MN Nice Trail Mix + The Top 8 North Shore Day Hikes

MN Nice Trail Mix

Even if you’re not Minnesotan, this paleo-approved MN Nice Trail Mix is sure to call you back, time and time again.

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I’m not sure how many of you are aware of this, but one of my absolute favorite things to do is get away, to explore new places, to step away from the chaos of everyday life and to just unplug from the world for a few days. Some of my favorite places I’ve experienced in life thus far are probably Crater Lake in Oregon, Avenue of the Giants in northern California, NYC and the Dominican Republic. And while 2 weeks road trips and 5 night stays at an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean are totally amazing places to unplug and experience a lot of new things, life doesn’t always allow for a vacation that consumes that much time and/or money.

In both knowing that these exciting adventures are what Austin {the bf} and I crave most in life and realizing that there is only a certain budget {both time and monetary} that we can dedicate to travels each year, we’ve found a way to have the best of both worlds. Generally, in a years time we go 1 or 2 new places, and for the rest of the year, we plan vacations right here in our very own Minnesota.

Every year for the entirety of our relationship we have packed our car to the brim with ALL of the essentials and headed to the North Shore at least once a summer {usually twice}. To say we love it up there is a slight understatement. The peacefulness, the escape from the roar of traffic, the waves crashing, the brisk air, the forests, the views, the ability to step away and really appreciate life… the north shore is our place, our home away from home. At only 4 hours from Minneapolis, the distance is no factor and part of what keeps us going back time and time again.  

We wear flannels, we sleep in tents, we smell like campfire all weekend long and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Every time we go,  we discover new paths to hike and new views to take in. I feel like even if we went every single weekend, there would still be uncharted territory. but over the 4 years we have landed upon some pretty neat places and this will at least give you a starting point for whenever you decide to venture north in MN.

Although we’re just scratching the surface, we have found some amazing and in my opinion Must-Do hikes, so I thought I’d change up the pace a bit and share them today! Because if you’re going to eat trail mix {read on} you might as well be hiking through nature like the badass you really are.

Define Fettle’s Top North Shore Day Hikes {Thus Far}

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Mt. Josephine: Head north on Hwy 61. Keep going and going and going. This gem is located in Grand Portage at the very tip of MN along Lake Superior. The hike to the top of the MN ‘mountain’ is only about 2.5 miles, but the sudden gain of 600ft of elevation will have your bootay talkin’! Once at the top you’re graced with a view of Canadian forests to your left and the largest body of fresh water in MN to your right. Not much tops this outstanding view--it is absolutely worth the drive.

Sugarloaf Cove: Just south of the campground we stay at regularly {Lambs Resort} this is one of our newest discoveries and also one of my favorites. A short hike opens to the beauty of the lake waves crashing with some of the most picturesque scenery on the whole shore. Perfect for sunrise, sunset or late night galaxy shots.

Cascade River State Park: This park lies between Lutsen and Grand Marais. We visited for the first time this past spring. The majestic falls are right off of the highway, but if you continue on you will find yourself at one of the best lookouts gazing over endless miles of trees and Lake Superior shoreline. The full hike is around 7.5miles and moderately challenging, so you may want to bring some snacks;)

Palisade Head and Shovel Point: Located between Two Harbors and Schroeder MN, this popular stop along the highway is known to pull tourists in with its spectacular view of Lake Superior from the top of a 300ft cliff. An easy 1.5-mile hike will bring you to shovel point to soak in additional views of the intense rock formations. Forgetting your camera is not recommended.

Temperance River: Temperance River State Park is located just north of Lamb’s Resort and is home another of the highest point in Minnesota, Carlton Peak. The close proximity of this to our campsite makes it a very common hike on our north shore adventures and although we’ve hiked the path many times, it still takes our breath away each time.

Gooseberry Falls: This iconic stop for many sightseers along the North Shore is well worth your time. Hiking through the 20+ miles of nature followed by a quick splash in the falls is perfect for a summer or fall day. You will usually find that this state park is filled with families of all ages as paved paths to the falls make the glorious views accessible to everyone. If you’re into more {off the beaten path} hiking, there’s that too.

Tettegouche State Park: Tettegouche is home to miles and miles of trails and a favorite park for backpackers along the north shore. Comb through trails to find wildlife, moss-covered trees and some of the best lookouts on the shore.

Up Next… Bean + Bear Lakes, preferably in the fall.

Now that you know where to hike, how about some food to keep you feeling full of energy? Even if you’re not Minnesotan, this MN Nice Trail Mix is sure to call you back time and time again.

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{Printable Recipe}


  • 1C. Almonds, raw
  • ½ C. Walnuts, raw

  • ½ C. Cashews, raw

  • ¼ C. Dried Mixed Berries

  • ¼ C. Pumpkin Seeds, raw

  • 2 Tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup

  • 1 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

  • 1 Tsp. Cinnamon

  • ½ Tsp. Sea Salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

  2. Add all dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl

  3. Then add the maple syrup and vanilla, stirring until the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated

  4. Spread the mixture evenly over a parchment lined baking sheet

  5. Bake for 10-15minutes, stirring every few minutes

  6. Remove mixture from oven when nuts begin to brown slightly

  7. Allow to cool completely then store in an airtight container

Chat with me!

Have you ever been to the north shore? What is the best hike you’ve ever been on and why? What is your favorite trail mix ingredient?

P.S. If you’re local to Mpls, are you signed up for the Burn + Brews event October 28th?

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