By now, you’ve figured out that Sam and I enjoy a good hike. We’ve hiked many trails throughout Minnesota and if you were to ask us our favorite, we’d say Eagle Mountain (so far). It is the highest peak in Minnesota at 2301 feet high and nestled within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, which is right outside Grand Marais. If you are unfamiliar with the Boundary Waters, it is a wilderness reservation that covers quite a bit of the Minnesota/Canadian Border and requires a permit to enter which are provided at the entrance. Here you can camp, fish, hike, and canoe but it’s all rustic, which means no electricity and no running water.
We spent our honeymoon in Grand Marais which was filled with hiking adventures including this one. We were out to breakfast one morning and it was recommended by one of the locals to check it out. Sam had it set in his mind and I knew it was going to happen. We went on the most perfect day at the most perfect time! When we entered the trailhead, we were concerned about the number cars parked and we thought it might be too crowded. But we did it anyway and were so glad for it. If you’re looking for an easy stroll-through-the-woods kind of hike, this is not for you. Since it is considered a wilderness trail, the trail is mostly narrow. I would categorize this trail for more of an intermediate level as it has a lot of obstacles such as exposed roots that are very challenging at times. Sam and I made the mistake of taking this trail with our running shoes on, but we didn’t have anything better with us. By the end of our time, our feet were in pain, but we didn’t regret anything.
The trail is a seven-mile trek round trip so expect a good workout and to be exhausted by the end of the day. It took us about 4 hours to hike and by the end of it we were very tired. The start of the trail was heavy trees and as you enter the Boundary Waters, it becomes more boggy and some foot bridges to cross. It’s so beautiful and picturesque with the moss-covered rocks and fallen trees giving it the fairytale look you only read about in books. It’s very peaceful and quiet that all you want to do is stop for a minute and gaze at the scenery. It smelled of pine trees and dirt mixed with the crispness of fall. It was so good to breathe in the fresh air. Once you reach Whale Lake, you can see the mountain and you can feel how close you truly are. The scenery is absolutely amazing. The climb up the mountain is the last 30 minutes of the hike. While hiking, you feel as though it will never end. This is the most rugged part of the trail, there are no stairs so you are literally climbing up various boulders.
We finally reached the top and the view was spectacular. Gold and green, hills and sky as far as the eye could see. It was the perfect time of day for us to hike this trail as people were leaving. We also arrived when the sun was just starting to turn into that beautiful gold sunshine color. All you could do is stare at the scenery and thank God for all that he has done and all that he has created. This was the perfect experience for us during our honeymoon as we had the place to ourselves. We couldn’t ask for a better time.
The only thing we regret about the hike is not wearing the proper footwear. The next day my feet were pretty sore as the terrain we were walking through was pretty rough. We have since gotten proper hiking boots and always make sure to have those with us. With every hike we are on, we always make sure to have enough water and food to keep us going as well.
Do you enjoy hiking? Where have you hiked recently?