|Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory – Important Bird Area (IBA)|
Hawk Ridge is one of the best and most famous raptor migration sites in North America. Birds are reluctant to fly over Lake Superior, so they tend to follow the shoreline, funneling right through the Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve. Located within the city of Duluth, more than 19 species of migrating ...
Tettegouche State Park & North Shore
|Description: Breathtaking scenery and an opportunity to see a wealth of wildlife greet the visitor to the North Shore, Minnesota’s common name for the coastal area of Lake Superior. Five stellar state parks, numerous wayside rests and observation areas dot the shoreline from Silver Bay to Grand Marais to make it easy tower over the rocks and water below, hike alongside a cascading river or camp somewhere off the beaten path.
Come to Tettegouche for a great sense of the North Shore: the spectacular overlooks at Shovel Point; rocky, steep cliffs and inland bluffs; the cascading 60 ft. High Falls of the Baptism River; and the historic Tettegouche Camp where visitors can stay the night.
Established in 1979 to preserve an outstanding example of the Northshore Highlands
Biocultural Region, the park contains a unique combination of natural features: rugged semi-mountainous terrain, Lake Superior shoreline, inland lakes, cascading rivers and waterfalls and undisturbed northern hardwood forest. Important historical and cultural features are also preserved in Tettegouche Camp, a complex of rustic log buildings dating back to the final days of the logging area.
This is a hiker's paradise with miles of trails that overlook the Sawtooth Mountains and wind down to inland lakes accessible only by foot. The Palisade Valley Unit features broad scenic vistas coupled with an expanse of multi-use, four-season trails. Two more trout lakes complement the fishing opportunities within the rest of the park, which is also known for rock climbing and quality birdwatching in the spring, summer, and especially the fall.
Wildlife to Watch: The wide assortment of plant communities supports more than 40 species of mammals. You are most likely to see white-tailed deer, snowshoe hare, red squirrel and beaver. Less commonly observed are moose, black bear, red fox and river otter. Occasionally, coyote, fisher, pine marten, northern flying squirrel, and even the elusive timber wolf may be spotted. Look for black bears and lynx that occasionally roam the roadsides of the lake’s edge. Many sightings take place during the late fall and winter.
Northeastern Minnesota is recognized as one of the better locations in the nation to find rare birds. Habitat diversity, geography and proximity to Lake Superior combine to produce a plethora of bird life at Tettegouche. In all, 140 species have been identified. Look for spruce grouse, kinglets and many northern warblers where they nest in bogs and coniferous forests in the summer. In fall, you easily may expect to see thousands of hawks and eagles migrating along the shore. Winter is an excellent time to spot northern owls, woodpeckers, finches, ravens and unusual water birds.
One of the most intriguing features of the landscape along Lake Superior is that an array of boreal forest and Canadian wetland wildlife species frequently show up along the North Shore. Cyclic northern species such as snowy, great gray and boreal owls often appear in winter along Highway 61.
Cold-water rivers and open water along Lake Superior have harbored such rare species as long-tailed and harlequin ducks and dippers. Scan carefully for other rare birds here throughout the year.
Last, but certainly not least, the park is home to peregrine falcons that nest on Palisade Head. Look for these stunning raptors near the "No Sugar, No Baby" climbing route, where the birds nested in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2008. Some hiking trails and climbing routes are closed until the young fledge, usually about late July.
Special Tips: One of the best moose viewing opportunities in the state is along State Highway 1, about 10-13 miles North of Lake Superior and Tettegouche State Park. The closest town is Finland, about four miles south of the viewing area. Be careful as you watch the ditches and mud wallows where moose cross the highway. The best time to see these massive mammals is early morning after sunrise and late in the day just before sunset. The area goes for about a three-mile stretch. Moose crossing signs make the area easy to find, along with many skid marks on the roadway.
Other Activities: For those on foot, the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT), 205-mile long footpath, follows the rocky ridgeline above the Lake from Two Harbors to the Canadian border.
Ownership: MN DNR
Size: 9346 acres
Closest Town: Silver Bay
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: