Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the north shore in Minnesota on Lake superior. I specifically wanted to go during fall because the colors are crazy during their peak season. I researched and learned that their peak season is end of September, so I planned to go there then. I actually was able to photograph a family on the way, and even had an engagement session while I was there!
One of the places I had seen that I knew I wanted to visit was Black Onyx Beach. As I was researching and trying to figure out where to camp, I learned that they recently opened a campground right on Black Beach. Needless to say I am mediately booked it. It was just me and my dog Nika who went together. We rode tripped there and camped and slept in my trucks rooftop tent together.
It was very cold along the north shore, but so beautiful! Luckily the trip was timed perfectly and fall colors were peaking and absolutely stunning! The first day we went to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park in Two Harbors. We saw the lighthouse and Elingson Island from Pebble Beach while collecting leaves along the shore.
Next, we visited Tettegouche State Park in Silver Bay. Our first two stops in were by far my favorite places on the whole trip! The first was Palisade head which is a huge cliff along the coast, and the next was Shovel Point which is a short hike that brings you to an elevated view of the jagged coastline. The yellow fall colors were absolutely incredible in contrast with the bright blue water.
The next day we continued exploring around Tettegouche, and did the Baptism River Trail to High Falls waterfall which also brings you along stretches of the Superior Hiking Trail. We then drove along Highway 61 taking in the beautiful fall colors and stopped at Crystal Bay Sea Cave and Sugarloaf Cove.
Nika did so well camping! I had brought her on another trip with me previously to hike, but we stayed in a cabin that time so I didn’t know how she would do in the tent. It would’ve been pretty entertaining for anybody watching me try to get her up and down the ladder. She did well sleeping in the tent and also amazing on the hikes as she had so much energy and was practically pulling me along and up the entire way.
Our last day we stopped in Duluth and bought some local craft beer from the breweries in the area, and explored Chester Creek Park and Canal Park. Chester Creek was recommended to me by one of my brides who lives in the area and it was amazing for fall colors and the town of Duluth was very cool to see!
I’ve been trying to be better lately about traveling to places that are closer to home instead of traveling so far away. There’s tons of beauty right around us and Minnesota is proof of just that!
I decided to visit the North Shore of Minnesota again for fall peak season because I had a wedding in Bemidji, Minnesota. I have a friend Amy who has been wanting to go on a camping trip together for a long time and I thought what better trip for her to come on than this one!
I wanted to explore some areas of the North Shore that I didn’t have time to see last year and also wanted to hit up Itasca State Park as I heard it’s beautiful and I’ve never been there before.
I got to hit up a few breweries around the Duluth area that I had never been to before heading to the north shore. We stayed in Gooseberry Falls State Park the first two nights and explored a little around there as I didn’t get to make it to this park last year. We also made it to Lutsen and Grand Marais. Lutsen had some of the most crazy colors I had seen yet and we took a gondola to the top of the mountain which provided an awesome birds eye view of the fall changing leaves. We caught sunset and sunrise over Lake Superior which was so gorgeous!
Our third and last day camping, we visited and stayed in Itasca State Park at Bear Paw campground. We did a hike to a fire tower which you’re able to climb up and go all the way to the top which provided another amazing view from above of all the fall colors. The fall colors were amazing in Itasca and driving through the park was a sight to see! We hiked a trail along Lake Itasca and watched sunset over the lake.
It was another great trip in Minnesota chasing the fall colors and Amy and I had a blast together hiking, sleeping in the rooftop tent, laying in our hammocks, and having bonfires.
Third times a charm right?! This was my third year in a row visiting the Duluth area during fall. Last year I had a wedding in the area and this year I did again! So I planned a quick trip up to the North Shore after photographing the area. I had the pleasure of going with a friend who was also the bride of the wedding I shot last year that was in the area! We did some of the same hikes and spots as I had done previously, but also got in two new hikes including Oberg Mountain and Bean and Bear Lake. This year was another year that was really behind and slow for the changing leaves, but we still managed to catch a few colors around the lakes. This year Nika got to come and Sam brought her dog as well. We got to try some local breweries in the area including Canal Park Brewing and Castle Danger and also hit up the infamous Betty’s Pies! We had a great time as per usual!