Hiking in Cook County

Minnesota’s north shore is home to nearly 400 miles of  incredible hiking trails, including the legendary Superior Hiking Trail, which is sometimes called “the Appalachian Trail of the Midwest.” In Cook County, hiking can be enjoyed throughout the entire year. When the snow flies, strap on a pair of snowshoes and hit the trails!

Whether you’re planning on hiking Grand Marais, hiking near Lutsen, or heading deeper inland to lesser-traveled trails along the Gunflint Trail or near Grand Portage, there are hikes to suit every taste, ability and timeframe. The best part? They’re all within a landscape beautiful enough to take anyone’s breath away. Take your pick: Lake Superior views, waterfall adventures, stunning summits, river hikes or national forest loops. Cook County offers some of the most incredible hikes in the state. 

6 Awe-Filled Cook County Hikes

  1. Hike the Boundary Waters. See the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) as you’ve never seen it before via the Kekekabic, Border Route, Magnetic Rock, and other Gunflint Trail hiking trails at locations like Chik-Wauk Nature Center.
  2. Hike the wildest sections of the 277-mile Superior Hiking Trail, voted #2 in the nation by the readers of Backpacker magazine.
  3. Hike Lutsen, Tofte and Schroeder to encounter hundred-mile views of Lake Superior and the Superior National Forest from the peaks of the ancient Sawtooth Mountain Range, like local favorite Oberg Mountain. Along the shore find trails at Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center.
  4. High Falls, the tallest waterfall in Minnesota, plunges 120 feet through a misty, thunderous gorge. Access this beautiful gem at Grand Portage State Park. The trail is paved and barrier-free.
  5. See Isle Royale, the Susie Islands and Grand Portage National Monument from the summit of Mount Rose.
  6. Summit Eagle Mountain, the highest point in Minnesota. At 2,301’ above sea level, was named “Best Hiking Trail in Minnesota” by the Star Tribune in 2013.

From stroller-friendly, barrier-free strolls to epic wilderness adventures, Minnesota’s most striking hiking trails can be found in Lutsen-Tofte-Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail, and Grand Portage. 

Remember, preparation is key when you’re out in the wilderness. Pack adequate provisions for your adventure, including plenty of water. Please remember to Leave No Trace. Pack out what you bring in to help keep Cook County clean, beautiful and natural for decades to come.

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