This is a grand loop hike although at 7.8 miles it is fairly long. If you don’t mind the distance there is a ton to see from sandstones, thomsonite, deltas, and pahoehoe lavas to white pine, yellow birch, glorious fall colors, rock cedars, 96 steps, and, in the spring, lots of wildflowers. Most of all, however, this hike is centered on the spirited Cascade River–both its powerful past and busy present. From the Cascade River wayside the sound of Superior’s wild waves, thundering hard against the rocky shore, is a vivid and scary reminder of why this body of water is much more like an ocean than a lake.
The constant pounding, a harsh cacophony of drums, cymbals, and horns, is part of the eternal battle between land and water; a battle water always wins. This morning the wind is blowing steadily inland pushing the grey, patchy clouds away from us at warp speed. The slanting rain that had fallen most of the morning has stopped, and it looks like it is going to clear up and be a nice hiking day after all–about 60 degrees, breezy, and no bugs.
© Ron Morton and Judy Gibbs/RockFlower Press. All Rights Reserved.