The brisk air, changing leaf colors, and animals scurrying about in the woods makes fall the perfect time to get out and do some exploring. And as Minnesotans, we love exploring our Great Outdoors. That’s why we created our Favorite Places web tool. It’s a handy way to share your favorites, and to find outdoor opportunities you may have overlooked. This tool was able to become reality thanks to the help from our friends at Lutsen Mountains.
One of our favorite places to explore and experience fall in Minnesota is the Superior Hiking Trail.
At Lutsen Mountains, the Superior Hiking Trail creates the opportunity to explore in hiking boots the mountain terrain that makes the ski area one of the best in the Upper Midwest. Three distinct routes wind through the rugged terrain and offer many unique and scenic overlooks of Lake Superior. Plus the ski area can serve as a great base camp.
The 7-mile stretch from Oberg Mountain to Lutsen Mountains has everything from boreal forests of birch, balsam, and spruce to the unique maple ridgelines. Presently ablaze in brilliant fall color, the leaves will soon drop and open up expansive vistas, showing a new view of the trail that is spectacular in any season. From there the trail climbs steeply to the top of Moose Mountain, offering views in all directions, only to descend and then climb up and over Mystery Mountain. The ups and downs make this a challenging section which ends at the gorge of the Poplar River in the heart of the ski area.
If you want to enjoy Moose and Mystery Mountains but shorten the hike, Lutsen Mountains offers the Lutsen Gondola. Simply take the gondola up to the Summit Chalet at the top of Moose Mountain. A spur trail connects with the Superior Hiking Trail, creating a shorter 4-mile loop with the added bonus of a scenic ride to the top of the highest mountain on the trail.
Riding in a gondola is one of Lutsen’s most popular ways of reaching the top of Moose Mountain. Next season try zooming up in the new 8-passenger Doppelmayr Gondola, which is being installed this fall. It will replace the iconic 45 year old, 4-passenger Lutsen Gondola.
If wide-open vistas of the Poplar River Valley are more your style, try the 6.4-mile segment from Caribou Trail to Lutsen Mountains. The vast open space of the Superior National Forest demonstrates what a treasure the forest and the Superior Hiking Trail are to all who visit.
No matter the path you take, you will have the opportunity to explore the trail in the best way for you. You can easily customize your hike around Lutsen Mountains and still see all of the beauty the trail has to offer. And remember, the Superior Hiking Trail’s website has all the tools you need to plan your next trip. One thing is certain – it’s sure to become a favorite place of yours!
For more information on hiking near Lutsen Mountains, click here.