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Category Archives: Tettegouche State Park

It was such a beautiful day we decided to continue on to Tettegouche State Park where we hiked out to Shovel Point. There was still enough ice on the trail that it made for some tricky going particularly when walking down the steps. As I mentioned in an earlier post there had been an ice storm but most of the ice was already gone. We had been at Tettegouche in 2011 after a fierce March storm deposited large amounts of ice along Shovel Point. I’ve included a few photos below for comparison.

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Shovel Point

Shovel Point 2011

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Schovel Point Steps

Shovel Point Steps 2011

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This photo was taken at Shovel Point in Tettegouche State Park on Minnesota’s North Shore. It was taken after a strong winter storm created huge inland ice formations along the North Shore. More photos can be found on a blog I wrote after returning from the trip.

Shovel Point

I recently donated the photograph to the Nature Conservancy. They included it as the lead photo in a slideshow they developed about getting outside in the winter.

The Minnesota Nature Conservancy also included it on their Facebook page.

It was a beautiful day so we decided to drive up to Grand Marais, Minnesota. Our eventual destination was Grand Portage State Park.

At Tettegouche State Park We decided to hike up to the High Falls on the Baptism River. There were quite a few cars along the road and in the parking lot but most of them were fishermen. The water flow was good although it was very dry with fire warnings all along the North Shore.

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After our visit to Split Rock State Park We headed to Tettegouche State Park. Our first goal was to hike to High Falls. It was still a beautiful day and not overly conducive to photographing waterfalls but it is what it is and it was still a beautiful day for a hike. As we approached the top of the falls we encountered some interesting foam patterns.

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After photographing the foam we started across the suspension bridge at the top of the falls on the Baptism River.

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While walking across the bridge I notice some interesting patterns in the river and stopped to take a few photographs.

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Once across the river we stopped to take a photo of High Falls from the top of the falls. This show really called for a wide angle lens but I don’t have a variable neutral density filter for my wide angle lens. The sunny day required a variable neutral density filter to slow down the water.

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We then walked down the many (I didn’t count them) steps to the base of the falls. It was an unusually warm day for early spring so there was some effort to get back up the stairs.

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Unfortunately we had decided to drive to a parking lot that we thought was closer to the falls. As it turned out it would have been easier to hike to the falls from the visitors center. The hike would have been shorter and there would have been less of an elevation gain. When we reached the car we drove back to the visitors center where we headed out to Shovel Point.

Our first stop was to photograph the rocks in the lake. These always make for a beautiful photo. Unfortunately to new Shovel Point trail makes it a little more difficult to photograph them.

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After a short walk we encountered some interesting looking lichen.

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At the end of the trail we found some lichen and grass growing on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the lake.

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More photos from Tettegouche State Park can be found on my website.

It has definitely been a bummer of a winter so far. We had a nice early snowfall in November but nothing since. Northern Wisconsin and the North Shore of Minnesota haven’t seen much snow either. We have not been able to cross country ski around home or in the Duluth Area because of the lack of snow. I suppose the positive is we have been able to do some hiking along the North Shore and there hasn’t been a mosquito in sight.

High Falls Tettegouche State Park

High Falls Tettegouche State Park

My favorite winter photography subject is the Apostle Islands Ice Caves. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like they will open this year. We stopped at Meyers Beach last week when we were up for the Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race. We expected to see some ice but we found open water. A friend said they were close to opening a few weeks ago ice pack was just about frozen solid and the National Park Service was counting down to open them but a strong wind came up and the ice pack broke up and was pushed out into the lake.

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After returning from our hike to High Falls we decide to walk out to Shovel Point. There was a little ice along the shore but nothing like it was several years ago after a March storm.

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Shovel Point

Shovel Point

On our return hike we found this little fellow along the trail working on a pine cone. He wasn’t about to give it up and allowed me to walk right up to him before he finally ran off.

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There were some nice views out on the lake as the sun attempted to break through the snow clouds.

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More photos from our hike can be found on my website.

We stopped in Duluth overnight after our ski trip and intended to drive home the next morning. When we woke up we decided that it might be fun to drive up to Tettegouche State Park to do some hiking. The Minnesota North Shore has almost no snow so we didn’t need our snowshoes which we forgot at home.

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As we were getting ready to leave for the day we noticed that it was snowing quite hard. This hadn’t been in the forecast and when we looked at the radar on our phone it look like a small band of snow extended from Duluth all the way north of Tettegouche.

We kept driving and reached Tettegoushe at mid morning. We decided to take the hike along the north side of the Baptism River to the High Falls. Although there wasn’t much snow we decided to use our ice cleats because the trail was icy in spots.

It continued to snow off and on during our trip to the falls. Our first stop was Two Step Falls. This was not very impressive since it was iced over and covered with some snow.

Our next stop was High Falls. This was very impressive with a lot of definition and color in the ice.

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The river was frozen so we were able to walk up to the bottom of the Falls.

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We noticed a couple of flags that someone had planted at the top of the falls. I forgot to ask the ranger if someone was ice climbing at the falls and planted the flags.

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The fresh snowfall left some nice patterns on the ice and the rocks surrounding the falls. This trip was well worth the walk.

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More photos from our hike can be found on my website.

Last week we drove up to Tettegouche State Park to do some hiking. It was a beautiful day but a little warm. Tettegouche had been a frequent stopping point on our northshore trips but we haven’t stopped in several years because a new visitors center has been under construction.

Our goal was to hike to some of the waterfalls. The first stop was High Falls. Since the sun was out in full force it was difficult to get a quality image of the falls but use of a variable neutral density filter helped.High-Falls-Tettegouche-State-Park-14-9-_0377

We then made the hike down to Two Step Falls. As I recall someone mentioned that there were over 300 steps involved in visiting the two waterfalls.Two-Step-Falls-Tettegouche-State-Park-14-9-_0425

On the hike back to the car I stopped to take a photo of the walking bridge across the Baptism River at the top of the high falls.FootbridgeTettegouche-State-Park--14-9-_0471

We then headed back to the visitors center to hike out to Shovel Point. There were several climbing parties out on the Point but it is difficult to get a photograph without hanging over the edge.Tettegouche-State-Park-14-9-_0474

John G. Munson

It’s the time of year when I start getting excited about the fall colors. Already some states have their fall color reports active. I started thinking about the places I would like to travel to this fall and came up with a list of my top 5 destinations. I’ve listed the ironwood area first because, for some reason, the leaves turn in this area before they do in any other area.

Ironwood, Michigan

Gile Flowage– is located just south of Ironwood, Michigan. What I like about Gile Flowage is that you can photograph at sunrise and sunset and get some great photos. In fact, at both times you can photograph the color of the trees and just turn around and then photograph the rising or setting sun.

Gile Flowage Sunrise

 

Gile Flowage Sunrise

Copper Peak International Ski Flying Hillis the largest ski jump in the world and the top of the jump is nearly 1200 feet above lake Superior. On a clear day you can see for over 40 miles. Lake Superior and the Porcupine Mountains are visible from the top. The ski jump is open on weekends during fall color season.

Copper Peak International Ski Flying Hill

 Black Riveris just down the road from Copper Peak and offers some great fall views of waterfalls along the Black River.

Rainbow Falls

  Munising, Michigan

Hiawatha National Forestis located just south of Munising and offers some great photography opportunities along the many lakes in the area. The peak colors in the national forest are usually a week or so before the colors in Pictured Rocks. Most of the lakes are best photographed early in the morning. More information can be found in an earlier Blog.

Thorton Lake

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshoreoffers some spectacular photo opportunities. The fall sunset boat cruise is not to be missed. The many mile of hiking trails through the park offer a wide range of subjects for photography.

Grand Portal Point

Seney National Wildlife Refugeis located at the eastern end of Pictured Rocks and offers some great chances for sunset and sunrise photography. Large numbers of Trumpeter Swans can be found in the Refuge.

Seney National Wildlife Refuge Sunset

WaterfallsThere are a large number of great waterfalls within a short drove of Munising. This is a shot of Laughing Whitefish Falls.

Laughing Whitefish Falls

 Baraboo, Wisconsin

 Pewits Nestis located in the southern part of Wisconsin just outside Baraboo. It’s a small gorge with a stream flowing through it. The top of the gorge is covered with large maple trees. If you hit it right the maple trees are spectacular. The gorge itself is worth the trip even after most of the leaves have fallen.

Pewits Nest

Devils Lake State ParkIs also located just outside of Baraboo. It is one of the premier Wisconsin parks and a popular destination any time of the year but particularly in the fall. We usually combine the trip with a visit to Ski-Hi Fruit Farm which lies just outside the park.

Devil’s Lake State Park

Gibraltar RockIs just a short drive from Baraboo and offers some stunning views of the Wisconsin River valley. We usually combine a visit to Gibraltar rock with a trip on the Merrimac Ferry which crosses the Wisconsin River at Merrimac Wisconsin.

Gibraltar Rock

Minnesota North Shore

There are photography opportunities all along the Minnesota North Shore from Duluth, Minnesota to Grand Portage State Park on the Canadian Border. I’ve highlighted a few of my favorites. The fall leaves turn first in the interior away from the lake. The Maples turn earlier than the Birch. Generally it will take several trips at different times to take in all of the fall color along the North Shore. If the leaves disappoint the Lake will not so there is always something to photograph.

 Gooseberry Falls State ParkThis is usually my first stop on any trip to the North Shore. I try to time my visit so I’m not there on a weekend because it is one of the most popular parks in Minnesota.

Gooseberry Falls State Park

 Tettegouche State Park –  They are building a new visitors center at the park so the visitors center will closed for the fall 2012 season. Lots of nice hiking trails into the back country.

Mic Mac Lake

Oberg Mountain – My favorite place for fall photographs on the North Shore. The top of Oberg Mountain offers stunning 360 degrees of the surrounding forests and Lake Superior.

Oberg Mountain

 Cascade River State Park is a great place to photograph any time of the year but it can be beautiful in the fall if the water level is high. Best photographed early in the morning or late in the day when the cascades are in the shade and provide a uniform light.

Cascade River

Grand Portage State Parkis located on the border with Canada. It offers spectacular views of the highest waterfall in Minnesota. Late in the fall color season the Birch Trees at the top of the falls turn brilliant colors. If you happen to be there late in the day the sun will highlight the fall colors while the falls is in the shade.

High Falls

 Crex Meadows

Crex Meadows stands alone as a destination for photography. It is a great place to photograph fall colors, sunrises and sunsets. It is also the one of the best locations in the country to photograph the fall migration of the Sandhill Cranes. You will want to plan on spending the night in Grantsburg, Wisconsin so you can take in the evening and morning flights of the cranes. About an hour before sunset the cranes start returning to the meadows. Folks bring their lawn chairs and just sit and watch them fly into their rousting grounds. You can return to the same location at sunrise and watch the cranes leaving to feed for the day in the surrounding fields. During the day you can drive the back roads south of town to watch the cranes feeding. Make sure you make the trip this year because if the Wisconsin creates a Sandhill Crane hunt you may not be able to see this spectacular event in future years. I have more details on photographing at Crex in an earlier Blog.

Sunset Crex Meadows

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes Sunset Flight

Anyone who reads this blog knows I love winter. In a normal year I don’t really miss it until the dog days of summer. Unfortunately the dog days of summer came as early as April this year. Within a couple of weeks of the last ski trip I was already missing winter this year. My wife and I are both winter people. We have been surviving so far this summer by watching “Ice Road Truckers” Ice Pilots” “Flying Wild Alaska” and anything else we can find with lots of snow and cold weather. We intermix an occasional trip to the Minnesota North Shore where it is usually, at least, a little cooler. I’ve gathered a few shots to remember the great winters past.

Off and Racing

Devil’s Punchbowl

Red Cedar Trail Bridge

Bond Falls

CopperDog 150 Sled Dog Race

Camera Assistant

Swedetown Backcountry Trail

ABR Ski Trails

Rocks and Ice

Amish Ice Fishing

Apostle Islands Ice Caves