by Timothy Jung
Sierra Club North Star Chapter organized a 6 mile hike at Temperance River State Park on Saturday May 12th. Our group of 7 began at the park entrance and hiked up the deep Temperance River gorge. We enjoyed Hidden Falls and the many pot holes created by the swirling waters and soon joined the Superior Hiking trail crossing the gorge to ascend a high ridgeline overlooking lake Superior. We travelled west along the ridgeline for about 2 miles, enjoying unencumbered views of the Great Lake. Evident throughout the hike was the demise of the white birch. Many sections were only lightly forested with young trees.
Perfect spring weather made hiking especially pleasurable. We appreciated the absence of mosquitoes, but soon realized the spring trade-off, which for us meant wood ticks. We each found at least a half dozen ticks crawling on us looking for a warm breakfast!
As we hiked the high points of the Superior hiking trail, the Taconite harbor coal plant in Schoeder, MN was very present, by far the largest marker of human activity within our vista. It appeared that at least one of the three boilers was firing, leaving a smudge of smoke across the otherwise perfectly blue sky.
As we descended from the high ridge towards Cross River, we could hear rushing water. We soon stopped for lunch, and then made our way back to our starting point via a swampy snowmobile trail.
Slightly sun burnt and only a little tired, we returned to the Hwy 61 parking lot to head out and enjoy the remainder of the beautiful day!