NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

More to do in Two Harbors Than Hike

The little town of Two Harbors in Minnesota was settled in 1856 but didn't really get going until the railroad got up here to get the iron ore out of the area in 1884.

 By 1885 roughly 225,000 tons of ore were moving through Agate Bay prompting the Vessel Owners Association and the US Lighthouse Service to recognize the need for a navigational aid at Agate Bay. On August 4th 1886 the US Congress authorized $10,000 to build a light station.

My mom walking by the breakwater light

We didn't tour the lighthouse, I was content to see it from shore.  From the Lake County Historical website: The light was first lit April 15 1892, a continuous white beacon in all directions.  In order to help distinguish it from other lights on shore the original Fresnel lens is replaced with a four bulls eye lens and clockworks (rotating mechanism) creating a signature flash. As more electric lighting appeared on shore red screens were placed in the gallery to further distinguish the light signal.

Of course I got some shots of nearby Split Rock Lighthouse as well...but they were so inspiring that they deserve their own post!

While the bedrock of the area is interesting, I liked the Nonesuch Shale that we found along Lake Superior in the Porcupine Mountains region a little better.  The rock in Two Harbors made for interesting textures in photographs but was bumpy and awkward to walk on!

No starfish in Lake Superior!

Not far from the lighthouse by the ore docks is the Edna G tugboat.  She's pretty big as tugboats go, and painted a vibrant red and yellow that was nice to shoot in the early morning light when my mom and I went down there.

Also in the same lakeshore area is a couple of old engines and a Depot Museum.  I didn't get to the museum, but Cory and I walked down to see the engines when Wayne went in to True Value to get some screws to fix our sliding closet doors.

One night Wayne and I walked toward town along the shore from the campground.  There was a paved path through a Veterans Memorial Forest along the shore and we got a nice view of the campground to go with our exercise.

A week is enough for the area for most folks unless you're planning to hike the Superior Hiking Trail, but there is lots to see in the 30 miles from Two Harbors to Split Rock State Park if you like the outdoors. I didn't get to hike the Split Rock River Loop that John and Pam recommended because the rain came in on our last full day, so if I'm ever up here again I know where I'm going to start!

We also had a fantastic dinner at Black Woods Grill in Two Harbors.  We don't eat out often because we're invariably disappointed, but everyone's food was well prepared and the waitress was patient with all our questions.  My mom and I had lunch one day at the Vanilla Bean too, and that was good as well though their menu is limited.  Of course the best find was the Great Lakes Candy shop on the scenic highway in Knife River.  I came away with a variety of chocolate but my favorite was the dark chocolate bar with almonds and toffee - Yum!


  1. Looks like the sort of place I would like to look round.

  2. Nice shot of the lighthouse and the Lake Superior shoreline.

  3. Sorry the weather didn't cooperate with your hike. We totally understand how the weather can mess up hiking plans. Seems to be our nightmare for the last month! Sounds like you had fun regardless:)