Chik-Wauk Nature Trail

Superior National Forest, Minnesota

Trip Date: Saturday, June 30th, 2018
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 7th, 2018
By Ricky Holzer

Hike Information

Rating ★★★★☆(4/5)
Overall Difficulty Easy
Navigation Difficulty     Easy
Distance 0.35 miles roundtrip
Time 30 minutes
Terrain A few hills
Best Seasons All
Family Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes
Accessible No

Highlights

Hike Walkthrough

This is a quick, easy hike and a great way to start your day, especially if you spent the night camping at nearby Trail's End (a most excellent campground that I highly recommend). With multiple nice views of lakes and signs labeling the plants along the trail, you will become well acquainted with the lovely nature located on the Gunflint. There's also a nature center and museum to visit -- surprisingly I was up so early on a Saturday that neither were open yet, so I can't attest to their quality. All of the above reasons make this the perfect place for the whole family.

The trail is called Rubaboo Road, named for the porridge eaten by the Voyageurs. It starts near the covered picnic area (which was still under construction when I visited, but should be brand new when you visit!) and is labeled in purple on the official map linked at the bottom of the page. The path hugs Saganaga Lake at first, with nice views like pictured below.

This view of Saganaga Lake greets you almost immediately after starting on the trail

This view of Saganaga Lake greets you almost immediately after starting on the trail

The real highlight of this trail is the wild blueberries and raspberries growing throughout during July and August, see the pictures below. Normally, I wouldn't eat a random berry from the side of the trail just because it looks like something I'd find at the store, but these were expertly labeled with an official sign so I could gobble worry free. Even better, after seeing them here I was able to find more bushes on trails elsewhere along the Gunflint later in the day. Who knew berries were so common here?
I ate way too many of these wild blueberries while on the trail

I ate way too many of these wild blueberries while on the trail

Wild raspberries grow here too!

Wild raspberries grow here too!

The trail forks ahead, and you can turn left to reach Moose Pond Point, shown in the first picture below. Not only is the view beautiful, there are more blueberries at the top of the (small) hill! Turn around once you're done at Moose Point Point and head straight and then right to reach Algoman Overlook, a rocky spot on the south side of Saganaga Lake shown in the second picture below.
The view from Moose Pond Point, overlooking (obviously) Moose Pond

The view from Moose Pond Point, overlooking (obviously) Moose Pond

The view of Saganaga Lake from Algoman Overlook

The view of Saganaga Lake from Algoman Overlook

Retrace your steps to return to the parking lot -- the remainder of the trail beyond Algoman Overlook heads back to the road and doesn't have any worthwhile scenery. Don't forget to grab some more blueberries on your way out, and stop by the nature center before you leave. Let me know what you think in the comments section below, and be sure to use #nocoastbestcoast on Twitter and Instagram after your trip!

Important Information

Dogs are allowed on leash. This is an excellent place for children to hike thanks to the easy trails, wild blueberries to pick in July and August, and museum and nature center to visit before or after your hike. This particular hike is not accessible, but the boardwalk that connects to this trail is ADA accessible (the website states there is another accessible trail, but it isn't identified on the official map linked at the bottom of the page). While the museum and nature center are only open from Memorial Day to the third Sunday of October, you can access the hiking trails year round and outside of building hours. I hiked before the museum opened on a Saturday morning and had the trail completely to myself, but I would guess there are slightly more people around once the museum is open.

Directions

From Grand Marais, drive up the Gunflint Trail (Cook County Highway 12) for about 55 miles, just about to Trail's End. Turn right on Moose Pond Drive (Cook County Highway 81) and look for the entrance gate for the Chik-Wauk Museum on the right.

Google Maps Directions

Parking, Fees, and Facilities

Parking is free! There is a museum and nature center nearby with flush toilets and vending machines; note that you will have to pay a small admission fee to view the exhibits, but you can hike for free.

External Links

Nearby Hikes

Magnetic Rock

Superior National Forest, Minnesota
★★★★★(5/5)

Caribou Rock Trail to Rose Falls

Superior National Forest, Minnesota
★★★★★(5/5)

Honeymoon Bluff

Superior National Forest, Minnesota
★★★★★(5/5)

Eagle Mountain (Minnesota State Highpoint)

Superior National Forest, Minnesota
★★★★★(5/5)

Comments