Our last stop of the weekend was at Jay Cooke State Park, south of Duluth just off I-35, which surrounds the Saint Louis River. (We visited this park last year, too.) Although the weather continued to be lousy, (i.e., cold and drizzly,) we tried not to let it stop us! We donned our boots and rain jackets and tried for one last hike.
The first thing you do once you pass through the building and into the park is walk across a large, slightly wobbly bridge, which is named the "swinging bridge." The rocks along the banks of the river are jutty and covered with lichen and scrubby plants:
As you walk out on to the swinging bridge, breathtaking views of the rapids are everywhere!
After we crossed the bridge, we decided to wander upriver for a piece. Dan had to stop and skip stones, of course.
These exposed cedar roots are so gnarly!
After wandering upriver, we picked our way uphill to look for a less muddy, less challenging trail. We paused once more to check out the view of the river, before heading in. (You can make out the swinging bridge in the far distance in this photo.)
For the last hike of our trip, we followed this beautiful, simple trail through the woods, until we looped back to the swinging bridge. It was peaceful and quiet, sopping wet, but an easy hike -- just what we needed to close our trip. Thoreau would have been proud.
After passing back over the Saint Louis river on the swinging bridge, we packed into the car and headed for home. We were sad our vacation was over, but are looking forward to this coming weekend's day-long bike trip!! (AND, I'm looking forward to my birthday celebration, too!)
Also, now that we have the State Park sticker on Dan's car, that will give us that much more of an excuse to get out there and explore! We're thinking ahead to camping and day-hike trips this summer and into the fall. Who knows where we'll end up next?