Dog-Friendly North Shore Day Trip

Dog-Friendly North Shore Day Trip

What To Bring:

Timeframe: Full Day

Exploring the North Shore with your furry friends can be an exciting adventure for you and your pup! Dogs and humans enjoy hiking the trails, splashing in Lake Superior, and stopping in town, where dogs are welcome to join.

woman hiking with dog on the superior hiking trail

Knife River

Stop at Knife River beach if you’re coming up the shore for the day. It’s a lovely sandy and pebble beach area where you can take a dip or play fetch with Fido. This beach tends not to be overcrowded.

As you pack up and continue up the shore, stop at Russ Kendalls for some smoked salmon and beef jerky, two scrumptious snacks your dog will love, too!

Two Harbors

As you enter Two Harbors on MN-61, take a right-hand turn on 11th Street/Co. 26 and head to Cedar Coffee. The outside seating area is relaxing and dog-friendly. If you’re craving breakfast, we recommend the breakfast burrito or sandwich; both are so tasty!

Optional Stop:

On a hot day (rare, but it happens!), you may want to let your dog take another swim. Head north to Flood Bay Wayside Rest Stop, located just outside Two Harbors, and park alongside the road. Bonus: you’ll find plentiful driftwood and fetching sticks on the beach.

Next, drive north for about 16 miles and pull over to Iona’s Beach and Scientific Area. This beach features some light walking trails which lead to a cove covered in pink rhyolite rocks. We love this beach because it tends not to have large crowds, and there’s plenty of space for your dog to run and play in the water.

man with dog hiking at the section 13 cliffs, superior hiking trail

Silver Bay

After drying off, drive north for about 16 miles to Tettegouche State Park. Pets are welcome at all Minnesota state parks. However, be sure to check for specific rules at each park.

At all Minnesota state parks, pets must always be on a leash. Pets are not allowed inside state park buildings, nor can they be left unattended outside. However, the Tettegouche visitor center has a large patio with a fireplace where you can chill with your dog.

Hike to Shovel Point

Shovel Point makes an excellent place to start when you’re ready to hike the trails. The dog-friendly trail is notable for its lovely Lake Superior views.

From behind the visitor center, take a left to the trailhead. You’ll walk through tall pines along Lake Superior’s rugged shoreline cliffs. Note: There are many wooden stairs and great places to pause and gaze onto the big lake. You can walk out onto a balcony overlooking the lake at the far end of the trail.

shovel point tettegouche state park in autumn

Hike to Two Step Falls and High Falls – 1.5 miles, round trip

The trail to Two-Step Falls and High Falls starts from the back of the Baptism River campground (you’ll see signs, or you can download a trail map on the Tettegouche State Park website).

The spur trail to Two-Step Falls and High Falls isn’t lengthy; however, she’s mighty. Prepare to descend 200 steps to reach the bottom of the falls. The climb back up the steps may seem daunting, but there’s no rush, and it’s definitely worth it.

After a long hike, head back to Two Harbors for R&R and sweet treats. First, stop at the Dairy Queen to grab your dog a pup cup (a cup of vanilla ice cream) and head over to Blackwood’s across the street and sit on the deck with your pup, and grab a bite. Blackwood’s offers a fantastic menu and drink specials.

Before heading back to your hotel or vacation rental, stop by the Two Harbors Dog Park behind the Lake County Arena, and then hit the “Lil Dog Car Wash,” to give your dog a quick bath. Lastly, Castle Danger Brewery is a great spot to stop with your dog. They have a huge deck with plenty of water for your pet.

Where to stay

dog friendly hike to palisade head tettegouche state park

Fortunately, many North Shore vacation rental and lodging properties allow dogs! Below are some of Lake County’s pet-friendly lodging facilities: