Tour the Great Lakes Region in Duluth, Minnesota

It's been several weeks since I have been to Duluth. The trip to Minnesota was full of emotions, discoveries, and unexpected places. We take the old Highway or Route 61, a highly symbolic place, because, in crossing America, it literally passes through the thousand traditions of different origins that merged to give rise to American culture.

In fact, as we moved from south to north, crossing Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin, we get immersed in the places and landscapes typical of peasant America. There are endless fields and small rural towns, where time seemed to have stopped.

On my visit to Duluth, I enjoyed a trip full of emotions, discoveries, and unexpected places. A little rain didn't stop me from seeing the beauty this city had to offer.

Driving Old Highway 61

After a breakfast in Minneapolis with lots of bread, cheese, yogurt, chocolate, and granola bars, we start in the morning on our way to Lake Superior. Our car arrives in time to pick us up for our journey ahead. And, of course, I do not forget to keep a couple of Bob Dylan CDs on the dashboard.

We take the old Highway 61, a highly symbolic place because in crossing America, it passes through the thousand traditions of different origins that merged to give rise to American culture. There was that moment when we could not go anymore without hearing his voice.

In fact, the road winds without excessive traffic for miles and miles. So it was ideal for me as I did not want to simply move from a place to another but look around the real landscape. There are many motels scattered along the road. Route 61 is a fascinating highway that winds through the United States for about 2,300 km across eight states, from Louisiana to Minnesota. Indeed, to be precise, the old route of Route 61 passed right through Duluth, the hometown of Bob Dylan, to get to the border with Canada.

But Route 61 is also known as the blues highway, and skirts the course of the Muddy River, the Mississippi, with its load of legends. It is, therefore, a path that, for lovers of American music, represents the journey par excellence, as it touches many cities that peep out in the title or in the text of numerous pieces recorded in the history of jazz, blues, and rock.

Unfortunately, the weather is not great as we approach Duluth. We end up deciding at the last moment to stay here overnight and quickly book a hotel through Hotel Planner.

Like a City by the Sea

The special thing about Duluth is the big harbor and the fact that it is located on Lake Superior. The lake is the largest of the five Great Lakes and is very impressive. After taking a look at the city, I have the impression that it is by the sea and not by a lake. In the Canal Park area, restaurants, nightclubs, shops, and cruises are there to entertain tourists. But soon the rains take over, and I drive back to the hotel.

Getting Up With the Sun

The next day, I get up with the sun to go hiking north of Duluth. First of all, we drive to downtown Duluth. The first joggers are already on the shores of Lake Superior, but otherwise, it is still empty and the light is wonderful. It is only a little fresh. You can already tell that the summer is over. But the cool weather of fall doesn't bother me. As a precaution, I have my jacket with me as I walk and view the beautifully landscaped lake.

Tour the Great Lakes Region in Duluth, Minnesota

Image via Flickr by Sharon Mollerus

Exploring Lake Superior

At the harbor entrance of Duluth, there are three lighthouses and, of course, I look at all of them. Two can only be reached via a very long pier that juts out into the lake. I take a nice little walk early in the morning.

Just around the corner is the Aerial Lift Bridge. It was originally built as a transporter bridge and later rebuilt to a lift bridge. I drive over the bridge that connects Duluth with the Minnesota Point or the Park Point, the longest sandbar in a freshwater lake.

Route Provides Lovely Stopovers

There are also a lot of Canada geese resting on their way south, and I watch them for a while. Every time I move a little, they get very excited and stretch their necks. Just before nine o'clock, we drive to Glensheen, located directly on Lake Superior. From here I can see all the way to Downtown Duluth, whose houses are visible on the horizon. We visit the Wisconsin Point for a short trip because I still want to take a picture of the Fairlawn Mansion in Lake Superior that yesterday was totally dark. When I arrive here, the cloud begins to dissolve again and the sun is shining.

Not far away is the Voyageurs National Park, the most northerly park in the state. It was the way that fur hunters and explorers used in the past to reach Canada and the Great Lakes region.

We continue our visit along old Highway 61 with stopovers in Gooseberry Falls State Park, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, Tettegouche State Park, and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. We choose to stay overnight at the campsite at the Boundary Waters.

It is a pristine area that has more than 1000 lakes connected by small watercourses that can be traveled by canoe. Surrounded by the nature reserve it is certainly one of the most coveted places for those who want to do outdoor activities. It is here that from November to March it is possible to see the Northern Lights, in addition to wolves and other wild animals.

Before I go to bed, I see the weather forecast. It does not look good. It's good that I still used every ray of sunshine today. But I do not quite give up the hope that it will not be so bad.

In the early morning, we will travel to the picturesque Keweenaw peninsula, which I read is beautiful especially during the foliage season.

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