The view is unique at the top of Moose Mountain. It provides a panoramic of the Lester River Valley. We are unaware of another public place in the area that provides such a sweeping perspective of the Lester River landscape with its vast swath of trees dotted only by a few abodes. And the expanse of the sky is breathtaking, especially as the sun sets over Duluth.
The Advantage of Winter
It was our first time exploring Moose Mountain Scientific and Natural Area (SNA), which is protected by the state to preserve rare and natural features. Unlike state parks, SNA’s don’t have maintained trails, yet are open to the public for exploring.
We chose to snowshoe. After parking in the small lot along Lester River Road and strapping on our foot gear, we headed into the woods. While we didn’t encounter others, people had clearly come before us as we found a well-trodden path with packed snow.
We climbed a couple hundred yards uphill through an aspen and birch forest to the power line and then traversed the wide, cleared area to the top of the hill. While Finley and I stuck to the packed trail, Daley enjoyed breaking his own paths.
When we reached the summit, we turned around to take in the expansive view of winter trees against the setting sun.
From MN Hwy 61 go north on Lester River Road for just under 3.5 miles. There is a small parking lot on the right (East) with an official sign. The lot, like the trails, is not maintained but the snow was packed down from other vehicles the day we visited. Check out a map at the DNR website.
Have you visited Moose Mountain SNA? Share your experiences in the comment box below. Thanks!