Another Day of Falls

We were down to our last week in the Duluth area, and we still hadn’t done all the sightseeing that we had planned. We had to set some priorities. We chose to visit Pattison State Park and Amnicon Falls State Park because they were both about 30 miles from us on the Wisconsin side of the harbor, and we could visit both places in one day.

Our first stop was Pattison State Park.

As the Black River passes through this park, it drops 31 feet over Little Manitou Falls, then forms Interfalls Lake, and continues on until it reaches Big Manitou Falls. Here are some pictures of Little Manitou Falls.

Big Manitou Falls’ vertical drop is 165 feet and is the highest in Wisconsin and the fourth highest east of the Rocky Mountains. Here are some pictures of Big Manitou Falls.

We thought both falls were spectacular! The brownish color of the water comes from the tannin leached from the decaying leaves and roots of vegetation along the river’s path. Black River meanders another five miles then joins the Nemadji River for the final ten mile journey to Lake Superior.

Next we drove over to Amnicon Falls State Park.

The Amnicon River flows through the park. It has produced one of the most beautiful series of waterfalls and cascades in all of the Midwest.

In the heart of the park the river separates into two streams and plunges over three waterfalls of nearly 30 feet each. During good water flow (particularly in the spring) the Amincon fills yet another channel and produces a fourth Falls (not the day we were there though 😔).

In less than two miles through the park, the river falls 180 feet as it tumbles over the rocky escarpment of the Douglas Fault. The water has the same brownish tint as the Black River because of decaying vegetation and tannic acid.

There is also a covered bridge across the river that’s pretty cool. Again, the perfect weather and the beauty of the falls and rapids made the time we spent there wonderfully relaxing.

Well, another adventure is “in the books” and posted on the blog!

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”


Vista Fleet

Last Tuesday we went down to the harbor in Duluth and took the Vista Fleet Harbor and Lake Superior Tour.  Since it was a Tuesday, senior citizens got the Grand Sightseeing Tour (1 hr. 45 min.) for only $5.00 (regularly $25.00)!  So, if you are ever in Duluth and want to tour Lake Superior and the harbor, go on a Tuesday if you are a senior citizen!

Our tour guide on the boat was quite knowledgeable.  She gave us A LOT of information about Duluth, the harbor and Superior, WI.  I really wished I would have written down this information (Duluth is on the north side of the harbor and Superior, WI, is on the south side of the harbor)!  The things she told us were very interesting, but now I can’t remember most of them.  😢  I will try share what I DO remember.

As we pulled away from the dock, we saw this HUGE ship leaving the harbor.  It was headed for the “draw bridge” and the open waters of Lake Superior.



This draw bridge is unusual because it does not split in the middle with each side raising upwards for ships to go through. Instead, the whole bottom portion is raised with a system of pulleys and motors.  It has an interesting history (you can Google it), and it’s fascinating to watch.

Here you can see pictures of the bridge at different levels, and as our boat goes under it.


First we took a short tour out on Lake Superior and viewed portions of Duluth.  Unfortunately it was a very cloudy day, however, fortunately it didn’t rain on us the whole hour and forty-five minute cruise.  I can’t say the same for the cruise that took off after our cruise.

Here are some of the best pictures I took 😊 along with a caption IF I remembered any of the information shared by the tour guide.  😬


View of downtown Duluth from out on Lake Superior.


Another view of downtown Duluth. Duluth is built on a steep hill on the north shore of Lake Superior. Because of the hill, Duluth is approximately one mile wide, but is about 26 miles in length!


Leif Erickson Park along the shores of Duluth.


Looking back towards the harbor and the draw bridge from out on Lake Superior.


The dome structure is the Northland Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Duluth Lakewalk & Boardwalk.


Another photo of downtown Duluth. Notice the two streets going straight up the steep hillside. We learned that the streets in downtown Duluth are heated with steam during the winters. With that steep hillside running the full length of the downtown area, I would say that is a necessity!



There were so many ships in the harbor. Our tour guide told us about the history, age, and purpose of many of them. Unfortunately, since I did not write the information down, I don’t remember which tidbits of information went with each ship.


This ship was being loaded with grain. It was almost full and scheduled to leave the harbor  later that evening. Before they started loading the grain, you could see a second orange stripe below the name of the ship. The weight of the grain made that stripe go below the water.


This a picture of the bridge supports of the newest bridge over the harbor between Duluth, MN, and Superior, WI. Those large brown circle structures were put in around each support to protect the bridge in case one of the large ships accidentally veered off course. The ship would hit the brown structures before ever hitting the bridge supports. Pretty smart idea!!


The harbor channels are drudged every year to keep the sediments from building up. I wish I could remember the depth the channel must be – I THINK it’s around 26-28 feet deep.


There are 3 U.S. Coast Guard boats in this picture. The largest (obvious one in the foreground) is the size of a seaworthy coast guard ship. The other two are the MUCH smaller two boats behind the large ship.



Another Duluth park (can’t remember the name, though) from the harbor.


Look at those houses atop the hillside behind the buildings in downtown Duluth! Can you imagine the beautiful view they have of the harbor and Lake Superior?


This is the Great Lakes Aquarium right along the harbor shore. It contains many samples of life in


There are many ship berths and grain bins in the harbor on both the Duluth side and the Superior side.



I really wish I could remember the name of this particular ship and what the tour guide said about It. I think it dates back to the late 1800s. Sorry … 😞



The three small green boats are Duluth’s tugboats. Superior has their own tugboats and they look totally different. Tugboats are kind of expensive (the ships pay the tugboat fee), however, they play a very important role in the safety and smooth running of the harbor.



The bridge in the foreground is the older bridge which was replaced by the larger bridge in the background.



This is a gas station for the large ships. They can pump fuel into two of the large thousand-foot ships at the same time.



A small section of the harbor separated by a breakwater is for personal and pleasure boats owned by individuals.


This picture (and the next one) is of another one of the iron ore loading docks where the iron ore “balls” are loaded in the chutes from the rail cars and then “dropped” in the storage areas of a ship.


Like I said earlier, this Vista Fleet cruise was well worth the money.  Just go on a Tuesday if you are 65 or older and you will get a $25.00 cruise for ONLY $5.00!


So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”


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