There are two state parks along route 61 that we had on our list of places to visit. The first was Split Rock Lighthouse with its important history and commanding view of Lake Superior. In the great storm of 1905, 29 ships sank or were severely damaged in this area of the lake. In 1910, the Split Rock Lighthouse went into service. For the first 20 years, the station was only accessible by boat and the ship keepers and families lived at the station during the shipping season and then left for the winter months.
In 1924, the road was extended north and by 1930 the light keepers could live on site fulltime. Soon the lighthouse became a popular attraction. We elected to take a guided tour of the site (no extra charge) and then explore on our own afterwards. The tour included lots of history of the lighthouse construction and the light keepers who manned it. This light station has some of the best housing I have seen at any lighthouse and I can understand why they chose to remain on site year around. Today, two park managers live in the houses.
Gooseberry State Park is also very popular. as we found out in our first attempt to visit. We were luckier on our second try and it was not nearly as busy. The park is well known for the cascading multiple falls and wide gorge the river flows thru. There are hiking trails and other amenities in the park including a campground. Based on our experience, reservations are definitely needed to stay in the campground. We were a bit surprised that the falls were not overflowing with all the rain in the previous week before our arrival. But the reduced flow allowed us to get out on the river bed for a closer view.