Today, many people know Gold Rock Point as that rugged, lichen-covered rocky cliff they see when looking up the shore from the Lighthouse. It is a staple in the iconic North Shore experience as it’s its largest granite exposure on the shore. It is also the primary access point for underwater divers to access the famous shipwreck of the Madeira.
In 1997 this land was privately owned was all almost lost as the family that owned it wanted to sell. The owners first offered it to the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota for $1.06 million. If the Parks & Trails Council didn’t agree to the deal, Gold Rock Point was going to be put up for sale on the open market. A prime piece of real estate, Gold Rock Point instantly captured the hearts and minds of land conservationists, divers and private developers alike.
With one of Minnesota’s most special places potentially going to the highest bidder, we moved swiftly to purchase an option to buy the 81-acre golden-orange gem with its 3,700 feet of shoreline and spectacular views to ensure it remained forever publicly accessible. We immediately launched a drive to raise the $1 million needed to purchase the land while simultaneously working to convince the Minnesota Legislature to expand the boundaries of the adjacent Split Rock Lighthouse State Park to include Gold Rock Point. At the same time, we began mobilizing public support to persuade the Lake County Board of Commissioners to approve the sale.
Thanks to these efforts, which included many dedicated individuals and foundations that contributed to the fundraising campaign, Gold Rock Point is today part of Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, a place where countless generations will be able to experience all of its diverse magnificence.