"Wherever we are together that is home!" Camping is one of our favorite ways to travel. It is good for the soul, a great way to opt outside and amazingly dog friendly. We've tried to take trips just the two of us and most of the time is spent thinking about the dogs, wishing we could bring them or planning how to bring them the next time. Which led us to... camping! Now, I can't lie to you friends we don't pitch a tent. Instead we use an old pop up trailer that completely changes the game. Whether you are the tent type or not this camping trip can be tailored to fit your style of "ruffin" it!
This trip could be done in as many days as you'd like. We decided to start the farthest north (Grand Portage) and had six days total for the trip. Let's take a guide through the State Parks shall we?
1. Grand Portage State Park
Not only was Grand Portage a State Park but it also was a beautiful Rest Area and MN Travel Information Center. Pup's aren't allowed in the building but there are beautiful restrooms and a great place to toss out the trash from traveling. The main attraction is the "High Falls" which was a very easy walk from the visitor center. It is the tallest waterfall in Minnesota with a drop of 120 feet!
You can also hike the Middle Falls trail which is steep and rugged terrain. Get to the top and score a beautiful view of Lake Superior and the Pigeon River Valley. While there is no camping at Grand Portage this stop was well worth the drive! Wave to Canada while you're there.
2. Judge C.R. Magney State Park
This was our first place to set up camp. After hiking Grand Portage we were very excited to sit by the fire and roast some good ol' Hebrew Nationals. I can tell you, we were very happy with campsite #11 and ended up having the whole campground to ourselves. (#21 was another good campsite for notes next year.) This waterfall and hiking was some of my favorite. The hike was alongside the raging river and sounded absolutely beautiful. The Upper Falls cascade over a rocky bank and into a section of the river. It is a popular place for park visitors to stop and experience the majesty and beauty of the park. We even got to see a beautiful double rainbow!
3. Cascade River State Park
Cascade River was our third stop on the trip. We didn't camp here but they do have a campground present. Cascade was a beautiful hike with rocky and uneven terrain. The Cascade River plunges on its journey to meet Lake Superior offering beautiful views the whole hike. We stopped for a bit and enjoyed time by the river while the dogs splashed in a crick. Talk about a perfect day!
4. Temperance River State Park
Temperance River will always be one of our favorite stops. We stayed here 3 days and felt as though we had scored big time! Campsites #40 or #44 in the Lower Campground are right on Lake Superior and offer the most spectacular sunrise and sunset views. We were again some of the only people there, so the dogs enjoyed lots of swimming and fetch on the rock beach. Be sure to pack warm here as the Lake makes for chilly nights (perfect for cuddling.)
The hiking was a challenge and extremely beautiful. This is a great place to spend a few days to explore. Be sure to spend some time sitting on the rocks soaking up the beauty. (Be careful they're slippery- ouch!)
5. Tettegouche State Park
Tettegouche State Park is a must! The campground here offers the most privacy and is settled in beautiful wooded areas. Our friends happened to be staying in a cabin nearby so of course we met up for an epic hike with seven pups. The hiking did NOT disappoint. From a rickety bridge to epic waterfalls the rain did not stop us from soaking up the spectacular views.
6. Split Rock Lighthouse & Gooseberry Falls State Park (Bonus Stops)
Although we didn't stop at Split Rock or Gooseberry this trip I am adding them because they are must sees! Gooseberry offers a nice campground with epic hiking and waterfalls. It is also a beautiful place to go in the fall time with the changing of leaves. These two are tourist locations where you can take an epic family photo (or if you're me, epic dog photo.) The historic Split Rock Lighthouse offers a history lesson with a beautiful view. Don't let the crazy staircase fool you- it is well worth the climb.
I hope you feel inspired to visit Minnesota's North Shore and experience all it has to offer. Great quiet seasons are in May or the very end of September. Be sure to pack extra warm clothes and your camera. Until next time fur-iends!