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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Visiting Minnesota’s Iconic Split Rock Lighthouse

Minnesota's Split Rock Lighthouse

Minnesota’s Split Rock Lighthouse

Minnesota’s Split Rock Lighthouse is quite possibly the state’s most iconic spot. The building’s image has been depicted on stamps and postcards, in paintings and famous photographs, and in most any other medium something can be immortalized. Standing atop a 130-foot-tall sheer cliff along the north shore of Lake Superior, it’s no wonder Split Rock Lighthouse is seen so frequently; it creates a striking image, especially in person.

I’ve wanted to visit the lighthouse, which was built in 1910, for a very long time now. It’s been a challenge to make it happen, though, since I picked up and moved off to Colorado more than a decade ago. So, when the opportunity presented itself when I traveled back home for my father’s surprise 70th birthday party, I made it a point to take advantage and stop to see the lighthouse.

Climbing up in the lighthouse

Climbing up in the lighthouse

In truth, the Split Rock Lighthouse isn’t much to see in and of itself. Sure, it’s historically interesting and worth going up in for the amazing views along Lake Superior’s shoreline. The museum and the nearby houses are also good for a quick look, but otherwise it’s what’s outside that makes the stop so appealing.

The view from atop the lighthouse

The view from atop the lighthouse

A staircase runs along an old tramline that brought goods and supplies up to the lighthouse. Today, the staircase leads guests to the best possible spot to see the Split Rock Lighthouse – from below. My family had done a little hiking at Gooseberry Falls State Park earlier in the day, so not everyone was interested in doing more at the lighthouse. But, with my sister and her sons leading the way, I was more than ready for a little more walking.

The stairs down to the best vantage point of the lighthouse

The stairs down to the best vantage point of the lighthouse

We took the staircase down the cliff’s edge to the rocky shoreline. They had been there before, so they knew the way to a fantastic place to skip some stones, have a picnic, or just relax on a beautiful Minnesota day. But, as my sister showed me, it’s also the best spot to take pictures of the lighthouse. Sure, the walk back up was a little winding – not too bad though, considering people well into their eighties were handling it just fine – but it was all worth it for my very own iconic photo:

The iconic Split Rock Lighthouse

The iconic Split Rock Lighthouse

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5 Comments on “Visiting Minnesota’s Iconic Split Rock Lighthouse”

  1. Traveling Ted (@travelingted) September 29, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    That photo from the lighthouse of Lake Superior is iconic. I agree, the view is the highlight not the lighthouse itself. Great photo.

  2. The Guy October 8, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    I can see why you were keen to visit this place. It looks immaculate in a beautiful setting. Sometimes I am surprised that these old methods of light houses are used in the modern day. Yet sometime the old ways are the best.


  1. A Weekend at the Grand Superior Lodge | Jason's Travels - September 25, 2013

    […] And believe me, there are a bunch. We only scratched the surface in our visits to Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock Lighthouse, and a stop in Duluth on the way up. There’s plenty more to do with Lake Superior only a few feet […]

  2. Deja’ Vu at Split Rock | My Little Studio in the North Woods - October 8, 2013

    […] Visiting Minnesota’s Iconic Split Rock Lighthouse (jasonstravels.com) […]

  3. The Ghosts of Christmas 2013 | Jason's Travels - December 24, 2013

    […] celebrate his big milestone. All-in-all, it was a great weekend with the family, some short hiking, sightseeing, and a lot of relaxing. Dad and I also got the opportunity to talk about the next […]

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