Hiking from Breezy Point

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The Superior Hiking Trail offers 200+ miles of rugged beauty. While some hike the entire length of it, the many trailheads make it easy to do a short or long daytrip. The many trailheads also allow you to choose sections of various difficulty levels and different types of scenery.

Where To Start

Starting from any trailhead, you can always choose how much time and energy you want to spend by deciding at what point you will turn around. Groups with two vehicles have some additional choices, since they can park a car at the next trailhead and avoid passing over the same spot twice. Here are a few of the trailheads that are a short drive from Breezy Point.

County Road 301 Trailhead

5 minute drive from Breezy Point

When you start at the trailhead and head east, the first 3.4 miles is fairly gentle by Superior Hiking Trail standards. You will be surrounded by a pine forest and will reach occasional vantage points overlooking the lake. At 3.4 miles, you will reach the Encampment River.

For many people this is probably good for a day trip, and this is a good place to turn around. Depending on conditions you may not have any choice. The bridge at the river is out at the time of this writing (2017), though the river is possible to walk across during low flow.

If you want a longer hike, and can make it across the river, you can walk 2.6 miles more to the Castle Danger Trailhead. After the Encampment River, the land rises steeply until you reach a long level section before descending toward the Crow Creek Valley.

Fox Farm Trailhead                                  

13 minutes from Breezy Point

If you head east from the Fox Farm Trailhead, it is 6.4 miles to the next trailhead (Rosini Road). This section is fairly gentle. The trail starts out running along the West Branch Knife River, leaves it, and later rejoins it. There are thick woods and areas that are thin because of past logging operations.

Castle Danger Trailhead

17 minute drive from Breezy Point

It is a 9.1 mile hike from the Castle Danger Trailhead to the Gooseberry Falls parking lot. For about the last two-thirds of the journey you will go downhill along the Gooseberry River and see various falls.

Gooseberry Falls Parking Lot

19 minute drive from Breezy Point

For most people, with just one car, the way to hike along the Gooseberry River would be to park at the parking lot of the falls and hike up the Superior Hiking Trail along the river. Starting going uphill always has the advantage of making the return trip easier.

Split Rock Wayside

24 minutes from Breezy Point

From here you can follow the trail 2.4 miles up the cascading Split Rock River and then take the path down the other side.

Flora and Fauna

Closer to Duluth you’ll find oak, maple and basswood, and as you get further and further north this gives way to the boreal forest. Expect balsam, pines, spruce, cedar, and tamarack with some high maple ridges.

Wildflowers abound during the spring and some last further into the year. You’ll also find raspberries, blueberries, and gooseberries.

Most of the animals along the Superior Hiking Trail are of the small and cute variety—think squirrels, mice, and songbirds. But you won’t forget it if you see a black bear or a moose, and an eagle wheeling along the high ridgelines is always a treat.

Safety

Make sure you’re in good physical condition before starting as the Superior Hiking Trail is a relatively tricky path with a lot of rocks, roots, hills, and sometimes mud. That means good, sturdy footwear and a rain jacket as well (lake weather is unpredictable). Take precautions to avoid ticks and biting insects, and always let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back. The trail markings vary widely in quality so bring a map and a phone with GPS.