A historic lighthouse, historic buildings, museum visitor center, gift shop, and more makes up this Minnesota state park. Explore the grounds, and enjoy the lovely views.
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is located 20 miles north of Two Harbor in Minnesota, right along the northern Lake Superior shoreline, and just off of Highway 61. This historic state park is a great destination for all travelers. This historic landmark has so much to offer, as visitors can learn about the history, see the sweeping views, explore the visitor center, stroll through the historic building, climb to the top of the lighthouse, and even experience the life of the first lighthouse keeper of the early 1920s. There is a gift shop for guests who wish to buy souvenirs. Spend a pleasant afternoon walking the grounds and taking a hike down to the lake from the rocky cliff. Hours of operation at this park are from 10 am to 4 pm, Thursday to Mondays. A parking permit is required, however, parking is free. Make sure you don't forget the camera to capture the stunning views here. Visitors should also be sure to come prepared for unpredictable weather.
The Split Rock Lighthouse was built in 1909 after many devastating waves destroyed precious cargo ships containing iron ore. The American Steamship Company urged the government to build a lighthouse to prevent this from happening again. The early days of the lighthouse were only accessible by water, but it still attracted many visitors. The first keepers were a small staff, but they had to be very skillful in maintenance, bookkeeping, giving tours, and more. They worked in 4-hour shifts, day and night. On good weather, low wind days, supplies and visitors could access the lighthouse with the steam-power hoist system in place. In 1915, a tramway was built, and when international highway 61 was completed the lighthouse was finally accessible by land.
Today the lighthouse is a historic landmark destination. The lighthouse closed in 1969 due to advancements in navigation, GPS, and radar technology. Today, it is has been restored to its original 1920 appearance. Visitors can tour the keeper house, the lighthouse, the supply building, oil house, and other on-site historic buildings. The museum includes exhibits and artifacts, as well as a short educational film. The Split Rock Lighthouse was officially dedicated as a historic landmark in 2011. To this day the marvelous Split Rock Lighthouse attracts thousands of visitors every year.