The Trout Lake/Joyce Estate Trail
**Our Favorite hiking trail** A must see!!
In the 1880s, William T. Joyce came to the area and started buying land and timber. The area was logged in the early 1900s and the logs were floated out through the chain of lakes to the prairie river and then to the Mississippi River. About 1918, the heir to the family fortune originating in lumber taken from northern Minnesota, David Joyce of Chicago, surveyed the area around Trout Lake with the intention of building a hunting camp. Over the next 17 years he built a 4,500 acre private resort with 40 buildings, a golf course, private telephone line and airplane hangar. The Joyce Family called this place “Nopeming” (meaning place of rest in Ojibwe). The estate operated as a plush private resort for the Joyce Family until 1972 when it was sold to the Nature Conservancy. The Forest Service subsequently acquired it in 1973.
Visitors can tour the grounds of the Joyce Estate and view the rustic log architecture and stick work characteristic of the Adirondack tradition.
Over 95% of the shoreline of Trout Lake is undeveloped. Be sure to walk out to the end of the point at the Joyce Estate and stand on the sandbar. It’s like standing in the middle of the lake. There’s a toilet just beyond the old main lodge.
We recommend taking a lunch along and eating in the Joyce Estate area. There are several nice spots to sit along the lake, or you can take the steps up the hill just beyond the main lodge to a grassy area overlooking the lake. There are also some walk-in campsites along the lake next to the road leading to the Joyce Estate. Allow 1 hour to walk in, 1 hour to walk out, and 30-60 minutes to enjoy the area and eat lunch. It will take about 30 minutes to drive from the resort to the north parking area.
Total Hiking Distance: 5 miles round trip
If you have your own boat, you can portage to Joyce Estates from Wabana Lake. Makes for a great day adventure!! Ask us for more information.
Trout Lake information and map – with other hiking trails
Scenic State Park
Scenic State Park has several hiking trails of varying distances for a total of 15 miles of trails. The park contains several magnificent stands of old white and red pine that visitors can enjoy hiking through.
Chace Point – the most popular trail
Hiking: Take the trail up the hill to your right until it reaches the main trail and turn left. (A sign points the way to the Chase Point Trail.) The trail is about 1 mile long, and follows the top of a ridge between two lakes (Sandwick and Coon Lakes). You can see both lakes along this trail. This is an interpretive trail, with signs along the way identifying many of the trees. At several points you walk on a bed of pine needles through some beautiful towering red pines. About half way along the trail you come to a large log with a commemorative plaque regarding Zaiser Island in Sandwick Lake. At the end of the trail, you go down the ridge to the edge of Coon Lake. (They’ve put in some steps to help you navigate the steep slope.) When you get to the end of the point, walk around to the left and sit on the wooden bench at the edge of the beach. You’ll often see little sunfish swim up to the edge of the lake at this spot.
Total Hiking Distance: 2 miles round trip
The Fire Tower Trail In Scenic State Park
Hiking: At the start of this trail you walk by some giant red and white pine trees before descending into a forest lowland area with lots of wildflowers. After about 0.6 miles you come to a fork in the trail. Take the trail to the right. (A sign points toward the fire tower.) Another 0.6 miles brings you to the fire tower. The trail from the fork to the tower is generally uphill, with the last block or so decidedly uphill. (NOTE: The fire tower is fenced off, and you are not allowed to climb it.)
At the fire tower the trail comes to a T. I would recommend hiking the trail to the left for about ¼ mile until you reach a two-rut road. Then go directly across this road to a trail marked with a campsite sign. Follow this trail about 1 block to the campsite, which overlooks a beautiful, undeveloped lake (Pine Lake).
Total Hiking Distance: 3 miles round trip
We can provide you with a map of all the trails at Scenic State Park and it will take you about 30 minutes to drive from the resort to the park.
Trails Close to the Resort
The Resort Roads
Many people hike on the road that brings you into the resort. It’s exactly ½ mile from the resort out to the gravel road (Co. Rd. 310) by our sign. If you turn left on the gravel road and walk out to the paved highway (Co. Rd. 52), it’s another ½ mile. If you turn right on Co. Rd. 310 you can walk several miles along this road before it ends at private homes.
Walk the loop: take the resort road out to the gravel road (Co. Rd 310) by our sign and turn left. About 1 block down the gravel road, turn left onto South Forked Road. You’ll go a little over a ¼ of a mile. Turn left and go 1 block. You will end up right back on our resort road. Turn right and this will take you right back to the cabins.
Trails in the woods: At the top of the concrete boat launching ramp there is a small grassy area to the left where you will see an arrow that points to a trail into the woods. If you follow this trail about 100 feet, you come to an overlook of the North Bay of Wasson Lake. Continuing on this trail brings you through the woods to a fork in the trail. Either branch of this fork takes you back to the resort road.
For another hiking alternative, take the resort road out to the gravel road (½ mile) and turn left. About 1 block down the gravel road, turn on the first road to your right (a two rut road). There are lots of wildflowers along this road. About ¼ mile in on this road you come to a grove of tall trees (mostly aspens). As you exit this grove, you’ll see a path (probably overgrown) on your left. Follow this path about 50 feet down to a pond.
The Taconite Trail
Getting There: Take the resort road and gravel road back out to the paved highway (Co. Rd. 52) and turn left (south). Go about 4 miles until you reach a stop sign (Co. Rd. 7) and turn left (south). Drive about 3½ miles until you see a road sign for a snowmobile crossing at the top of a rise in the road. Turn right at the top of the rise in the road into a small parking area. (NOTE: Although this is a snowmobile trail, they mow the parking area and parts of the trail during the summer.) It will take about 13 minutes to drive from the resort tot he parking area.
Hiking: Cross the highway and follow the trail to the east. You pass through both woods and meadows on this trail, with lots of wildflowers along the trail. After about ¾ mile, you walk down a hill onto a bridge crossing a beautiful clear stream with lots of small fish and hundreds of small clams. Hiking distance is about 1½ miles round trip back to the car.
You can also follow the trail from the parking area to the west. The trail follows an unimproved road through the thick woods.
The Mesabi Trail
The Mesabi Trail is a paved, biking/hiking trail that runs from Grand Rapids to Virginia and beyond (eventually to Ely), generally following US Highway 169. If you would like to try a small portion of it, I would recommend driving south on County Roads 52 and 7 to just north of US 169 (about 22 miles). A trail crossing sign marks the Mesabi Trail. There’s a small parking area just south of the Trail on the left (east) side of the road.
Follow the trail west (across Co. Rd. 7) toward the town of Taconite. The trail crosses a swampy area on a floating boardwalk, and then follows a fairly steep path up the hill. At the top of the hill, the trail passes through woods and meadows to Taconite. As you enter the town, note the abandoned buildings that were once part of a thriving taconite mining industry. The trail winds through the town to an informational trailhead on the west side of town. The hike from the parking lot to the trailhead and back is about 2 miles.
You can also follow the trail east from the parking lot. After climbing the hill, the trail meanders through the woods for several miles to the town of Marble.
Another option is to drive south on County Roads 52 and 7 to US 169 and turn left (east). Drive on 169 about 5-6 miles to Calumet and turn left into the town. Drive through the town and park at the parking area for the Hill Annex Mine State Park. (A State Park permit is not needed to park here.) The trail starts beyond the white building next to the parking area.
Follow the trail to the right up and over the hill. There are lots of wildflowers along this part of the trail, with a view of an open pit mine in the distance. A hike along this trail to the next town (Marble) and back is about 2½ miles.
(NOTE: If you use a bike or inline skates on the Mesabi Trail, you must buy a two-day or annual wheel pass.)
Suomi Hills Recreation Area
The Suomi Hills Recreation Area is a large area with over 20 miles of interconnected trails that are mowed in the summer. The Lawrence Lake Trail is a relatively short, circular trail that features the dense forests, rolling hills, and pristine lakes that are typical of this area. Suomi Hills is about a 40 minutes drive form the resort. We will give you directions on how to get there.
Hiking: The Lawrence Lake Trail (NOTE: This is a very hilly trail.) The trail starts to the left of the trail sign in the southeast corner of the parking lot and runs parallel to the highway. After 1-2 blocks, you come to a fork in the trail. Stay to the left (even though an arrow points to the right). After about 1/3 mile, the trail turns away from the highway. Soon you come to the edge of an undeveloped lake (Lawrence Lake). At this point, a path comes in from the right. Continue straight ahead. After about 1 mile on the trail, you come to a cross-trail. Again, continue straight ahead. The trail reaches the top of a hill overlooking another undeveloped lake (Lucky Lake) on your left. About half way along this lake, the trail comes to a T. Turn right (downhill). About ¼ mile along this trail, you come to an intersection of several trails. Take the trail straight ahead marked for Hikers (not the trail to the Parking Lot). Eventually you reach the shore of a third undeveloped lake (Hill Lake). As you continue on the trail up the hill from Hill Lake, you reach a small parking area. Then follow the road from this parking area back to the original parking lot and your car.
Total Hiking Distance: 2½ miles
McCarthy Beach State Park
McCarthy Beach State Park is located about 30 miles (by car) northwest of Loon Point Resort. If you visit this State Park and plan to hike, I would recommend the trail around Pickerel Lake. Visit the State Park office for information on this trail and where to park. (NOTE: A State Park permit is needed for this hike.) The sandy beach on Sturgeon Lake was rated one of the top 17 beaches in North America by Highway’s Magazine.