Oberg Mountain

Superior National Forest, Minnesota

Trip Date: Sunday, July 1st, 2018
Last Updated: Thursday, August 30th, 2018
By Ricky Holzer

Hike Information

Rating ★★★★★(5/5)
Overall Difficulty Easy
Navigation Difficulty     Easy
Distance 2.3 miles roundtrip
Time 1 hour
Terrain Hilly
Best Seasons All
Family Friendly No
Dog Friendly Yes
Accessible No

Highlights

Hike Walkthrough

Oberg Mountain is a must stop on any journey up the North Shore of Lake Superior. In just over two miles with a very minimal amount of uphill, you'll be rewarded with so many Oberg-looks (hah overlooks) that you'll grow tired of stopping and wish you could just keep hiking for once. Of the two mountains accessed from this parking lot -- the other being LaVeaux Mountain -- Oberg Mountain is definitely easier, has more viewpoints, and is more family friendly. This is the kind of trail you use to introduce your friends to hiking; it's just challenging enough that you feel like you've had a bit of a workout and the views remind you why you went into the outdoors in the first place.

From the parking lot, cross the main road to reach the trailhead on the other side. The trail climbs gradually uphill, and shortly you'll reach a fork in the trail. Turn right as instructed by the signs to continue ascending Oberg Mountain. This uphill portion isn't very long and you'll quickly reach the top, where the trail forms a loop. You can choose to go either direction, but I recommend turning left and doing the loop clockwise -- this gets the least scenic part out of the way first and saves the best views for the end (or what I presume would be good views if the clouds didn't block them).

There will be glimpses of the view as you hike around the north side of the mountain, but you'll have to wait until you reach the first overlook for the real views. There is a wooden railing at this overlook, and hopefully you'll have a better view than my grey cloud pictured below.

I assure you, the view here is amazing on a clear day

I assure you, the view here is amazing on a clear day

Soon after, you'll reach another overlook, this one without railings as shown in the first picture below. The solid rock ground means you'll have an unobstructed view. There's a picnic table here too for you to enjoy some scenery while you eat a snack or even a full-blown meal, see the second picture below.
A rocky overlook (probably) facing Lake Superior

A rocky overlook (probably) facing Lake Superior

Enjoy a scenic snack from this picnic table atop Oberg Mountain

Enjoy a scenic snack from this picnic table atop Oberg Mountain

The trail dips into the forest for a bit after passing the overlooks. While the scenery can't compare to the views of Lake Superior you've enjoyed (unless it's as foggy and cloudy as when I went), the meandering trail through the trees is fun with a few boards to cross especially wet and muddy areas. Hiking on wooden planks like the ones pictured below is one of my favorite things about hikes in the Midwest -- there isn't much water where I grew up out west, so there's no reason to build bridges or boardwalks.
Wooden planks on the quiet forest trail

Wooden planks on the quiet forest trail

After popping out of the forest, you'll be treated to another slew of overlooks. I can't remember exactly how many overlooks there were, but I know I didn't photograph all of them and by the end I was getting tired of stopping and hoping for the clouds to clear. One of the overlooks has a wooden bench for you to rest and enjoy the view, as shown in the first picture below. There's another overlook soon after, shown in the second picture below (probably the closest I got to a scenic view on this hike).
Rest up on this bench before hiking to even more overlooks

Rest up on this bench before hiking to even more overlooks

One last overlook on Oberg Mountain before hiking down

One last overlook on Oberg Mountain before hiking down

The loop will end where you started, and you will turn and take the trail downhill back to the parking lot. Stay left at the intersection ahead (you'll remember you turned here earlier), and then your hike will soon be over. Despite my foggy pictures, I highly recommend doing this hike; there's so much to see in such a short distance and the climb is easy enough for almost anyone to do! If you have more energy or need a hike idea for your drive back after a trip up the North Shore, check out LaVeaux Mountain or Carlton Peak, two other nearby scenic mountains very similar to Oberg Mountain. Let me know what you think in the comments section below, and be sure to use #nocoastbestcoast on Twitter and Instagram!

Important Information

Dogs are allowed on leash. This is an excellent family friendly hike, but be sure to watch children closely at the top near the edges. Unlike the hike to LaVeaux Mountain that starts from the same parking lot, the top of Oberg Mountain has wooden railings near the most precarious edges. You can hike this trail in all four seasons; its close proximity to the highway and the fact that it is part of the Superior Hiking Trail means it should be readily accessible even when it snows. Despite the rain on the Sunday morning I did this hike, there were still a few people out, so I imagine there will be many more if you go on a nice day.

Directions

From Duluth, take Minnesota Highway 61 north. After passing Temperance River State Park and Tofte, turn left on Onion River Road (County Highway 336). Turn left into the trailhead parking area ahead.

Google Maps Directions

Parking, Fees, and Facilities

Parking is free! There are pit toilets and a map kiosk in the parking lot.

External Links

Nearby Hikes

LaVeaux Mountain

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

Carlton Peak

Superior National Forest, Minnesota
★★★★☆(4/5)

Hiking Club Loop

Temperance River State Park, Minnesota
★★★★★(5/5)

Eagle Mountain (Minnesota State Highpoint)

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

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