What a place! Lake Superior, Temperance River, and miles of hiking trails. The Superior Hiking Trail goes through this park. If you are planning a through hike of that trail, this would be a good place to plan a side trip to visit the big lake.
If you are driving along the north shore of Lake Superior, this is the state park with parking right on Highway 61. You don’t need a state park sticker to park there, but don’t park overnight.
On my first night there I stayed close to my campsite and enjoyed the sunset on the rocky shore of Lake Superior. I walked about 2 miles in and around the campground. I love walking on those giant stones next to the waves. The river rushes under the arch of the bridge and meets the lake. On the other end of the campground there is a quieter path to a picnic table on a quiet beach. All of it is lovely.
I was lucky to get a campsite. Even the hike-in state park sites were booked. I reserved the only state park campsite available on the entire north shore. If you were wondering why I chose Temperance River, now you know. The site was small. Barely space for my little tent. I was glad there were trees between my site and the neighbors so I could have my alone time. The view was amazing. I could see the big lake from my tent and in a couple minutes I could walk there. I ate my supper sitting on a giant rock and listening to waves. It was magical.
The next morning had rain in the forecast so I got an early start. From the campground I crossed the highway and headed upriver on the southwest side. There were so many beautiful spots. After about a mile the trail left the river, crossed a small road and went steeply uphill. This was the Superior Hiking Trail. The rain started when I was about 2 miles out. I discovered that my rainjacket was no longer waterproof, but luckily I had my trusty Minnesota State Fair rain poncho. I looked silly, but I was dry! I was close to a shelter when the rain started to get heavy, so I hung out in the shelter until the worst of it had passed. It was a good time to have a snack and check messages. I was pleasantly surprised to have phone reception. I know that is not the case in many places on the trail.
Walking back in light rain was pleasant. Not too hot, not too cold. I don’t have photos of that section (phone not waterproof) I’ll have to just hold the images in my memory. There is satisfaction in the sensation of being out in the elements when conditions are less than ideal and knowing that things are ok. Of course this does not apply when conditions are dangerous, but on this lightly raining day the weather increased my joy.
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