Gentle Hikes of Minnesota's North Shore: The Area's Most Scenic Hikes Less Than 3 Miles

Gentle Hikes of Minnesota's North Shore: The Area's Most Scenic Hikes Less Than 3 Miles

Paperback(Second Edition)

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The Minnesota hiking guide for everyone!

Minnesota’s North Shore, from Duluth to the Canadian Border, is renowned for its beauty. Picturesque waterfalls, winding rivers, rocky landscapes, and, of course, Lake Superior attract visitors from across the Midwest. With Gentle Hikes of Minnesota’s North Shore, there’s no need to fill your backpack with gear or plan an overnight camping trip to see the best of this unparalleled region. Authors Ladona Tornabene, Lisa Vogelsang, and Melanie Morgan present the top outings under 3 miles in length. Are you short on time? Did you bring the kids? Does your group come with a range of physical abilities? No problem! With this revised and updated guidebook, you have details about more than 45 short hikes at your fingertips.

Each trail entry includes full-color photos, a map, and the information you want to know: total length, surface type, resting areas, trail highlights, and more. As an added bonus, the book includes details on 15 scenic walks less than a mile long, 18 waysides and scenic locales, and 11 picnic sites. Plus, there are special sections for people traveling in RVs and for people with physical challenges.

Plan the perfect outdoor adventures for your entire family, including small children and seniors. These gentle yet spectacular hikes are inviting for everyone!

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591937289
Publisher: Adventure Publications, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/17/2018
Series: Gentle Hikes
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 338,740
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Ladona Tornabene, Ph.D., MCHES, is an Associate Professor of Public Health Education and Promotion at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). Avid in promoting health via the outdoors, she believes that better health on the inside is supported through access to the outside. This belief has shaped her academic curiosity, leading to numerous conference presentations and to the innovative Gentle Hikes series (MN, WI, MI). Such books aim to empower people of all physical ability levels to access the outdoors by creating a know-before-you-go approach via significant trail detail (e.g. width/surface, number of steps, rock/root ratings, inclines). The books also incorporate research-based info on the health benefits of hiking and of simply being in nature. Another academic curiosity of Ladona’s is the visual arts’ role in promoting health, which led to the development of a photo-based data collection method, and numerous publications/presentations. As a fine-art nature photographer, she shares best spots along the trails for happy-snapping! Furthermore, she uses her photography for philanthropic purposes with her “Picture Your Passion” UMD scholarship fund ( and through the Foundation for Photo/Art in Hospitals ( Her work is represented by Master Framing Gallery in Duluth, MN, and is displayed internationally through the Foundation.

Lisa Vogelsang, Ph.D., has taught at the University of Minnesota Duluth, primarily in Public Health Education and Promotion. She has presented internationally on the importance of green space to health and informs others that the benefits of being in nature extend beyond the hiking. As an avid photographer, her academic interests encompass the health impact of viewing photos of nature, particularly in hospital/healthcare settings. Her photos are displayed locally and internationally through the Foundation for Photo Art in Hospitals, as well as marketed regionally.

A former two-time Olympian in two different sports, Lisa sustained a devastating ankle injury while training. Seven surgeries over 34 years could not remedy the progressive bone spurs and arthritis. To continue hiking, she needed more details about trails before venturing out, which fueled a desire to “make the outdoors accessible to everyone,” and the Gentle Hikes concept was born. While the books can be used by anyone seeking short yet scenic hikes within the Lake Superior region, the amount of detail included may be especially helpful to parents with strollers/young children and people with physical challenges. Since the book’s publication, her ankle replacement has afforded her many miles of hiking!

Melanie Morgan is a Minnesota native who grew up exploring the woods near her family cabin as a child. There she developed a love of the natural world, learning the names of many wildflowers, trees, and animals. Many happy family vacations were spent camping along the North Shore and up the Gunflint Trail, always exploring the great outdoors. Being involved in the hiking and writing of Gentle Hikes seemed like an extension of those good feelings and brought a sense of nostalgia and fond memories. From those early beginnings, Melanie still enjoys a sense of adventure and the love of exploration. She and her husband encourage a love of nature in their children and now their grandchildren. And they continue to hike and explore whenever and wherever they happen to be. Melanie enjoys sewing and quilting, spending time with family and friends, snowshoeing in the quiet winter wonderland, and working with her husband on home projects.

Read an Excerpt

Bayfront Festival Park

Bayfront Park / Duluth, MN

  • Commanding views of the Aerial Lift Bridge and a great boat watching location.
  • Home to several music festivals and events (see Foot Note).
  • Playfront on the Bayfront designed with little ones in mind.

Trailhead Directions:

I-35 North to Lake Avenue South exit, turn right. Take another right at the first intersection (traffic light) onto Railroad Street and follow for 0.5 mile. After passing under Harbor Drive, look left for the entrance to the parking lot. Trailhead begins near playground area. Parking fees may apply during events, but parking is free for up to 2 hours for Playfront Park use only. For helpful parking info, visit


Duluth Parks and Recreation: 218-730-4300 or 

Total Trail Length, Surface, & Width:

0.5 mile; asphalt, brick, and concrete; average 8–15' wide.

Inclines & Alerts:

No inclines. This is a multiuse, non-motorized path. During special events, other regulations may apply. Trail is not plowed during snow season. In addition, no smoking is allowed at Bayfront Festival Park or in the parking areas.

Trailhead Facilities & Fees:

Seasonal flush toilets and water fountain. No parking fees, except during special events.

Mileage & Description:

0.0 - Trailhead begins on asphalt near the Playfront, then changes to a herringbone-pattern brick as you enter Bayfront Festival Park. Directly ahead is the welcoming artistic arch framing the Bayfront stage, a work of art in and of itself! 

0.1 - Turn left and begin walking toward the harbor on asphalt path. In 400', you will arrive at an intersection with another part of the Lakewalk entering from the left. Turn right, choosing either the asphalt or the concrete walkway; both run parallel and lead to the same place.

0.2 - Stroll out to the deck overlooking the Duluth Harbor for a commanding view of the Aerial Lift Bridge. This is also a great place for boat watching. Take some time to read the informational display about the slip’s history. This area is also a popular kayaking and sailing location as well as the summer home to many species of waterfowl. Geese are especially prevalent here.

0.3 - Continue walking the asphalt pathway along the back of the Bayfront stage. The path does continue over to the Silos Restaurant and Pier B Resort, but to complete this hike, remain on the path until you come full-circle to the brick surface and Playfront again.

0.5 - Trailhead and parking area. 

Foot Note:

Bayfront Festival Park hosts an array of activities, including concerts and festivals ( In winter, the park houses an outdoor ice rink and a holiday favorite—the Bentleyville “Tour of Lights” (

Table of Contents


Safety and What to Bring

Authors’ Corner

Sample Pages

The Trails

  • How to Use This Section
  • Duluth to Two Harbors
  • Beyond Two Harbors to Little Marais
  • Beyond Little Marais to Grand Marais
  • Beyond Grand Marais to the Canadian Border


  • Duluth to Two Harbors
  • Beyond Two Harbors to Little Marais
  • Beyond Little Marais to Grand Marais


  • Duluth to Two Harbors
  • Beyond Two Harbors to Little Marais
  • Beyond Little Marais to Grand Marais
  • Beyond Grand Marais to the Canadian Border


  • Duluth to Two Harbors
  • Beyond Two Harbors to Little Marais
  • Beyond Little Marais to Grand Marais
  • Beyond Grand Marais to the Canadian Border

Hiking for Health

Health Is More Than Just the Physical

For Travelers with Specific Needs

For Our Readers Traveling in RVs

Recommended Reading and Resources

About the Trails and Those Who Host Them

Technical Details




About the Authors

Customer Reviews