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North Shore in August

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North Shore in August

We are visiting the North Shore area in August with our two boys, 5 and 10. We all love the outdoors with hiking, exploring, boating, etc. We are looking at cascade lodge or eagle ridge for our first 5 nights. Which will have more fun activities/adventures for us as a family?

Thanks, Lance

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Minneapolis...
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1. Re: North Shore in August

I have not stayed at either but I have spent a good amount of time at Lutsen and the area in general over the years. And I have stayed at Caribou Highlands right near Eagle Ridge right at Lutsen Ski Area,

I think if you were there to ski I would choose Eagle Ridge because of location. Obv in August your interests will be elsewhere.

Eagles Ridge is a little bigger and more apartment-like -- judging by the Cascade Lodge pictures. Also, I like that Cascade Lodge is on the lake side of the highway. Eagle Ridge is a mile up the road near the ski area.

Eagles Ridge has the indoor/outdoor pool, which is nice. But I would enjoy being closer to the lakeshore. Hear the waves crashing. Skip rocks etc. Whenever you want.

Also, as for activities, I would be more inclined to venture out to explore the north shore instead of what is available on site at those two properties. At lutsen ski area you have the large alpine slide which the kids might like, and the gondola. But you can access that regardless of which place you stay.

I think you should focus on hikes (Cascade River State Park!! See the cascades and hike up to the mountain overlook), maybe a fishing charter out of Grand Marais, exploration of the Gunflint Trail (maybe a canoe excursion somewhere up there), and of course at least a day exploring the harbor in Grand Marais, artist's point, lighthouse, trading company etc . And pizza at Sven and Ole's for the kids. Drive up to Grand Portage to see the falls -- shorter hikes there and an incredible waterfall. plus the last few miles of that drive north is spectacular with those overlooks of the lake from high up on the cliff.

Stillwater...
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2. Re: North Shore in August

Straight up, I'd say there are more things for a young family to do at Lutsen, (Eagle Ridge), as they have swimming pools and the Alpine Slide. Both have access to hiking, though I would give the nod to Cascade, as the State Park is right out your door, with the Cascade River and waterfalls in easy walking distance.

I would also give the nod to Cascade for history and location, not only is it right by Lake Superior, but is closer to Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail.

I think MN/Athens made a typo, as Cascade Lodge is across the highway from Lake Superior. The view is wonderful, and the sound of the waves crashing into the shore can be great. (Bad weather has its' advantages).

As for boating, you have your choice of renting canoes, kayaks, or fishing boats. There are several outfitters you can rent canoes or kayaks from. And you can go into the BWCA Wilderness on day trips, or stay outside the BWCA, as there are a lot great lakes around.

Fishing, you could hire a guide to take you all out, see some wonderful scenery, catch some good fish. Or rent a boat and do it yourselves. There is a great place that rents boats, and they will deliver to area lakes, they have a funny name but no website. Ugly Baby Boats, halfway up the Gunflint Trail, (218) 388-0303.

Further up the Gunflint is the Towering Pines Zipline, minimum age is 10, they also have horseback riding there.

http://tinyurl.com/towering-pines

http://tinyurl.com/Gunflint-Horseback

As for the BWCA, if you want to take the family for a day trip, I highly recommend the folks at Sawbill Canoe Outfitters. They can do everything for you, from simple rental to packing a picnic lunch and planning a route for you. Don't forget to drag a fishing line.

http://www.sawbill.com/

I wouldn't recommend venturing onto Lake Superior, (kayaks can be rented), unless you are experienced kayakers. Lake Superior is a cold body of water, and even though your trip will be in August, Superior only varies by 4 degrees thru the year. Bays are warmer, but the lake can be very temperamental, and conditions can change rapidly.

You said you were looking at Cascade or Eagle for your first 5 nights. Are you staying in the area after that?

Stillwater...
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3. Re: North Shore in August

After rereading my post and MN/Athens, I guess I covered much of the same ground as he did. He makes good points, esp. "skipping rocks." Grand Marais' harbor is famous for that, (but you can do it at any shoreline), and the kids will do it for hours.

Also up in Grand Portage, don't forget about the Fort. They have period costumes you can try on, (photo op). One of my favorite pictures of my son, is from there with him dressed as a Voyager.

Minneapolis...
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4. Re: North Shore in August

No, it was not a typo. I just mis-recalled the location! Thanks for the correction, yucatan

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5. Re: North Shore in August

As for lodging ...

There is something about staying right on the water.

The views, the sunsets the sunrises with coffee on hand.

I'm a big fan of BlueFin Bay [outdoor year round pool & hot tub]

I do stop at Cascade to eat. Great food.

As for hikes not miss:

Oberg Loop - 7 scenic vistas

Artist's Point in Grand Marais

Eagle Mountain - highest point in MN.

[90 min up / 45 down]

The Devil's Kettle

And on MN side of CDN border, Pigeon River Falls.

[Highest point in state]

If you have your papers, consider the Niagara of the North, Kekkabekka Falls. 35 min or so west of Thunder Bay, ONT.

Edited: 30 March 2014, 13:28
Stillwater...
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6. Re: North Shore in August

Ok, this one's a typo, Downtown meant to say the Pigeon River Falls are the highest falls in the state, as he mentioned, Eagle Mt. is the highest point. Both are nice hikes. High Falls on the Pigeon River, is an easy hike. Eagle Mt. is a much longer hike, requiring a few hours, and a BWCA day permit, (available at the trailhead, self registration). There are many hiking trails in the area, from the trails in the State Parks along the shore, (think waterfalls), The Superior Hiking Trail, to trails in Superior National Forest.

…state.mn.us/state_parks/…index.html

…usda.gov/Internet/…stelprdb5190735.pdf

http://www.shta.org/Trail/TrailMaps/index.php

…usda.gov/activity/…

Some of these trails involve steep drop-offs/cliffs, (Oberg, Eagle Mt., Temperance River, Etc), so be sure to keep the little ones in hand.

The link to Superior National Forest will give you a list of trails, search the Gunflint (Grand Marais), and Tofte Districts, They will be closer to where you'll stay.

Minneapolis...
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7. Re: North Shore in August

If you will be on the North Shore between August 1 – 4 drive to Grand Marias and check out the Fisherman’s Picnic (this is the town’s annual street festival). There will be lots of kid events including fireworks on the 3rd and a mini-golf tournament on the 4th.

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8. Re: North Shore in August

I would definitely choose Eagle Ridge for lodging over Cascade. It is a much larger facility with space to roam and explore. Cascade is a good place to eat.

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9. Re: North Shore in August

As a local, I will tell you that there are so many hiking trails, that you will stay as busy as you want. Here is an alternative for lodging: Thomsonite Beach Inn & Suites. They are right on the Lake and it is located right between Grand Marais and Lutsen. The owners Scott and Lee are terrific and it would be a great place for a family with a cozy beach and nice space to play around. Tell them Coach Dorr recommended you.....=)

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