Day Hiking Ambassador
North Shore Snowshoe Hike
Everyone knows a planned outdoor trip always changes and the North Shore snowshoe hike on the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) was no different. My wife Susan and I left home expecting to do a boot hike on compacted icy trails, but as we approached Duluth, Minnesota it was snowing lightly and we noticed the snow along the roadway was over six inches deep. We knew Saturdays hike was going to be more fun than anticipated as we drove on the slippery roads to our lodging, Cove Point Lodge, near Beaver Bay, MN to meet friends Mike and Judy.
First thing Saturday morning we had to brush off six inches of new snow from the SUV and get to the meeting location to see how many people would show up. Seventeen people including a naturalist from the Hartley Nature Center arrived raring to go in twelve inches of snow on a gray cloudy day. All of the hikers had a opportunity to select some Tubbs Snowshoe gear such as headbands, knit caps,and water bottles before we arranged the car shuttle to get everyone to the start of the Cove Point Lodge spur trail.
After the group photo, the group started the 3 mile hike quickly. Eager, the snowshoers sped up the hill towards the great views of Lake Superior from the ridgeline, leaving me the hike leader in my usual position “leading from the rear”. There I was alone to enjoy the soluitude of the woods following a well marked trail. Being near the end has it advantages–you do not have to know where you are going just follow the tracks! Seems everyone else was moving quickly in anticipation of the colder and windy weather that was forcasted to arrive in the early afternoon. I was not in a hurry, just savoring being outdoors under ideal conditions. Soon I started to tire so I stopped and had an energy break consuming a Milky Way candy bar. I thought I had a mile to go and before I knew it I was back at the trailhead with just 2 cars left in the parking lot. Half an hour later, Mike the trail sweep arrived with the last two hikers, just about the time the wind picked up and the temperature started dropping. Later as I drove the two hikers back to their car, I learned they rented snowshoes to go on their first snowshoe hike. Hearing their giddy words and seeing their smiles sure made my day as well as theirs.