay, and many other

    places. Our area is a birding hot spot.

    If you fly, we have a municipal airport 11 miles

    from Silver Bay with a 3,200 hard surface runway.

    For the golfer, we have a beautiful 9 hole golf

    course just 2 miles from Silver Bay, set in the

    East Branch of the Beaver River valley.

    Northshore Mining offers tours in the

    summer that start at the Bay Area Historical

    Society on Outer Drive in Silver Bay. The

    Historical Society is also worth a visit. They

    record the construction of the town and the

    mining company.

    Other Things to Do


  • 7

    What is the big plant just before Silver Bay,

    and why does Silver Bay exist?

    In the 1940s E. W. Davis, a professor from

    the University of Minnesota, perfected a way

    to extract iron from taconite, which is only

    25% iron. Four steel companies, including

    Republic and Armco, were convinced that

    the process was worthwhile, but there was a

    small problem. They didnt have a place for

    thousands of workers, a mine, a railroad, or

    a port to ship the 93% pure iron pellets to

    Cleveland, where the steel plants were. In

    the mid 50s, Reserve Mining Company,

    owned by the parent companies Armco and

    Republic, built the city of Babbitt on

    Mesabi Iron Range, and the city of Silver

    Bay, including its schools and shopping

    center, on the shores of Lake Superior. The

    first family moved to the new town in 1952.

    Reserve Mining Company also developed

    the mine near Babbitt, built a 47 mile

    railroad, and constructed the plant and

    the harbor.

    Silver Bay is one of the newest cities in

    Minnesota, and its 3 miles from one of the

    oldest cities in Minnesota, Beaver Bay.

    Then, in the mid 60s, controversy

    about the tailings (the waste rock),

    which was deposited in Lake Superior,

    hit the communities of Babbitt and Silver

    Bay. After many years, the plant was closed

    in 1986 and the two cities went into

    decline. After lengthy negotiations,

    everyone agreed to build an on land

    place to keep the tailingsMilepost Seven

    of the railroad. In the early 90s, the Plant

    started operation and the cities revived.

    Now all the houses and buildings are

    privately owned.

    Since 1994, the Plant has been owned by

    Cliffs Natural Resources and is called

    Northshore Mining. In 2011 they were

    producing 93% pure iron pellets at a

    record pace. They shipped 5,372,557 tons

    in 2011.

    The Silver Bay Marina is an excellent place

    to see the Ore Boats coming into the

    Northshore Mining Harbor. Plant tours are

    offered in the summer. Call 218.226.3143

    for reservations.

    Today, Silver Bay has everything for

    the visitor. Northwoods Caf and

    Jimmys Pizza, Zups and Bri-Esas deli

    can feed you. The Shopping Center

    accessed from Outer Drive (the turn

    from the stoplight) also has Zups, a grocery

    store, and Julies, a hardware store, and

    several other businesses. Blazers can fix

    your vehicle, and Adams Automotive has

    the parts. Both businesses are near the

    Shopping Center.

    Northshore Mining and Silver Bay


  • 8 Official Destination Guide of Silver Bay, Minnesota and surrounding areas

    We have more than 30 major events

    throughout the year.

    JanuaryThe John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is

    held during the last week of January and ends

    in early February. In 2012, we didnt have

    enough snow so the race was cancelled, but

    hopefully well have plenty of snow next year.

    Beaver Bay and Finland are major stops for

    the sleds. Go to for details.

    FebruaryArrowhead Vintage Rendezvous Snowmobile

    Run is held on the third Saturday. Their

    headquarters is in Finland, a few miles up

    Highway #1. Check out

    Sugar on Snow occurs on the last Friday-

    Saturday. This increasingly popular event

    features artisans that still do the jobs that

    settlers didblack...


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