Silver Cliff is the highest bluff rising out of Lake Superior. In 1923 builders carved Highway 61 out of the cliffside 125 feet above the lake. In 1994, after three years of blasting and the removal of a million cubic yards of rock, the tunnel was completed as a safer route. To walk the old route, park at the wayside rest on the northeast side of the tunnel and walk the half-mile paved path that follows the old highway bed at cliff’s edge. Take in the wide open views of Lake Superior.
During a November 28, 1905 blizzard, the Pittsburgh Steamship Company lost two men and four ships, precipitating, in part, the building of the lighthouse at Split Rock. It was a dark and stormy night. With zero visibility, the captain had no idea where he was until he heard breakers hitting the shore. A few moments later, waves smashed her into offshore rocks. With no time to react, the Manila drove into the Lafayette’s stern, busting her in two in minutes. Both crews made it to shore.
Aren’t you glad you can safely whiz right through the Lafayette Bluff Tunnel?