A Photographers Guide to the North Shore

By Craig
Capture the many moods of Lake Superior and the North Shore!
February Milky Way – Dennis O’Hara

Whether you are a novice or a seasoned pro, the North Shore of Lake Superior is a great place to nurture your inner shutterbug. There are countless spots to take memorable photographs of the iconic landmarks, natural wonders, and candid moments that make the area a special place for visitors. 

Like a lucky fishing hole, a photographer’s favorite spot to capture images is often a secret. We have put together a list of a few of our favorite places on the North Shore. Photography on the North Shore is a year-round pursuit. By visiting during different seasons and at different times of day, photographers can take countless new photos from familiar locations. 

Knife River Fisherman at Sunrise – Dennis O’Hara

We hope these suggestions will get you thinking of your favorite places to visit on the North Shore to take in the dramatic beauty of the area. Send us a note on our social media channels to share your favorite spots to take photos using the hashtag #ChoseYourOdyssey

Just south of Two Harbors, and only three miles from Larsmont Cottages, is the crescent-shaped Knife River Beach. Across the water from the center of the crescent is a small patch of rock called Knife Island. Looking west, you can look up a narrow path of water into Knife River Harbor. During the summer, sailboats are carefully navigating out the narrow, straight to open water. 

An excellent spot to explore Two Harbors is the beaches near the Two Harbors Lighthouse. There is a short hiking trail around the lighthouse that offers magnificent views of the lakeshore and rock outcroppings. A few miles north of town is Flood Bay Beach, a serene location to capture images of Lake Superior. 

Two Harbors Sunset – Dennis O’Hara

Gooseberry State Park is a favorite with North Shore visitors. We like the Upper and Middle Gooseberry Falls for photos. The paved trails make for easy walking and are wheelchair accessible. Make sure to stop at Picnic Flow, and then it is a short walk to the shoreline for great spots to take photos of rock outcroppings. There are often small pools of water that collect near the beach, a great place to find tadpoles and frogs. From this lava flow outcropping, you can see all the way to the iconic Split Rock Lighthouse. 

Springtime at Gooseberry Falls – Dennis O’Hara

A few miles north the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. There is a beach below the lighthouse that provides excellent views of the landmark. 

Split Rock Silhouette – Dennis O’Hara

In Beaver Bay, there is a wayside parking area that is a short walk to a bridge over the Beaver River. On the other side is an ideal spot to capture views of the Upper Gooseberry Falls and the mouth of the Gooseberry River. Just outside of Silver Bay is Black Beach, and the Black Beach Park. The secluded area is a favorite of locals for picnicking and relaxing by the water.  

Early Fall at Black Beach – John Keefover

Palisade Head at Tettegouche State Park is a popular spot for photographers. To avoid some of the crowds, drive to the top of the road, you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views of Lake Superior. 

Fall Colors at Palisade Head – John Keefover

At Taconite Harbor, there is parking access to a new viewing platform with beautiful vistas of boats coming in and out of the harbor and a collection of wildlife on a nearby island. Just outside of the town of Schroder is Father Baraga’s Cross, an out of the way historical marker. 

At Temperance River State Park, we like the picnic area for photos and walk on a secluded beach. North of Lutsen is the Cascade River State Park. Head to the Cascade River Lower Loop Trail for an excellent vantage point to photograph several of the park’s waterfalls. There is also a picturesque beach at the Cut Face Wayside.

Lower Cascade Falls – Dennis O’Hara

Grand Marais has no shortage of beautiful places to take photos. We like the beach in the Recreation Area. North of Grand Marais is the Paradise Beach just past the Kadunce River State Park.

Each spot on this list is easily accessible from the Odyssey Family of Resorts. Most are right off Highway 61 and a short walk from designated parking. 

Dennis O’Hara
Used with permission.
John Keefover
Used with permission.
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