Saturday found our little pack heading up the North Shore for the last organized hike of 2011!
From the Superior Hiking Trail website:
Caribou River Wayside to Cook Co Rd 1
Morning temps started at about 27* and by the time we were on the trail it was probably about 40*. As we hiked up the Cascade River Gorge, layers were quickly shed and as long as you kept moving - which is not a problem on the trail - you stayed warm. Lunch for our little pack was at Alfred's Pond where the doggies could get a drink while we ate.
This segment of trail is one of the easier sections. The trail starts out with a gentle climb (gentle for the SHT, then levels off and follows the ridge for about 6 miles. Through the dying birch stand you can see Lake Superior and - on a good day - the Apostle Islands of Wisconsin in the far distance. The trail leaves the birch stand and makes its way through a blaze of golds, reds and oranges that define sugar maples in the fall. Then it drops down to Sugar Loaf Pond, which this year was mostly just a cattail swamp. The next notable feature on the landscape is Alfred's Pond, a deep dark pond surrounded by a floating bog. Very cool. And then the last couple of miles the trail winds through birch and maple stands before dropping back down into the a small river gorge and meeting up with the trail's parking lot.