Snowshoeing North Shore Rivers

A snowshoer skirts a set of falls on the Sucker River. (Sam Cook photo)

Snowshoeing has been good on several North Shore streams lately. We’ve tried Schmidt Creek and the Sucker River, both between Duluth and Two Harbors, and the Split Rock River northeast of Two Harbors. Judging by the tracks, others have enjoyed them, too.

We usually start above the Highway 61 Expressway and go upstream, although on the Sucker, we started from Old North Shore Road and went up.

The beauty of skiing streams is – well, the beauty. Occasional pockets of open water that sound especially good in December or January. The gurgle of water beneath the ice. The seeps of water that form interesting icefalls along the rivers rocky walls. The quiet down in the river bottoms. The tracks of deer and occasionally other critters.

Some tips: We usually use ski poles to help propel us up the frozen cascades. We avoid potentially deeper pools below falls. We always go upstream first, then finish downstream.

rost flowers formed on a piece of bare ice on the Split Rock River. (Sam Cook photo)


Snowshoers move downstream on the Split Rock River. (Sam Cook photo)

Grant Cook of Minneapolis takes a break with Lucy, a yellow Lab, on the Sucker River. (Sam Cook photo)
Water rushes beneath a layer of ice on the Sucker River. (Sam Cook photo)
A cedar tree along the Split Rock River holds a piece of rhyolite in its trunk. (Sam Cook photo)