Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Go go Mount Jo

The North Shore is a rugged, scenic place. But along the Minnesota shore, the most rugged and the most scenic part is in Grand Portage and beyond to the Pigeon River. It's the far end of the North Shore, and it's worth the extra hour drive past Grand Marais.

The land and the terrain are stupendous. Even the wayside rests are spectacular. The wayside rest with the best view on the North Shore or even in Minnesota is Mt. Josephine wayside just east of Grand Portage and just west of the Pigeon River. Highway 61 cuts through the massive diabase dike of Mt. Jo and then this amazing view pops out.

To the east (above), there are great views from a pretty good height out over Wauswagoning Bay and the Susie Islands.

To the south (below) are the rugged cliffs of Mt. Josephine itself:

The facilities there are only an outhouse and a Dumpster, which has some sage advice and proscriptions:

Visitor facilities in the Grand Portage/Pigeon River area will be changing over the next few years, as the new visitor center opens at the State Park. I hope this wayside rest will stay open, if only for the views.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic scenic overlook at
that wayside area. Is that Cedar
Witch Tree still open to the public? I read it was closed for some time? Isn't it a hike from
that area?

Andrew Slade said...

The "Spirit Little Cedar Tree" is out at the tip of Hat Point (at the far left in the photo here of Mt. Jo.). I have not been out there, but I understand that the Grand Portage National Monument has been leading groups out there with permission of the Band. It would be really cool to go out there!

Bayfieldwis.com said...

Yes it's restricted now, by guided tour only. People were damaging the tree by carving their names on
the trunk or something? I did hike to see it way back in 1984. Yes I know that was a long time ago. We were doing the Circle Tour after college and being bums for the summer. I wish I had a camera with me but sadly wasn't into photography back then.

Wonderful blog! Very enjoyable
to read the adventures.

Andrew Slade said...

There's been some controversy over the years about taking pictures of the Tree. I think if you go with a band member it's okay to take pictures, but you should ask.