Discover Duluth: The other side of Split RockWith all the attention being paid to Split Rock’s lighthouse of late — the iconic structure turned 100 this year — this installment of “Discover Duluth” focuses on the state park’s less-talked-about visitor favorite: Ellingson Island.
With all the attention being paid to Split Rock’s lighthouse as of late — the iconic structure turned 100 this year — I thought I’d focus this installment of “Discover Duluth” on the state park’s less-talked-about visitor favorite: Ellingson Island.
This magnificent and highly photogenic island, which is free to explore most times of the year, offers spectacular views of Lake Superior and, yes, the beloved lighthouse.
The beach surrounding Ellingson Island is also a destination in itself, as the lake’s legendary skipping rocks are in abundance here.
If Split Rock’s centenarian lighthouse is all you know about the North Shore’s second-most-popular state park (at least according to my humble, not-at-all-scientific estimates), another major draw is that the section of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail running from Split Rock River into Gooseberry Falls State Park is now complete. This part of the longest paved section of the trail passes through Split Rock Lighthouse State Park and ends in Beaver Bay.*
A word of advice, though: Be prepared for traffic if you plan on visiting Split Rock at times when tourists might be there (like, say, when the leaves are still “awesome”). MnDOT is working on a 3.4-mile road project between Split Rock River and Chapin’s Curve. This is a massive project — with a price tag of more than $14 million — that is expected to last until next August.
If you can deal with a little bumper-to-bumper action, however, a trip to Split Rock is always worth the drive. Check out the attached photo galleries and see for yourself. Enjoy!
*Information courtesy of Split Rock’s official website: www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/split_rock_lighthouse/index.html.
“Discover Duluth” is an ongoing photo essay series by Matthew R. Perrine that highlights points of interest around the region.
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