EASY-MODERATE SUPERIOR NATIONAL FOREST
TOFTE RANGER DISTRICT
LENGTH 2.3 miles
DIFFICULTY Easy with a short, moderately steep climb of Oberg Mountain.
MAPS & PERMITS McKenzie Map 102 (Lutsen and Tofte). USGS quads: Honeymoon Mountain and Tofte. No permit is required.
GETTING THERE Five miles east of Tofte, turn north on Forest Road 336 (also known as Onion River Road). Drive about 2 miles to the parking lot on the left side of the road. The trailhead to Oberg Mountain is on the right side of the road just before turning into the parking lot.
TRAILHEAD GPS 47D 37′ 42.9* N 90° 47′ 6.5″ W
Oberg Mountain and its neighbors on either side, Leveaux Peak to the southwest and Moose Mountain to the northeast, are part of a series of mountain peaks and ridges known as the Sawtooth Mountains. Their origin dates back as much as 1.1 million years when the earth’s crust from Lake Superior to as far south as Kansas began to rift or pull apart. Great flows of basaltic lava flowed out of the rift. Layer on top of layer of lava flowed across the land. Eventually the rifting stopped and the subsiding of underground lava caused the Lake Superior Basin to form. As the basin slowly grew deeper, the surrounding layers of lava flows tilted anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees toward the lake pushing up their edges to form the ridges. Imagine a giant teeter-totter; as one end, say the end out in the basin, sinks, the other end, the one away from the basin, rises. You can see the tilting of the great lava flows in dramatic fashion at Palisade Head and Shovel Point north of the Baptism River.
While Oberg Mountain provides some of the most dramatic and panoramic views along the North Shore, it is also a place where your attention is drawn to the close-at-hand.
Rivaling the views of Leveaux Peak, the North Shore and Lake Superior, Moose Mountain, Rolling Creek watershed, Oberg Lake, and the receding ridges of the Sawtooths, are the flowers that grace the trail. The West End Garden Club has printed a brochure especially for this trail. Called A Guide to the Wildflowers of Oberg Mountain, they are available from a small box near the trailhead. The Club asks that if you take one of the guides to help identify the many flowers on the mountain, that you return it to the box at the end of your hike for others to use.
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