The last stop of this Autumn trip to the MN North Shore was Grand Portage State Park. The Summer of 2014 was the first time I laid eyes on this natural beauty. I remember the thunderous noise as we walked down the path to view the tallest waterfall in Minnesota (120 foot drop). One side of the waterfall is located in Grand Portage State Park in Minnesota, the other side is located in Pigeon River Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. The hike is not bad on this one and I would highly recommend a stop any time of the year. An insert from a previous post, Continuous Creation on the High Falls of Pigeon River, “This morning’s mist was heavy which made every color of the landscape pop; a photographers dream. Low and behold, the High Falls of the Pigeon River in all its glory.” The colors are so vibrant, that I still have to remind myself this image is not taken in a Tropical Rain Forest. 🙂
Bringing us back to this trip and the colors of Autumn in Minnesota. The trip this day included some investigating as we took the road less traveled while looking for another waterfall on the Pigeon River. The majority of times these types of excursions do not end up in the way we were hoping; however, we always have a blast attempting to find what we set out to originally locate. As we turned to follow the low maintenance hiking path, we spotted a sign, “Caution”, it read. Caution? Bravery triumphed and we continued down the narrowing path. A mile or so down the path, we stumbled across what appeared to be the imprint of a very large mammal. Could this be a dinosaur left over from the Ice Age hiding in this remote part of the country?
Well, not a dinosaur in sight, all we really saw down this path was a whole lot of beauty as the seasons changed from Summer to Autumn. Enjoy the images from this trip!
Our plans for the day started with photographing the sunrise at Hollow Rock on the property of Hollow Rock Resort owned by Grand Portage Casino. After asking permission to photograph this rock formation, we were on our way. We arrived in the dark hoping to capture the beautiful of this magical place during the Golden Hour. The “Golden Hour” in photography refers to the hour before sunrise and the hour after sunset or the first and last hour of sunlight in a day. The morning was absolutely stunning; we listened as the water crashed against the shore singing a tranquil song and enjoyed the peaceful moment as the first rays of sunlight hit the horizon painting bright colors in the sky.
We enjoyed this area immensely and returned later in the year to stay in one of the 8 cabins on the property at Hollow Rock Resort- keep a watch out for that post.
The next stop: Grand Portage. We spent the day discovering the history of the aboriginal culture while visiting the fur trade at Grand Portage National Monument, and the Grand Portage National Monument’s Heritage Center. Volunteers and park staff at the monument dress in period attire. They staff the Kitchen, Canoe Warehouse and Great Hall in and around the Stockade, and explain and interpret what life was like at the trading fort at the turn of the 18th century.
The day ended with a trip into Canada as we wanted to hike the trails in Pigeon River Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. With passports in hand, we crossed the border and hiked the trails to the Middle Falls of the Pigeon River. Beautiful country and a place I would like to visit again to hike the longer trail to the High Falls of the Pigeon River.
Enjoy the views seen as we explore the northerly tip of Minnesota at Grand Portage.
This particular morning Dan and I headed on our way to the very top of Minnesota with plans to stay in Grand Portage for a few days. We were to hit the last state park on our northerly trip, Grand Portage State Park. I was certainly excited to see the park as it holds the tallest waterfall in Minnesota (120 foot drop). One side of the waterfall is located in Grand Portage State Park in Minnesota, the other side is located in Pigeon River Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. This morning’s mist was heavy which made every color of the landscape pop; a photographers dream. We arrived at the park mid-morning and made our way down the very easy hiking trail that lead to the High Falls on the Pigeon River. As we started on our hike, we could hear the low rumble of the water as it passed over the crest of the waterfall and we felt the vibration of the water as it hit the base. What an incredible feeling!
We took our time this morning stopping to take in every scent, every scene. Adding to the ambience of this outing, were the lichens that were covering the trees, the animals scurrying around gathering their morning meal, and the mist as it danced through the trees. As we got closer to the high falls, the sound and vibration increase its’ intensity, which only increased our excitement. I walked up the few stairs to the first observation deck and my eyes laid upon an amazing sight… It literally took my breath away. Low and behold, the High Falls of the Pigeon River in all its glory.
To read more about the history and geology of this area, please visit the DNR website for Grand Portage State Park. This is a highly recommended stop if ever along the North Shore of Minnesota!