Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I can see for yards and yards

After a gorgeous scenic hike a week or two ago, where I ran into Pete Townsend of The Who and we sang "I can see for miles' (and miles and miles, oh yeah), I took the hound for a hike on another section of the Superior Hiking Trail, a new stretch between Duluth and Two Harbors.

I hiked almost four miles in, going east from Rossini Road. The trailhead is about a twenty minute drive north of Highway 61. Excellent driving directions are on the SHTA website.

I'm trying to put this nicely. It's a lovely trail, very well built with the type of silky-smooth treadway that's only possible in older deciduous forests. The fall colors were just at their peak, maybe just a bit past. It was about 45 degrees, with sunshine. It wasn't freezing rain, at the time.

And the views? Well...they were...nonexistent.

But, hey, since when do we hike just for the views? North Shore hikers have been spoiled by the Superior Hiking Trail, which was designed to connect every possible highpoint in a zig-zagging run through the woods.

On this trail, you focus on the things right in front of you. A gnarly spruce, with branches right down to the ground. The smell and sound of dry maple leaves underfoot. There are no difficult climbs, because there are no highpoints to climb to. It's just...walking. The trail includes an enchanting full mile through gorgeous maple woods, aglow with fall color.

One up-close highlight for me was this Old Man of the Woods, a perfect knot in an older maple tree:

Hiking just for the views is like having dinner just so you can eat dessert, or paddling the BWCA just so you can catch fish. Enjoy the journey!

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