With its 14.5 mile pet-friendly trails, wonderful 20-seat campsite, picnic areas, kayak and canoe and canoe miles on the beach, Split Rock is a great main camp to explore the North Coast!
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
The tragedy was the catalyst that led to the construction of the Split Rock Lighthouse, now one of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States. In 1905, three storms hit Lake Superior, killing 116 sailors and sinking six ships within a dozen miles of the Split Rock River.
Shipping companies lobbied the federal government to expand navigation aids to help them cross the world’s largest freshwater lake – especially in what they called “the most dangerous piece of water in the world.” In early 1907, Congress appropriated $ 75,000 for a lighthouse and fog signal in Split Rock, and construction began.
At the time, the only way to reach the vertical 130-foot cliff was by boat. Barges towed all construction materials. Derrick and a hoist with steam lifted the materials to the top of the rock. On July 31, 1910, the three light keepers arrived at their station and finally illuminated the lighthouse.
It was a remote and desolate place, constantly pushed by the winds of Lake Superior. But its dramatic location soon began to attract sailors and excursion boats to Split Rock.
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In 1924, an extension to the North Shore Highway allowed access to the lighthouse by land. Additional staff boarded tours, and Split Rock was a popular tourist attraction in the 1930s.
In 1945, Minnesota created a 35-acre coastline to provide views of the highway lighthouse. The original reserve eventually became the 2,200-acre Split Lighthouse State Park, protecting about four miles of coastline.
In 1969, the light was withdrawn and became part of the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Despite his retirement, the lighthouse emits light every November 10, marking the anniversary of the loss of SS Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975.
Pets in the state park of Split Rock Lighthouse
The lighthouse and the surrounding area are run by the Minnesota Historical Society and do not allow pets. In this part of the park pets are allowed only in the wooded median between the parking lots.
But that doesn’t mean you won’t find much to do with your pets here! You can go hiking, cycling or cross-country skiing on the 14.5-mile pet trail. The campsite is available in the small campsite in 20 places, where tennis players leave their cars on the plot and use the provided carts to transport their equipment. There are also picnic, kayak and canoe areas, as well as miles of coastline for fishing for lake trout, salmon and brown trout.
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Rules for pets in the state park Split Lighthouse
Pets should be kept on leashes at all times, no longer than six feet. Pets cannot be left unattended. Pet waste must be cleaned and disposed of properly.
Pet walkway suitable for pets
The Day Hill trail is ideal if you don’t have time and can only fit in one hike. Otherwise, this is a great way to start your adventure.
We spent and inflated hiking to the top of this 1.5 mile chain, but the trees keep the trail shaded. Cool Whip and Hercules stayed cool even on a sunny summer afternoon. No matter how long it takes you up, the view of Lake Superior at the top is absolutely worth the effort!
There is a beautiful fireplace at the very top and legend has it that Frank Day built it here around 1900. The story goes that he tried to court his beloved by promising the rest of the house to follow him. When she did not respond to his feelings, he abandoned the site. From this point you can simply distinguish the lighthouse in the distance.
Explore the Gichi-Gami trail
Going back on the Day Hill trail, you will reach the Gitchi-Gami State Trail. This 8-mile paved trail runs along the lake shore between Split Lighthouse State Park and Gooseberry Falls State Park.
The paved path is great if you travel with a dog that rides in a stroller!
A short walk along the trail will take you to the original Split Rock Wayside. However, the trees have grown, which makes it a little difficult to get a good view of the lighthouse.
Continuing takes you back to the Trail Center. Here you will find wonderful picnic areas – full of fireplaces and grills! Go down to the shore of the lake for an amazing shot of Fara.
Then follow the path of the Little Two Ports to Pebble Beach and settle with your picnic among the rocks for another stunning view!
We hope that our trip to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park inspires you and your pet to see for yourself!
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