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Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

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Park Info:

Split Rock Lighthouse is located on the North Shore of Lake Superior and is know for it’s historic lighthouse. It is a smaller park that offers picnicking, camping, hiking, fishing, birding, and an epic place for rock skipping competitions. There is also a visitor center, historical society (that give tours!), and a gift shop.

When it comes to wildlife, you’ll have the chance to see a variety of small songbirds, herring gulls, common loons, and peregrine falcons on their migration along the North Shore. Other animals you may see are white-tailed deer, moose, black bear, raccoon, beaver, snowshoe hare, red fox, bobcat and lynx (one of my favorites!).

There is so much to see and learn about this amazing park, so please check out the website linked below and check out the visitor center when you go!

All of this info came from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website, so credit where credit is due. Click here to view the original source


  • Parking was accessible in the Gitchi-gami section by the picnic area (state park side, not the historical site side. I’m sure it is there too, we just didn’t go down there.) The lot was paved and there were plenty of up close spots.
  • Bathrooms were semi-accessible. There were push buttons to open the main doors, but not the bathroom doors. The stalls were a tight squeeze for me, but there was a larger one if more space was needed. I’m not sure about the bathroom situation at the historical site since we didn’t go up there.
  • The trail we used had a couple of different entrance points, one was paved and the other was not. There was a map at the trail head by the bathroom/picnic area.

Trail Info

For trail navigation, I used AllTrails, just like I mentioned in the previous post. Remember to download your maps before leaving cell service! That was an issue I had for the first part of this entire trip. Thankfully, there was a kind park worker that gave us some tips and directions. The trail we took wasn’t confusing or difficult to navigate, we just didn’t know where to start.

My hiking buddy and I did the Split Rock Lighthouse via Gitchi-Gami because I NEEDED to find the cool place where lighthouse photos are taken. We chose to start on the paved side (the bike trail) since we were told about a lot of stairs. Stairs and I aren’t really friends, but we can be civil if the situation allows.

The paved portion of the trail had no uneven spots, but had a fairly steep incline…there were signs and everything for the cyclists. At the top, we headed toward the historical site and found the trail access that went to the lake. Once there, we realized that the stairs we were told about were at the very end of the trail and wouldn’t have been an issue. After I got my photos (posted below) we decided to take the hiking trail back.

This trail ran alongside the lake and is a standard dirt hiking trail. It was less steep, but not the most accessible for those with mobility issues (ie: walkers, wheelchairs, balance issues). The picnic area by the parking lot is where we came out. We decided to have lunch here and sat by the water at a picnic table. We had views of Pebble Beach and Ellsworth Island. Access to this area was uneven at times and had stairs. The trails had no resting points, so keep that in mind if you decide to give this one a shot.

On my rating scale of easy to hard, this trail would be moderate. The incline and no resting points was a struggle for me, but I stopped to catch my breath whenever I needed to. For me, it was definitely worth the exertion because I finally found the photo spot I have been wanting forever.

Be safe out there! If you have stuff to say, comment below 🙂 REMEMBER YOUR MAPS AND PASSPORT STAMPS!! Seeyalaterbye <3

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