We met up with a friend in Duluth before heading up the North Shore to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Our goal was to hike the five mile Split Rock River Loop Trail. When we arrived at the trailhead the trail looked to be in good shape. We debated taking our ice grippers and finally decided to take them along. Good thing we did because we we encountered ice on the trail at we crested the first hill. If we didn’t have the ice grippers we would not have been able to make the hike because the trail was very icy and steep. In some places a slip would have meant a long slide down the gorge into the River.
Split Rock falls was still iced up with just a little water flowing at the bottom of the falls.
We crossed over a small stream and made our way over the the main section of the Split Rock River. The River was still mainly ice but water was flowing in some places.
In a few places the rushing water was producing foam formations one of which looked like a volcano.
As we started the hike we noticed a sign indicating that the foot bridge over the Split Rock River was closed. Last spring when we hiked this trail the bridge looked like it wasn’t safe but we still used it. It looked like the park service had cut the bridge down because only the footings on either side of the river were still standing. We walked down the river a short distance before finding a snow bridge over the river. You can see a portion of the bridge in the background.
We were happy to make it over the river because returning on the same trail would have been difficult because of the ice conditions. There were still some icy conditions on the trail but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the hike up.
As we emerged from the forest we had a great view of Lake Superior. The wind was blowing at about 25 miles an hour out of the East and there were some nice waves hitting the shore. We decided to drive over to the Split Rock Lighthouse and check out the waves.