This is the year to stretch your boundaries – to travel by RV to the northern edge of America along the mystically beautiful North Shore of Lake Superior. From Duluth, Minnesota to the remote harbor village of Grand Marais, North Shore Drive unlocks maritime history, exquisite scenery and outstanding RV camping possibilities. Come along as we map the journey!
Duluth, MN, about eight hours north of Chicago, is the launching point for our once-in-a-lifetime journey along the North Shore. Plan to drive about an hour north along North Shore Drive, otherwise known as MN-61 N, to the lakeside village of Two Harbors. All along the way, Lake Superior will be on your immediate right, enthralling you with its immense beauty.
If this is where you’ll be stopping for the night, make reservations ahead of time at Penmarallter Campsites, a Two Harbors RV park with a family feel. While in Two Harbors, make a trip to Two Harbors Light Station. This nicely-restored red brick lighthouse reveals much about the early ship trade on Lake Superior.
Another nice stop to make along the route is found just thirteen miles north of Two Harbors at Gooseberry Falls State Park. Hike the trails to discover ancient lakeside lava flows, waterfalls that will make the perfect vacation photos and the rocky gorges that attempt to tame the Gooseberry River.
Twenty miles north of Two Harbors, RV travelers will find another iconic North Shore lighthouse at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Visit the starkly scenic light station on its rocky promontory and then plan to hike at least a section of Gitchi-Gami State Trail that actually runs all the way to Gooseberry Falls State Park, or the highly-acclaimed five-mile Split Rock River Loop Trail. You’ll also find trails linking to the Superior Hiking Trail, where there’s never an inferior view. One more outdoor recreation possibility—fish for salmon and trout in the pristine waters of the North Shore.
As you head north again on North Shore Drive, you’ll discover two scenic inlets, Beaver Bay and Silver Bay, both with appealing views and photo opportunities. The town of Silver Bay offers RV travelers the chance to put a boat into Lake Superior at Bayside Park, or you can simply walk the cobblestone beach and hunt for agates.
Ready to stop for the night and gather your memories of the North Shore? The campsites at Tettegouche State Park, just north of Silver Bay, can accommodate RVs up to sixty feet in length.
When you resume your journey along Superior’s North Shore, you’ll notice the immense, green wonder of Superior National Forest on your left. On the way to Grand Marais, our last stop, the abandoned buildings of Taconite Harbor bear testimony to the shifts in Lake Superior’s shipping industry.
Your RV trek north will lead through Cascade River State Park, so by all means, stop and absorb the lush greenery and rugged views before moving on. And then we’ll stop in Grand Marais, a harbor village surrounded by a seemingly-endless wilderness and the rocky shores of Lake Superior. Get out and stroll past quaint harbor shops. Arrange a sea kayaking tour on the Lake with a local outfitter. Or paddle a canoe across one of the countless inland lakes close by. Spend as much time as you’d like; the Grand Marais Campground and Marina has a large RV campground right on the lakeshore.
And on the way back to Duluth along MN-61, stop and savor the sights you missed on the way north. Lake Superior’s North Shore is endlessly enticing; it’s the kind of drive RV travelers dream of, and the lucky ones visit more than once.