MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Swimming on the North Shore, but not in Lake Superior

Where is there a good place to swim outdoors on the North Shore that's not Lake Superior? (Water's way too cold!!) - Ev, Lakeville, Minn.

There are quite a lot of places to swim along the North Shore. Many of them are on rivers, which are tempting on a hot day, but you'll have to be careful  many people have slipped on rocks, been carried away and drowned, especially in the Temperance River.

Near Tofte, The U.S. Forest services lists 10 swimming lakes in the Tofte Ranger District around Sawbill Road/County Road 2. Sawbill Lake is one of them, and also an entry point to Boundary Waters lakes.

Near Grand Marais, Devil Track Resort has a beach on Devil Track Lake.

Near Silver Bay and Tettegouche State Park, Lax Lake Resort has a beach on Lax Lake.

If you're lucky enough to get one of Tettegouche's Mic Mac cabins on Mic Mac Lake, you'll have a lovely place to swim. Cabin B is right on the lake. (You don't need to rent a cabin to swim, but it's a 1-mile walk.)

The park also rents out a rather luxurious cabin at the top of Illgen Falls on the other side of the park. People who rent it on a hot day will be entertained by a corps of young cliff divers practically at their steps, but it's much safer to walk upstream to a swimming hole there.

In Duluth, there are more cliff jumpers at the Deeps, along Amity Creek on Seven Bridges Road, on the east end of Skyline Parkway. Watch, but don't join; there are plenty of places to swim and wade. Twin Ponds, at the parkway's midpoint near Enger Tower, is known for being warm.

When the wind blows in the right direction, Lake Superior can be tolerable, and you can always wear a wetsuit. Look for a shallow cove for maximum warmth.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency lists beaches included in its Beach Monitoring Program. For more, see Beaches of the North Shore.

Last updated on July 27, 2010