Published September 06, 2010, 01:51 PM

Outdoors blog: A day on the Superior Hiking Trail

By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune

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A day hike on the Superior Hiking Trail

A cedar waxwing sits on a branch near a white pine along the Superior Hiking Trail on Sunday. (Sam Cook photo)

Four of us spent a good chunk of Sunday on a stretch of the Superior Hiking Trail. We chose the section of trail that runs between Minnesota Highway 1 (near Finland) and Lake County Road 6.  This is a section of trail with lots of ups and downs, a remarkable spur trail to an inland overlook and great vistas of Lake Superior and the South Shore.

We started at the Highway 1 end and hiked as far as Wolf Lake at the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. We also took the half-mile spur trail to an overlook called Fantasia that’s pretty spectacular. The spur winds around the west side of a ridge that offers expansive views of the forest below and the big lake, then re-enters the woods and delivers hikers to a small cliff overlooking a beaver pond and successive inland ridges.

We had lunch at the overlook, and it was so nice that we spent probably an hour and a half there.

We saw three other hikers — actual backpackers — who were headed the same direction we were and who planned to camp at Raven Lake near Wolf Ridge.

We hiked in the area that was hit so hard by an ice storm two years ago. Many of the birches and aspen, though still living, are bent over like white wickets in the woods.

While at lunch, we watched several cedar waxwings darting out from tall pines to feed on insects in mid-air, though we couldn’t see the insects.

At Wolf Lake, we stopped for a short break and I grabbed a quick photo of Lucy and Rode (say “road-ee”), the Labs who own us. Here’s the shot:

Our Labs take a break overlooking Wolf Lake along the Superior Hiking Trail near Finland. (Sam Cook photo)