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September 24, 2003
From journal Thunder Bay
July 2, 2002
Since we visited Memorial Day Weekend, the show was spectacular...a grand finale to the series of waterfalls visited in Minnesota along Lake Superior which continued to gain in magnitude as we traveled north.
Paved walkways and bridges allow people to meander along the river and view the falls from differing vantage points. Exhibits posted at viewing decks explain the geology and history of the area. According to one exhibit, The Ojibwa Indians (who Longfellow wrote about in his Hiawatha poem) lived here when the 1st Europeans arrived.
Legend tells of an Ojibwa Princess who saved her people by pretending to befriend the Sioux tribe and show them where their enemy, the Ojibwa, lived. She paddled down the river with the Sioux on her tail and lurched out of the water just before the great falls while the Sioux tumbled to their deaths.
Additional hiking trails are located within the park. The Mountain Portage Trail (2 km) which traces the historic steps voyagers took to portage the falls in the 1800s. Observe the local flora and fauna on the Poplar Point Trail (3.6 km) which loops around the Upper Campground. In the winter ski on 13 kilometers of groomed trails.
Two campgrounds provide 169 sites, half with electrical hook-ups. Kids can swim in a roped off area above the falls while parents relax on the sandy beach.
To get here, drive 18 miles west of Thunder Bay on Highway 11/17. There is a minimal charge of $2 per car. Shoppers will be happy to hear that there are several souvenir shops en route, many selling amethyst products.
From journal Wonderful Place, eh, Thunder Bay