North Shore Scenic Drive

Beginning at Canal Park in Duluth, Minnesota's North Shore Scenic Drive is a journey through an unspoiled wilderness that kisses the sweeping shoreline of the world's largest freshwater lake. The breathtaking cliffs and beaches of Lake Superior's beautiful North Shore are bordered by the Sawtooth Mountains and thousands of acres of pine, aspen and birch trees. Rivers and streams make their rocky way to the lake, forging dazzling waterfalls along the way. Lighthouses recall the awesome power of the mighty lake, and dozens of trails allow visitors to experience the North Shore's natural beauty up close. Friendly communities are home to cultural and historic museums and exhibits, as well as unique shopping, dining and lodging. You may wish to drive slowly and stop often, as the North Shore Scenic Drive reaches its destination at Grand Portage all too soon!

Distance: 142 miles
Travel Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

Things to do


Visit Duluth

Duluth is a four-season city – as breathtaking in winter white as it is in summer green. Come any time of year, and you’ll find an entirely new place to explore. The quiet of our forests and the splendor of the Lake Superior shoreline mesh into a getaway experience that will both relax and rejuvenate you.

North Shore Experiences

From the stunning cliffs of Lake Superior's shores to the towering pines of Superior National Forest, Minnesota's North Shore has been a favorite destination for visitors from all over the world for decades. If you are looking for the place to learn more about region and find things to do on your trip, look no further. This site is a collection of our favorite north shore experiences as Minnesotans as well as a curation of experiences we've gathered from the North Shore Experiences online and social community.

Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce

We are an area rich in history – fishing, mining, lighthouses, shipping, logging and trains. Our area is a water lovers paradise: streams, rivers, ponds, waterfalls, lakes and the greatest lake of them all, Lake Superior. We have State Parks, National and State Forests, many community parks, wayside rests and four- season trails galore.

Heart of the North Shore

We call this region the "Heart of the North Shore" for good reason – it is a vibrant, beautiful area with so much to explore and discover – it is an experience you will never forget. We have everything you need to plan your vacation to northern Minnesota and the North Shore of Lake Superior.

Visit Cook County

Cook County is the essence of what a vacation is meant to be: an escape from the ordinary. A much needed break from the everyday and the other 50 weeks in the year. This is the only place where you can enjoy Lake Superior, visit Minnesota's tallest mountain peaks and highest waterfall, and enjoy its longest and most scenic biking trails.

Grand Portage Lodge & Casino

Journey along legendary Highway 61 and take a short run east along Lake Superior to Grand Portage Lodge & Casino. Experience one of Minnesota's most picturesque areas at The Great Rendezvous Place. Attractions. Relaxation. Excitement. Recreation. There's something for everyone!

Welcome to the North Shore. This is an amazing place to live and to visit. This website and and e-booklet will help you plan, explore and appreciate your visit to this section of Lake Superior coastline we call the North Shore. Follow the route of the North Shore Scenic Drive with easy access to a complete list of lodging, dining, trails, attractions, events, weather, things to do, parks, waterfalls, shops, shipwrecks, photos, fall colors, snow report, outfitters, even real estate. "Best link to the North Shore" – National Geographic Traveler


Resort Naturalist Program

These programs, which run from June-September at many area resorts/properties, vary from nature walks to arts and crafts to wildlife education and other activities.

Birding / Wildlife / Wildflowers

Birding Areas / Wildlife Viewing / Wild Flowers

Find opportunities to view wildlife, flora and native bird species all along Scenic 61

National Forest

Superior National Forest

Established in a 1909 decree by Teddy Roosevelt, this forest spans 150 miles along the US-Canadian border-a total of 3 million acres and offers a variety of activities from hiking to camping to wildlife watching. It is bounded on two sides by water: Lake Superior running along its southeastern side; and, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) along the northern edge.

USDA Forest Service at Tofte and Gunflint Districts

Hiking opportunities in the Superior National Forest are virtually endless.


Hiking Trails

Trails abound in Minnesota, with warm welcoming "trail towns" offering history hand in hand with dining, lodging and entertainment.

Duluth Trails

The City of Duluth has many opportunities for hiking enjoyment-from park trails to the Lake Walk. Park trails include Chester Bowl, Lester Park, Bagley Nature Center and Hartley Nature Center.

Gitchi Gami Trail

An entirely new trail being constructed between Two Harbors and Grand Marais.



Most state trails are multi-use, including mushing. Visit the Department of Natural Resources to find specific trails and their uses.



Trails abound in Minnesota, with warm welcoming "trail towns" offering history hand in hand with dining, lodging, and entertainment.



Try something different! From rock-climbing to dogsledding, scuba diving to skijoring, there's plenty of "off-beat" adventures awaiting.


Duluth Courses

Duluth offers a few different options for "hitting the links"-including a disc golf course!


Campgrounds / RV Parks / State Parks

Visit Community Pages for specific information on privately owned and operated campsites. There are many to choose from!

Gunflint & Tofte District Campgrounds

Various locations, look in the Superior National Forest web site's list, under "recreation" on the main page. Keep clicking for campground locations.

State Parks

State Parks

Minnesota's State Parks provide a source of many diverse activities-from camping, canoeing and fishing- to rock climbing and nature exploration. There's something for everyone!


Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

This area, composed of 2,000 lakes, is accessible principally by canoe but several developed campgrounds are located near enough to the Wilderness to allow canoe day trips. (BWCAW is a totally non-motor boating area.)


If you have a specific lake in mind, check out the Minnesota DNR's web site - you'll find numerous outfitters listed by the lake they service.

Lake Superior Water Trail

Co-run by the Minnesota DNR and the non-profit Lake Superior Water Trail Association. Currently provides a 120-mile trail for sea kayaking, with campsites and rest areas along shore.



The Department of Natural resources manages thousands of acres of public hunting land for the state and the USDA Forest Service.

Hunting Areas (MN DNR)

Find public hunting areas for various game, including deer, pheasant, turkey, moose, bear, and ruffed grouse.


Fall Color Tours inland

Roads are signed in fall with route maps available at local businesses.


Just look around! Beautiful northwoods North Shore scenery is everywhere. Don't forget your camera!

North Shore Experiences