Last week at the Duluth Grill, I picked up the latest issue of Northern Wilds, a free newspaper with stories about the North Shore of Lake Superior. One of the stories was an article about grouse hunting in the Lake County Demonstration Forest, and the writer made it sound like an interesting place for a hike. This morning being a beautiful one, Noelle, Parker, and myself headed up the North Shore to Two Harbors to pay the Demonstration Forest a visit.
Once we made it to Two Harbors we headed north on County Highway 2 for a bit before we twisted and turned our way to the Drummond Grade and the forest. The trail-head area was nice, with toilets and a fire pit area, but we couldn't quite figure out where the Old Camp/Pepperlin Trail started. We followed an old gravel road for a bit to gravel pit and then figured out our bearings. Soon we had made our way to the homestead of the Pepperlin Family. The cabin there, now rotting into the ground, was built in the 1930 out of timbers Mr. Pepperlin salvaged from old railroad lines. It was in pretty bad shape but it was interesting to poke around a bit and look for relics.
From the homestead cabin we traveled further on through a large stand of aspen trees, crossed another gravel road, and then made our way to the Knife River which our trail paralleled for a short time.
Eventually we found our way back to the parking lot, but we wanted to see the parts of the Old Camp trail that we missed and so we looked for the start of the trail again and this time we were successful. The trail led through an abandoned camp of the Duluth and Iron Range Railroad. Not much remained, but I did find and old dump site where there was some rusting metal and broken glass and pottery.
From the camp site the trail led to a fairly large wetland and then returned us to the gravel pit where we started our hike on trails.
We followed the road back to the parking lot.
After returning to the car, we drove to Two Harbors where we got lunch and gasoline. We then headed back to Duluth via the Scenic North Shore Highway instead of the Expressway. We stopped at Stony Point where we looked for agates and explored a bit. Parker was once again mesmerized by the small waves gurgling in the rock crevices.