Stops along Madison-Ely

Let’s say you had about a day and half to fill (after subtracting drive time) between Madison and Ely before you went into the Boundary Waters. Would you drive on up to Ely and see things. If so, what? Any other spots along the way a ‘must see’. Only interested in natural beauty, no touristy stuff. Campground recommendations/comments? Any personal favorite hiking spots or tent camping areas?

Thanks in advance.


– Last Updated: Jul-01-08 9:12 PM EST –

If you have the time go to Grand Marais. It's a few miles out of the way to Ely but worth the trip if you have time. Otherwise try for Tettegouche state park, and Gooseberry Falls. MN Hwy 1 will take you from Tettegouche to Ely. It's a nice drive.

Hang Out
Hang out in downtown Duluth. Kick back on the sand of Park Point. Watch the freighters going under the lift bridge.

Some Scenic spots
You shouldn’t have any trouble at all filling up a day and a half.

You could go an indirect route: head to Prairie du Chen or LaCrosse and travel along the Mississippi and St Croix Rivers. That would provide great scenery for just about your whole trip.

Pattison Park just south of Superior (fee area) is worth the stop for a short hike to see the big falls.

Jay Cooke State Park near Carlton has great hiking and scenery along the St Louis River gorge (fee area).

Hard to beat highway 61 along Lake Superior heading out of Duluth with tons of scenic spots to explore.

Pick a short segment of the Lake Superior Hiking trail and go for a hike. Good areas near Wolf Ridge, a few miles from Finland, MN on Highway 1. If you go all the way to Grand Marais as the previous post suggests, a favorite hike is the Oberg Mountain area.

Also if you go to Grand Marais loop around the backroads past Devils Track Lake, Brule Lake, Sawbill Lake area, then back down to highway 61 at Tofte; rather than back track.

Birch Lake
Camp at the one of the Superior National Forest Campgrounds. I like Birch Lake. Its a no frills campground just outside of Ely. Fall lake is another campground. Its more developed as in showers. Both are very nice campgrounds.

The drive up the north shore is beautiful. Take 1 over to Ely. Its off 61 just north of Silver Bay. Its a very scenic drive.

You could stop along the north shore and pick agates.

Lots of memories for you guys
Behind these suggestions and I appreciate you sharing. I am really looking forward to rambling round this area.

; )