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What's This Rock Too? Unraveling the Geologic Story of MN's Central North Shore

Course Overview

How many times have you walked along a cobbled beach or a rocky ledge along the North Shore and wondered - What’s this rock? Where did it come from? Why is it here? Well, lace up some sturdy footwear and head into the field to be immersed in the fascinating geology of the central part of MInnesota's North Shore with UMD emeritus geology professor Jim Miller. Like the early summer offering of “What's This Rock,” this late summer class will focus on “reading” rocks that tell part of the billion year-old​ geological story of the Lake Superior area - a tale of fire and ice. ​However, What's This Rock Too will visit roadcuts and shoreline exposures that illustrate the volcanic and glacial history of the central part of Minnesota's North Shore. After an introductory presentation on ​Friday night, the class will travel to Tettegouche State Park on Saturday morning and visit classic North Shore exposures on the way back to Grand Marais.  The field trip will include stops at Tettegouche State Park, Caribou River, Sugarloaf Interpretive Center, and Temperance River State Park. Sunday morning will start out with a hike up the Cascade River, followed by viewing roadcuts of the gemstone Thomsonite, and then rock-hounding on the shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais. After this excursion, you’ll never see the North Shore the same way again, too!


Fri, Aug 17th, 2018  –  Sun, Aug 19th, 2018

Course Details

Length: 2½ Days
Skill Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Hours: Day 1:5-8pm, Day 2: 9am-5pm, Day 3: 9am-2pm
Intergenerational age: 10+
Registration Cost: $185.00
Additional materials fee paid to instructor when class starts: included


You will need the following tools for this class:

  • bag lunch for Days 2 & 3
  • appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear (sturdy!)
  • waterbottle
  • anything you need to be comfortable outdoors: sunscreen, bug nets, rain jacket, etc.

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call the front office if you have not received it within 24 hours.