SHT – Bally Creek to Cascade River S.P.

[Posting this nearly 3 years after the actual trip, using notes I made on my phone during the trip. Unfortunately I can’t remember which campsite we stayed at the first night and I didn’t make a note of it, but I assume it was one of the Bally Creek Pond campsites or the Sundling Creek Camp.]

Hikers: Betsy, Steph T., Stephanie M., Maria, Nissy, Lauren, Annaleise, Kieran the dog (biggest group yet!)
Total Distance: Somewhere between 1 and 3 miles, depending on the people, plus maybe a little more at the state park.
Days: 4 turned into 3
Dates:  August 6-8, 2015  (originally planned Aug. 6-9)
Photos: Steph T., Stephanie M.

This trip was full of rain and plans had to change – we didn’t do nearly as much hiking as we planned, but it was still a good trip because I got a bunch of teenage girls out into nature for a little bit, and they enjoyed it.

06 August – Bally Creek Trailhead
Drove 2 cars, one with me and Steph T., and everyone else in the other. Departed Steph T’s house around 1:45/2. Rained almost the entire drive. Dinner in Duluth at Va Bene – Italian. Tiramisu dessert! Check debacle. Cute waiter.

Steph T. and I headed to Cascade River State Park to get me a new SP pass so I could leave my car at the park for when we finished. Super friendly lady at park office, provided Goo Gone, Windex, and a scraper for me to get my old pass off the window. Filled out a form for them, so they knew we were on the trail. Bought maps for entire SHT. Then headed toward Bally Creek Trailhead. The other car was not there like we expected. Nobody else at campsite. Set up my new little marmot tent in light rain, then went back to car. Drove back to Cascade for cell service, and hoping we’d find them, but didn’t. We eventually heard from them. They were at some trailhead past Grand Marais. We met them at an SA in GM, them had them follow us to trailhead. Trailhead had spots for only 3 cars, and there were 2 others there, so I parked mine on the road. Tried to hang food, but food bags too heavy and car was close, so we brought the food to the car. Everyone in their tents around 11ish? Steady rain. Girls chatting away and giggling in their tent until after midnight 🙂 Kieran tired.

07 August
Rained all night. Packed up camp in light rain. Decided not to hike from where we were. Went into Grand Marais for breakfast and to make a plan. Stopped in some shops and had coffee. Found a laundromat to dry sleeping bags, and hung tents up to dry a bit, then re-packed them. Drove to parking area on county road 45 at north end of Cascade River loop. Hiked just over 1 miles south to Cut Log Campsite. Set up camp – very nice site, with a log with a seat cut into it – hence the site name. Beautiful view from the latrine! Chili mac for dinner – our fave. Chocolate and vanilla pudding for dessert. Steph T. made an awesome camp fire, despite all the wet wood! Successful food hanging. Drank all our wine and liquor. Fun night.

Our very short hike on Saturday after spending the day in Grand Marais drying out.
The whole gang at Cut Log campsite, with Steph’s great fire.

08 August
I was the first awake so I took the food down, then went to get water and dip my head in the river. Coffee and cereal for me for breakfast. Everyone else had cooked egg meals. Packed up camp. Steph T, Maria, and Annaleise hiked south to the state park, and Stephanie M, Nissy, Lauren, and I hiked back to our cars so we could drive to the park and meet them. Met up at the falls and hiked a little more. Picked some raspberries at the park entrance before heading back to Duluth.

Nissy and the cut log seat at Cut Log Campsite
Heading back to the car.
Route from Cut Log Campsite to Cascade Falls State Park

Notes For Next Time:

  1. Caravan to trailhead if in multiple vehicles (because of horrible phone coverage).

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