Walking on WaterIn the land of 10,000 lakes, the one thing you can count on seeing in Minnesota is water. And while the vast views of Lake Superior, beach bonfires with s’mores, or a weekend at your favorite lake cabin are great ways to enjoy the area, we propose adding another water-themed activity to your agenda … walking on it.
By: Beth Probst, Living North Magazine
In the land of 10,000 lakes, the one thing you can count on seeing in Minnesota is water. And while the vast views of Lake Superior, beach bonfires with s’mores, or a weekend at your favorite lake cabin are great ways to enjoy the area, we propose adding another water-themed activity to your agenda … walking on it.
From architectural feats to practical paths to must-see spots, the Twin Ports and North Shore are filled with quaint and not so quaint foot bridges providing you a unique perspective of the waters below.
In no particular order, here are just some of our favorite walking bridges in the region.
Munger (tied with the Swinging Bridge in Jay Cooke):
Given how close these two bridges are, it was a toss up on which one to mention. Both cross over the St. Louis River. And, while the Swinging Bridge is fun for its squeaking and swaying, the Munger Bridge, located just miles away on the Munger Bike Trail, makes for a fun photograph and multiple vantage points to enjoy the rushing rapids. In addition, you might catch a glimpse of whitewater kayakers providing some entertainment.
This small footbridge crossing over the Gooseberry River is just minutes from the lower falls. Given how popular Gooseberry Falls is, it is no wonder that this bridge sees quite a big of foot traffic. During a visit there in June, I asked a couple why they were stopped on the bridge. Their response? We just got engaged up by the falls. While it doesn’t top my list for most romantic bridges, its strategic location makes it a solid choice for the first walk of recently engaged couples.
Moderate effort and maximum return is what puts this bridge on my list. Less than a mile walk from the Tettegouche Trailhead you’ll arrive at the high falls. Its claim to fame is that it’s the largest waterfall within the state of Minnesota. Once at the falls, continue upstream to reach this rustic and, mind you, unstable bridge. It definitely shakes more than the swinging bridge. Plus, once on the bridge you can look down through the metal mesh you are walking on and see the raging Baptism River rush by your feet, making it a must for your next walk on the North Shore.
Often overlooked because of the other more popular state parks and rivers, people often zip by Temperance State Park. If you have a few extra minutes though, consider stopping where the river flows into Lake Superior. Just feet from where you can park is this solid footpath that provides a great view of the deep gorges the Temperance River has driven into the rocks, and a vast view of Lake Superior. While the bridge won’t win awards for being pretty, the views from the it are pretty spectacular.
Finally, unless you hike the Superior Hiking Trail up near Grand Marais, this A-Frame footbridge is probably unknown. The wooden footbridge crosses over the Devil Kettle River. In addition to a great view of the river, two of the Superior Hiking Trail’s free campsites are located on each side of the bridge. I’ve camped and hiked much of the trail but there’s something about this bridge and camping along this river that serves as a solid and almost mystical reminder of why so many people make this region their vacation destination.