Three girls recently sought refuge from the chaos of city life on the shores of the Gitchi-Gami (also known as Lake Superior). They spent a beautiful April day hiking the trails of Gooseberry Falls State Park, considered the gateway to Minnesota’s North Shore.
Following the Gooseberry River deep into the park, it was easy to image the Cree, Dakotah and Ojibwe living in the area before it was settled. This river can be found on explorer maps dating as far back as 1670. It was either named after French explorer Sieur des Groseilliers or after the Anishinabe Indian name, Shab-on-im-i-kan-i-sibi, both translate to gooseberries.
The unique landscape of the North Shore began taking shape 1.1 billion years ago when the Earth’s crust split along the rift zone beneath Lake Superior. Lava flowed from this rift and cooled forming volcanic bedrock, these lava flows can still be seen today. As time moved on, the Great Ice Age 2 million years ago made its mark as well. When glaciers advanced into the region, the landscape changed again – perhaps most dramatically when the glaciers excavated the basin and later melted to form Lake Superior.