North Shore’s Black Sand Beach In Silver Bay To See Road + Other Improvements Project
The immensely popular and quite unique "Black Beach Park" on the Lake Superior shoreline in Silver Bay will see some new improvements to make access and use of the beach and park space easier for visitors in the future.
Business North reports that the City of Silver Bay secured a grant for $341,800 from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and their State Park Road Account to do some work on the access road to the beach and park space.
The road, East Lakeview Drive, is a gravel access roadway owned by the City of Silver Bay that is the vehicular means of access to the beach and park. As the beach and recently-opened campground continue to grow in popularity, a need for improvements was seen by local officials.
The grant from the Minnesota DNR will be part of the overall $1.8 million project that will add parking, bike lanes, offer dust control in the area, and create safer pedestrian crossings for visitors. City officials have also applied for additional grants from MNDOT to support this project, tied to an area that has offered an increase in tourism in recent years for Silver Bay.
Business North reports the project is expected to get underway in 2022.
The secret is definitely out about a unique Lake Superior North Shore treasure, which only became an official public park space a few years ago. While the beach has long been a secret favorite among locals and savvy tourists (despite the land being private until recent years), the legend of this unique beach has spread.
Word of mouth, some online posts from Minnesota radio stations, and the large new player of social media have been big marketing tools in the age of visual communication with mediums like Instagram sharing the unique visuals the beach has to offer.
LakeSuperior.com explains that this one-of-a-kind beach on Lake Superior became a publicly open space in May of 2015 after the City of Silver Bay and the Minnesota DNR worked out a lease with Cliffs Natural Resources for 31.6 acres of land that includes 3,500 feet of Lake Superior shoreline.
Five years later, a municipal campground offering 49 campsites opened at the Black Beach Park, welcoming visitors starting in June 2020. Camping spaces offer electrical hookups and RV access with some pull-through sites for larger RVs. The park space also includes a playground, group picnic area, and other items. Additional amenities for the campground and online reservations can be found on the campground's website.
The charcoal-colored "black beach", according to the City of Silver Bay's information about the park, came from "natural sediment transport of past taconite tailings into sand that gives a diamond like sparkle with black hue." In other words, taconite tailings in Lake Superior that waves pushed ashore and mixed with the sand already on the beach.
If you've never been there before, here is a brief video showing the black sand up close. You might think "taconite tailings" sounds like it wouldn't be fun to walk on in bare feet, but lots of people do it every summer.
If you're looking to make a trip to check out the beach, you'll find it sandwiched right between Silver Bay and Lake Superior. You can see a map and get directions here.