Hobbit Stairway

May 11, 2010


Photographer: Dale L. Hugo
Summary Author: Dale L. Hugo

While climbing to the top of Wolf Rock on the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) in northeastern Minnesota last summer, we noticed these curious rock stairs. Instantly, I felt as though I would see Bilbo Baggins or Frodo, characters in the "Hobbit," stroll past me. Some of the steps are natural; others were installed by the SHT Association. As a result, this section of the trail is a relative easy climb. SHT runs along the North Shore of Lake Superior for 235 miles (378 km) from Duluth to Grand Portage. The stairway rock is probably igneous Duluth gabbro from the in the Gooseberry formation. While we were on top of Wolf Rock, we could see a 1000 ft (305 m) long ore boat hove into view. It was headed to pick up a load of iron ore (processed taconite) in Two Harbors, Minnesota.

The writer E. Schlimmer in his book "Thru Hiker's Guide to America" (25 incredible trails you can hike in one to eight weeks) wrote "To be honest, I was so turned on to the Superior Hiking Trail that I contemplated keeping it just for myself."