Location: Grand Portage, MN
This is a fairly strenuous hike to the top of Mount Josephine where you will have views of Lake Superior, Wauswaugoning Bay, Pigeon Point, Isle Royale, and the Susie Islands.
Mount Josephine is one of the peaks in the Sawtooth Mountains of northeastern Minnesota and is located in the Grand Portage Reservation. Be prepared for rough and slippery surfaces, especially on ledge rock.
At the Village of Grand Portage turn toward the lake down County Road 17. Follow CR 17 east, past the fort and the town for about 2.4km and look for a small sign reading ‘Mount Josephine’ on the left (north) side for the small parking area.
From the parking area, the trail begins on a two-track road that runs parallel to CO 17. After about 400m take the trail on the left that heads into the woods. The hiking trail climbs 200 metres from the road to the site of a former fire tower. You will see the stone base of the tower and metal parts from the tower strewn about the woods as you hike across the top to take in the views.
Many people only go as far as the lookouts near the old fire tower. But the trail does continue on all the way to the famous Witch Tree at the end of Hat Point. The Witch Tree is said to be one of the world’s smallest and oldest trees. It is mentioned in journals that date back to the 1790s suggesting that this tree is over 300 years old.
See the google map link above for an alternate route that can be taken from the side of Highway 61 to the top of Mt Josephine.