State Park Information
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
  4 Stars (5 Ratings)
  3755 Split Rock Lighthouse Road
      Two Harbors, Minnesota 55616
  United States
  (218) 226-6377
  Unknown
Description

This park is situated on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Perhaps best known for its historic lighthouse, this park offers numerous recreational opportunities. Visitors can cart-in their supplies to pristine campsites along Lake Superior, or enjoy drive-in sites with electricity in the Shipwreck Creek Campground.

Scenic trails along the lake link up to the spectacular Superior Hiking Trail. Anglers cast their lines for lake trout, salmon, and brown trout. And the rocky beach is perfect for skipping stones into Lake Superior.

Wildlife
Wildlife in the park includes a variety of small songbirds, herring gulls and common loons. Peregrine falcons have been spotted on their migration along the North Shore. Visitors are also treated to sightings of white-tailed deer, moose, black bear, raccoon, beaver, snowshoe hare, red fox, bobcat and lynx.

History
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park has a rich and varied history. From 1899 to 1906, the Merrill and Ring Lumber Company logged most of the original Norway and white pine from the area. During peak years, the company operated a short railroad up the river. Pilings from old wharf and dam can still be seen jutting out of the water at the mouth of the Split Rock River. In 1905, a punishing November gale (the kind Lake Superior is famous for), claimed the Edenborn and the Madiera (a barge the Edenborn was towing) as well as five other ships, within a dozen miles of the Split Rock River. The tragic sinking of these ships fueled the demand for a lighthouse. The fog signal building and lighthouse were completed in 1909 and commissioned one year later. For 59 years, the keepers at Split Rock warned ships away from the rock and treacherous North Shore with its 370,000-candlepower beacon. In 1971, the federal government deeded the lighthouse station to the State of Minnesota to be operated as a historic site. In 1976, the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) assumed operation of the site which included one of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States.

Geology
The magnificent cliffs upon which the lighthouse is built are masses of anorthosite, an unusual igneous rock (formed from the molten state) that is made of the light-colored mineral plagioclase. Huge blocks of this rock were carried up from deep below the surface in molten diabase, a dark-colored rock which makes many of the hills and cliffs in the area, about 1.1 billion years ago. Dark basalt lava flows, formed at the same time, form much of the Park’s bedrock. Much later, starting about 2 million years ago, a series of glaciers scraped across the landscape, scouring out the Lake Superior basin and molding the hills and valleys of the uplands. Finally, water filled the now ice-free basin, and streams eroded the dramatic river valleys.

Landscape
Hiking trails in the park connect with the magnificent Superior Hiking Trail. This trail parallels much of the Lake Superior coastline and passes by scenic waterfalls. Trails wind through beautiful stands of birch, spruce, fir, and ash trees. The winter landscape is also spectacular adding to the popularity of the cross-country ski trails.

Park Stats
Campgrounds: 2 Campsites: 66
Photos: 40 Reviews: 5
Views: 175 Likes: 0
   

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   Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Reviews


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Jeff P.
3 Star Rating3.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
As far as a campground goes, Split Rock has some pluses and minuses depending on what you're looking for. One plus is that it's right in the prime tourism spots being right next to the lighthouse, and only about 7 minutes from Gooseberry Falls. It also has some sites with incredible views such as 13, 18, 19, and 20. On the other hand sites like 1, 2, 3, 4, and 11 have a trail going right by your site and the view isn't that great. The main attraction to this park is the lighthouse which you literally can't see unless you pay the $8 admission, or see it from far away from a lookout spot miles away. I believe Split Rock was MN's first cart-in campground. It seems to have limited activities and facilities which may not interest family campers, but it should be appealing to campers looking for more of a scenic / hiking experience.
Brian P.
5 Star Rating5.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
We stopped and toured the light house while soaking in a tour of fall colors. I thought the tour was great. I've always been interested in going to the top of a lighthouse to see how they work and the view; which was as cool as expected. They also had interpreters dressed to the period and one of the homes open to tour; also decorated to the 1920's era to demonstrate how life was while this station was in operation. Very interesting and worth the tour fee.
Unknown
5 Star Rating5.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
This was the best camp ground we stayed at. Large camp site, padded area for your tent, clean, has lock box for food, and awsome views. The camp sites are spaced apart enough so you are not on top of each other.
Unknown
4 Star Rating4.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
Unknown
3 Star Rating3.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
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   Shipwreck Creek campground
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